In the spring, our units/themes/research projects focus on all kinds of living things and non-living things. We do zoo animals, ocean animals, insects, and plants. But first, we learn about living and non-living things!
(NOTE: THESE PICTURES WERE TAKEN PRE-COVID!)
Living And Non-Living Things
As with most of our TKS Research Projects, we start with a schema map. This particular schema map was interesting because basically had no schema. This isn’t because the kids didn’t know what was living and non-living, it was that they didn’t have the language and vocabulary to discuss it! At the end of the research project, we had made so much growth and learning!
Students get to record their learning in their research journal!
What Is Living And Non-Living?
We start by simply learning what living things need and the difference between living and non-living things.
Next, we do a living/non-living sort. This serves as a great tool to see how students are understanding the difference. As we sort the images, the students have to justify why each one is living or non-living.
Applying What We Learn
When teaching science content, we start by learning the content and then we apply the knowledge using hands-on lessons. Science isn’t meant to be just learning some information, it’s meant to be hands-on! The hands-on is what helps the students solidify their understanding of the concepts.
First, we use our learning to compare and contrast a living and non-living object: WORMS! We use gummy worms and earthworms!
The squeals and giggles and screams when we pull out the earthworms are epic! Mr. Greg doesn’t do worms so I wore rubber gloves to handle the worms. TRUTH Ya’ll! Also, get yourself a student who isn’t afraid of the worms so they can handle the escapee worms.
Next, we go on a living and non-living scavenger hunt around the school! Students make their own list of living and non-living things. Once we return to the classroom, they share their list and explain why each one is living or non-living.
Our culminating task is a writing activity. Students get to chose an item to write about. They have to identify if the item is livng or non-living and then write about the object.