Identifying Living and Nonliving Things

  • Preschool
  • Science
  • 50 minutes
  • 5.0 based on 2 ratings
October 4, 2015
by Alexandra Parlamas

Teach your students about living and nonliving things with this interactive lesson that keeps your class engaged as they learn!

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to classify objects as living and nonliving. Students will be able to identify what living things need to survive.

Download Lesson Plan


Introduction (5 minutes)

  • Ask the class if they are living or nonliving.
  • Ask students if their pets at home are living or nonliving.
  • Ask students to identify what they need to survive. Write "food," "water," "shelter," and "air" on the board.
  • Explain to students that today they will be learning about living and nonliving things.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Read students the story What's Alive.
  • Then, sing the following song together to the tune of Frere Jacques:
    It is living!
    It is living!
    I know why!
    I know why!
    It eats and breathes and grows,
    It eats and breathes and grows,
    It's alive!
    It's alive!

Independent Working Time (15 minutes)

  • Now, place two hula hoops on the ground and present the class with various living and nonliving objects.
  • Have each student come to the hula hoops and place objects in the hula hoop in either the living or the nonliving category. For example, give students a banana, a truck, and a plant and ask which one is alive.
  • Continue until every student has had a chance.



  • Enrichment: Have students in need of enrichment draw objects on a paper that are living.
  • Support: Read additional books about living and nonliving things to students who are struggling with the concept.

Related Books and/or Media

  • BOOK: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan A. Shea
  • BOOK: Mary Had A Little Lamp by Jack Lechner



  • Assessment should be based on how students do in the sorting activity.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Have each student go around the room and find a nonliving object.

Teacher Tips


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