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Living Things and Their Needs

Living Things and Their Needs

The Living Things and Their Needs unit allows very young students to explore living and non-living things, and the basic needs of animals. The unit helps students understand important health and environmental issues about their world and living things.

The Living Things and Their Needs Teacher’s Guide presents activity-based lessons that entice students to discover concepts in science, mathematics and health through hands-on, guided inquiry activities.

In the student storybook, Tillena Lou’s Day in the Sun, Tillena Lou explores her home and discovers interesting things about the animals that live nearby. During her explorations, she imagines what it must be like to be a bird, fish or dragonfly! Tillena's joined in her adventure by her brother Tee, sister Taffy, and finally, older brother Ben. What do the little turtles discover?

The Math Link extends each unit by connecting the story and hands-on science activities to mathematics skill-building and critical thinking exercises, and The Reading Link provides language arts activities related to the story.

Complete Teacher's Guide

Thumbnail Image for Living Things and Their Needs Teacher Guide

Living Things and Their Needs

Very young students get the opportunity to explore living and non-living things, and learn about the basic needs of plants, animals and people. (10 activities)

Individual Lessons

Thumbnail Image for Needs of Living Things: Pre-assessment

Needs of Living Things: Pre-assessment

Students take a pre-assessment to help estimate levels of student understanding about the needs of living things.

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Need or Want?

Students learn to distinguish between basic survival “needs” of human beings and things that are not essential for life (“wants”).

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Needs of Plants

Students make mini-gardens and observe the growth and development of radishes.

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Animals' Needs

Student teams observe a worm model and a live worm, create worm terrariums, and observe worms over time.

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Plant or Animal?

Students explore two major kinds of living things, plants and animals, and compare their needs.

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Food for Kids

Students learn how cooking makes some foods easier to eat by observing uncooked popcorn and cooked popcorn. They also will make a snack (pudding) in class.

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We Need Water

Students make lemonade by mixing lemon juice, sugar and water, and discover that the water they need every day is sometimes in sources other than drinking water.

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Air and Breathing

Students explore breathing and air by blowing bubbles and by observing themselves and others during breathing.

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Thumbnail Image for A Place to Be

A Place to Be

Students play a “Concentration” type card game, matching animals with their “places to be.”

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Thumbnail Image for Needs of Living Things: Post-assessment

Needs of Living Things: Post-assessment

Students take a post-assessment, then apply concepts learned in this unit by revisiting the pre-assessment, where they originally recorded what they needed to live.

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Unit Components

Free, downloadable components from the Living Things and Their Needs unit to engage your students about the basic needs of animals, plants and people.

Thumbnail Image for Tillena Lou's Day in the Sun Reading

Tillena Lou's Day in the Sun

Tillena Lou and her siblings spend a lazy day imagining what it might be like if they were other types of animals. What would they need to survive?

Thumbnail Image for Living Things and Their Needs: Templates Worksheets

Templates

Templates for use with Living Things and Their Needs unit activities. The templates include job badges and a "My Science Journal" worksheet for students, and a word bank for the teacher.

Thumbnail Image for Living Things and Their Needs: The Math Link Worksheets

The Math Link

Students solve addition and subtraction problems; measure ingredients using cups and spoons, measure length; count and sort objects; create graphs; sequence events; and work with patterns.

Thumbnail Image for Living Things and Their Needs: The Reading Link Worksheets

The Reading Link

Students work with poetry, syllables and counters; patterns; repetition, rhythm, and rhymes; characters, add additional verses; decide if something is fact or fiction; and expand upon the story's ending.

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Associated Teaching Unit

Thumbnail Image for Resources and the Environment Resources

Resources and the Environment

The Resources and the Environment Unit allows very young students to explore how living things—including humans—use resources found naturally in their environments, or modify resources to meet their needs.


Funded by the following grant(s)

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Filling the Gaps: K-6 Science/Health Education
Grant Number: 5R25RR013454