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Living and Non-Living Things

Students answer questions about how scientists classify living organisms and differentiate between 'living', 'non-living' and 'never lived'.

'Living and Non-Living Things' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 1

Curriculum topic:   Living Things and Their Habitats

Curriculum subtopic:   Things Living, Dead or Never Alive

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Everything on Earth can be divided into two groups - 'Living' and 'Non-Living'. If we think about it, we could say that movement is a good way of deciding between the two, but not always!

hedgehog Union Jack flag Trees covered in moss

Look at the pictures, a hibernating hedgehog does not appear to move, even her breathing is slow and shallow. A fluttering Union Jack Flag moves a lot, but is it alive? Very slow growing moss needs a lot of watching to see it move -  but we know moss is alive!

 

Let's think about 'Non-Living' things because thats not as simple as it seems. Many objects and materials which we use everyday can be described as 'Never-Lived'.

 

wooden chair ruby ring leather boots

It's important that we know the difference between things in these three groups. The chair is made of pine, which was once part of a living tree, the leather to make the boots also came from a living thing, the hide of a cow, but the materials needed to make the ruby ring have never lived - they've been mined from the earth.

 

Movement is not enough to decide if something is living. We know that living things also grow and reproduce. These three characteristics are part of the LIFE PROCESSES.

Which TWO of these things are living?

Milk

Olive tree

Paper

Caterpillar

Pencil

Which THREE of these things are non-living?

Snail shell

Slug

Diamond

Volcano

Tortoise

In this list of objects, two have never lived. Which TWO are they?

Glass window

Coal

Plastic bag

Ammonite fossil

Wool carpet

A cotton T-shirt is best described as which one of these? 

Living

Non-living

Never lived

Bricks made from fired clay fit into which group?

Living

Non-living

Never lived

Which one of these best describes a woollen jumper?

Living

Non-living

Never lived

Charlie says that his new nylon sweatshirt is made from natural fibres - it was once part of a living thing. Aamina disagrees, she says that nylon is a man-made material and has never lived.

 

Who do you think is correct?

Charlie

Aamina

Aamina knows that living things show the LIFE PROCESSES. Which THREE from this list are part of the life processes?

Flight

Reproduction

Growth

Sight

Movement

Charlie thinks that plant movement means that they sway in the wind. Aamina says that's not right. Which one of the following is the correct answer?

Gardeners dig up plants and move them around the garden

The leaves of the plant turn towards the sun

Animals carry seeds to new places

Charlie and Aamina need help to find the life processes, common to all LIVING THINGS, from the list below. Can you help them by choosing THREE from this list?

Hibernate

Sleep

Move

Grow

Eat

Play

Fly

Reproduce

  • Question 1

Which TWO of these things are living?

CORRECT ANSWER
Olive tree
Caterpillar
EDDIE SAYS
Olive trees live for many tens of years. Caterpillars are part of the life-cycle of butterflies and moths.
  • Question 2

Which THREE of these things are non-living?

CORRECT ANSWER
Snail shell
Diamond
Volcano
EDDIE SAYS
The 'hard' parts of animals and plants are left behind when they die, so we find shells on the beach and the skeletons of humans and animals.
  • Question 3

In this list of objects, two have never lived. Which TWO are they?

CORRECT ANSWER
Glass window
Plastic bag
EDDIE SAYS
Glass is made by heating sand (silicone) to a very high temperature. Plastic is a man-made material. Ammonites used to be living organisms that became fossils, coal is a fossil fuel, which means it is made of the remains of dead organisms (they were once alive!) and wool is taken from sheep, so wool is made of living organisms.
  • Question 4

A cotton T-shirt is best described as which one of these? 

CORRECT ANSWER
Non-living
EDDIE SAYS
Cotton is a natural material which was once part of a living cotton plant, but is not living anymore.
  • Question 5

Bricks made from fired clay fit into which group?

CORRECT ANSWER
Never lived
EDDIE SAYS
Clay is a very useful material which has never lived.
  • Question 6

Which one of these best describes a woollen jumper?

CORRECT ANSWER
Non-living
EDDIE SAYS
Wool is a natural material which has been used for many hundreds of years for clothing, blankets etc...
  • Question 7

Charlie says that his new nylon sweatshirt is made from natural fibres - it was once part of a living thing. Aamina disagrees, she says that nylon is a man-made material and has never lived.

 

Who do you think is correct?

CORRECT ANSWER
Aamina
EDDIE SAYS
Nylon is a man-made material.
  • Question 8

Aamina knows that living things show the LIFE PROCESSES. Which THREE from this list are part of the life processes?

CORRECT ANSWER
Reproduction
Growth
Movement
EDDIE SAYS
All living things reproduce - animals have young and flowering plants produce seeds. Living organisms also move and grow. Sight is not a characteristic of all living things (so should not be marked as correct), but is one of our five senses; sensitivity is one of the life processes.
  • Question 9

Charlie thinks that plant movement means that they sway in the wind. Aamina says that's not right. Which one of the following is the correct answer?

CORRECT ANSWER
The leaves of the plant turn towards the sun
EDDIE SAYS
Because plants need sunlight, their leaves turn towards the sun, or light. Animals do carry seeds away form the parent plant, but this is part of seed dispersal, which is part of reproduction.
  • Question 10

Charlie and Aamina need help to find the life processes, common to all LIVING THINGS, from the list below. Can you help them by choosing THREE from this list?

CORRECT ANSWER
Move
Grow
Reproduce
EDDIE SAYS
All living things move, grow and reproduce, but these are not the only life processes common to all living things - plants and animals. We sometimes need to look very carefully and maybe even for a very long time to see movement, growth and reproduction. When we eat, we take in nutrients; Nutrition is one of the life processes, but not all living things 'eat' the way we do, plants for example.
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