Needs of Living Things
The 8 lessons of the Needs of Living Things Unit introduce students to the traits of living things and how adaptations of these traits can enhance their survival. Students will also begin to recognize how living things rely on each other and their surroundings for survival.
In the first part of the unit, students learn that living things must possess four basic traits: movement, growth, reproduction, and need of energy. They compare and contrast various living and non-living things from their environment. Next, students set up an experiment in which firsthand observation demonstrates the needs of living things: air, food, water, and shelter. This will allow them to understand how physical characteristics of living things have helped them survive through adaptations. Students will be challenged to design an animal that possesses a specific beneficial trait. Additionally, students will study the importance of nutrition for animals, in that they explore various means by which animals get food, and why it’s critical to do so.
The unit concludes with a couple of lab activities that allow students to investigate the parts of a plant as they set up and observe an experiment showing colored water traveling through celery. Also, they have the opportunity to reflect on the five senses animals use for survival. Students are encouraged to compare and contrast their own sensory organs with those of the animals discussed throughout the unit.