The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Characteristics of Living Things

In this worksheet, students will answer questions about the characteristics common to living organisms - animals and plants. These are called the LIFE PROCESSES.

'Characteristics of 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

Living organisms are very diverse, meaning that they are different and varied. But although plants and animals look and behave very differently, they have characteristics in common.

 

Elephant Daisies 

 

An African elephant has a lot in common with a daisy plant! Think about all the animals and plants that you have learnt about. There are some things that they all need and some processes that they all carry out. In science, these are called the life processes:

 

Movement

Respiration

Sensitivity

Nutrition

Excretion

Reproduction

Growth

 

Plants and animals need oxygen. This gas is used by organisms to release the energy from food in the process called respiration.

Plants and animals are sensitive to their environment. The leaves of green plants respond to, and grow towards light. We respond to the world around us using our senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste.

As plants and animals grow and turn food into energy, they produce waste. This process is called excretion.

 

Let's practise all that!

Mai and Anzu are learning about movement. Can you help them by matching these organisms with different ways of moving?

 

Snail

Column A

Column B

bat
leaves turn towards light
shark
has fins for swimming
broad bean
uses wings to fly
snail
travels on its slimy 'foot'
frog
uses webbed feet for swimming

Anzu decides to test Mai's knowledge of reproduction, but the questions and answers have been mixed up! Help Anzu sort them out.

 

Whale

Column A

Column B

eagle owl
lays eggs on the underside of leaves
cabbage white butterfly
lays lots of soft eggs (spawn) in ponds
dandelion
produces seeds
blue whale
gives birth to live young
frog
lays eggs with a hard shell

As plants and animals grow, they go through different stages of their life cycle.

Match these life cycles with the organism.

Column A

Column B

human
baby, toddler, child, adult
tiger moth
egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, adult
oak tree
germination, flower, pollination, fertilisation, s...
common toad
egg, tadpole, adult

Mai knows that nutrition is a life process. All organisms, plants and animals, need food for energy and growth.

Anzu thinks that nutrition is different for different organisms, because his cat has a different diet from his budgie.

 

Help them by matching the organism with its nutrition.

Column A

Column B

hedgehog
grass, root vegetables
tomato plant
uses light to make its own food
sheep
flies and flying insects
swift
mice, voles and small birds
kestrel
beetles, slugs and snails

Anzu's cat eats meat. What is the scientific name for animals which eat meat?

 

Cat

killer

carnivore

omnivore

Mai says that her rabbits would not like the same diet as Anzu's cat: they eat green leaves and cereals. 

What is the name scientists give to animals which eat plants / vegetation only?

 

Rabbit

vegetarian

omnivore

herbivore

Mai and Anzu think carefully about diets. They think of animals that eat vegetation and meat, for example: the fox and badger that visit Mai's garden, but they can't remember the science word. Help them out!

 

Fox Badger

omnibus

omnivore

obvious

Another life process is respiration. Living organisms, animals and plants use oxygen to release the energy from their food. 

Which THREE from this list carry out respiration?

sea weed

car

starfish

teddy bear

wasp

Sensitivity is another life process. We humans think we're pretty clever, but some organisms have developed their senses to a high level which enables them to live very successfully in some environments.

Here's a list of senses, can you match them up with the animal that has a high level of this sense?

Column A

Column B

hearing - echolocation
nocturnal bat
feel - lateral line
dog
taste
bee
sight
toddler
smell
fish

Mai and Anzu are thinking about excretion. Anzu says that animals and plants produce waste products (excretion), but Mai says only animals do.

Who do you think is correct?

Anzu

Mai

  • Question 1

Mai and Anzu are learning about movement. Can you help them by matching these organisms with different ways of moving?

 

Snail

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

bat
uses wings to fly
shark
has fins for swimming
broad bean
leaves turn towards light
snail
travels on its slimy 'foot'
frog
uses webbed feet for swimming
EDDIE SAYS
Animals have 'adapted', through evolution, to move in different environments. Plants react to light to make sure as many of their leaves as possible are facing the light. Snails have a single foot that moves them and to help them they lay down a trail of slime to make the surface easier to move over.
  • Question 2

Anzu decides to test Mai's knowledge of reproduction, but the questions and answers have been mixed up! Help Anzu sort them out.

 

Whale

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

eagle owl
lays eggs with a hard shell
cabbage white butterfly
lays eggs on the underside of lea...
dandelion
produces seeds
blue whale
gives birth to live young
frog
lays lots of soft eggs (spawn) in...
EDDIE SAYS
Blue whales are mammals - just like us! Mammals give birth to live young and produce milk for their babies. Frogs are amphibians which means that part of their life cycle takes place in water.
  • Question 3

As plants and animals grow, they go through different stages of their life cycle.

Match these life cycles with the organism.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

human
baby, toddler, child, adult
tiger moth
egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, adul...
oak tree
germination, flower, pollination,...
common toad
egg, tadpole, adult
EDDIE SAYS
An oak tree is a flowering plant - OK, it's a big one! All flowering plants have this life cycle in common. Some animals do not look like the adult at all when they hatch from the egg. Caterpillars and tadpoles are examples of this.
  • Question 4

Mai knows that nutrition is a life process. All organisms, plants and animals, need food for energy and growth.

Anzu thinks that nutrition is different for different organisms, because his cat has a different diet from his budgie.

 

Help them by matching the organism with its nutrition.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

hedgehog
beetles, slugs and snails
tomato plant
uses light to make its own food
sheep
grass, root vegetables
swift
flies and flying insects
kestrel
mice, voles and small birds
EDDIE SAYS
Plants capture light to make carbohydrate from water and carbon dioxide, so green plants make their own food. Animals have evolved to eat different diets. Some only eat meat, some only eat plants, whilst others eat a mixture of the two.
  • Question 5

Anzu's cat eats meat. What is the scientific name for animals which eat meat?

 

Cat

CORRECT ANSWER
carnivore
EDDIE SAYS
Animals which eat other animals are called carnivores. Their teeth and digestive systems have evolved to cope with a totally meaty diet.
  • Question 6

Mai says that her rabbits would not like the same diet as Anzu's cat: they eat green leaves and cereals. 

What is the name scientists give to animals which eat plants / vegetation only?

 

Rabbit

CORRECT ANSWER
herbivore
EDDIE SAYS
Many animals have evolved to eat plant material only. They are called herbivores. People who choose a meat-free diet are called vegetarians.
  • Question 7

Mai and Anzu think carefully about diets. They think of animals that eat vegetation and meat, for example: the fox and badger that visit Mai's garden, but they can't remember the science word. Help them out!

 

Fox Badger

CORRECT ANSWER
omnivore
EDDIE SAYS
Many animals have evolved to eat a very varied diet, including meat and plants. They are omnivores. Humans are omnivores, which is why a balanced diet is important for health.
  • Question 8

Another life process is respiration. Living organisms, animals and plants use oxygen to release the energy from their food. 

Which THREE from this list carry out respiration?

CORRECT ANSWER
sea weed
starfish
wasp
EDDIE SAYS
Some plants and animals have evolved to absorb oxygen from their watery environments. Fish have gills for example. Many plants live in water - both fresh, and salty like the sea! Now a car is an interesting one! An alien would notice that a car moves, it takes in oxygen (to burn the fuel it "eats") and it gives out carbon dioxide - so in those respects it might seem to be alive!
  • Question 9

Sensitivity is another life process. We humans think we're pretty clever, but some organisms have developed their senses to a high level which enables them to live very successfully in some environments.

Here's a list of senses, can you match them up with the animal that has a high level of this sense?

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

hearing - echolocation
nocturnal bat
feel - lateral line
fish
taste
toddler
sight
bee
smell
dog
EDDIE SAYS
Nocturnal bats send out a high pitched sound which bounces back after hitting an object. It's a good way to detect a tasty snack like a moth!
Fish have a line of nerves along their sides which detect movement in the water around them.
Bees can see patterns on petals which we cannot and dogs have such a good sense of smell that they are able to detect drugs in Airport Baggage Departments.
As human beings toddlers have a very good sense of taste.
  • Question 10

Mai and Anzu are thinking about excretion. Anzu says that animals and plants produce waste products (excretion), but Mai says only animals do.

Who do you think is correct?

CORRECT ANSWER
Anzu
EDDIE SAYS
Plants and animals produce waste products. Plants produce oxygen when photosynthesising and carbon dioxide when respiring.
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started
laptop

Start your £1 trial today.
Subscribe from £10/month.