Characteristics of Living Things
There are 7 characteristics of living things; respiration, reproduction, excre-tion, irritability, movement, nutrition, and growth. The following activity can be done by students in small groups to show the characteristics of living things and enforce observation skills.
To outline the characteristics of living things.
To differentiate between living and non-living things.
Plastic water bottles, traps, plastic cups, non-living things like a pen and a rock, and a cardboard box.
Grasshopper, lizard, ant, or any other living things
Some organisms may be poisonous and should be avoided.
1. Prepare cages and traps from the plastic water bottles. Purchase rat traps from the market.
2. Collect living things by using the traps and cages.
3. Collect non-living things to observe.
4. Put the collected organisms in cages, petri dishes, and plastic cups for students to observe.
1. Observe the specimens, draw and label each.
2. Record the characteristics of life you have observed in each specimen.
3. Categorize the specimens as living or non-living using your observa-tions.
Using the seven characteristics of life and observation skills, you should be able to determine which specimens are living and which are non-living.
1. Collect and clean all the used materials, storing items that will be used later. No special waste disposal required.
The collection of the specimens and thorough observation is very important. You may not see all of the characteristics in one day, but through observation students will have a general understanding of the characteristics of life.