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Recognise Whether Something is Dead, Alive, or Never Been Alive

In this worksheet, students will learn about living things and things that have never been alive and classify different objects accordingly.

'Recognise Whether Something is Dead, Alive, or Never Been Alive' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 1

Year:  Year 2 Science worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Living Things and Their Habitats

Curriculum subtopic:   Things Living, Dead or Never Alive

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

What does it mean if something is living, dead or never alive?


thought bubble cartoon


There are lots of life processes that tell us if something is living and we will focus on three of them today.

Something is living or alive if:

1. It is moving or can move - by itself

2. It is breathing

3. It can grow


Plants and animals are living things.

Let's look at some examples of living plants:


apple tree rose bush pink flowers carrot plants growing underground
Apple tree Rose bush Carrot plant


These are three, living plants. They 'breathe' by using carbon dioxide from the air and sunlight to make their food. They use the food they make, nutrients in the soil and water to help them grow.


Believe it or not - all plants move! But they only move small amounts so it is hard to see it - you won't spot a carrot plant running away!


Here are some living animals:


grey rabbit eating a leaf frog on a lilypad tropical pink fish in coral ladybird insect
Rabbit Frog Fish Ladybird


All of the animals above are living things. They all breathe, move by themselves and can grow! Easy - right?


Now it gets a bit trickier. Something that is never alive might come from a man-made material, which is something that is not found in nature.

Here are three non-living things:


plastic chair metal aluminium drink can nylon blue striped jumper sweater
plastic chair metal (aluminium) can nylon jumper


Plastic, metal and nylon are all man-made materials. They exist because humans have used chemicals to make them, like plastic and nylon. Or the material has been mined from the ground and was never alive - like metals.


Finally, we have objects that are no longer living or dead.


Here are three no longer alive things:


wooden chair crispy bacon rashers purple woolly hat
wooden chair bacon wool hat


Each of the objects above was either taken from a living thing, or was once a living thing.

We get wood from trees, which makes the wooden chair now dead. Once a tree is cut down, it cannot breathe, grow, or move by itself, but it can be used for lots of different things.


logging area


Bacon is one kind of meat that comes from an animal - a pig. Many humans eat meat and to get this, the pig has to die, so the bacon, is now dead. When it was part of the pig, it was living and growing, but once the pig has been taken to be eaten, it can no longer live.


pink piglet


We get wool from sheep - it is their fur, cut off and used to make warm clothes. When the wool was attached to the sheep, it could grow and was part of a living animal. Like the wood, when the wool is cut, it cannot grow and is no longer alive - it is dead. However, it's important to understand that the sheep itself is still alive - it can have its wool sheared off without harming the sheep!




Today we will be sorting different objects into living, dead, or never alive.


girl magnifying glass surprised

Good luck!

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