Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Living vs. Non-living Things

This is an activity we did to learn to distinguish between living and non-living things.
First, at circle time we talked about the traits of living things: They need air, water, food, and they grow (they also reproduce, but I wasn't sure I wanted to get into this discussion with the kids so I mainly stuck to the other 4. :) ) Next, I held up pre-cut images (with the pictures facing away from the children) and the children each took turns choosing an image, telling the class whether it was living or non-living and placing it on our board under the correct grouping.

The children did surprisingly well distinguishing between the two.

Next, we looked at 3 flowers that I planted, and three rocks I placed in small dishes. I told the children the one flower and rock would get plenty of sun and water, another rock and flower would get no water, and the last flower and rock would get no sunlight. Then, I asked the children to predict what would happen. Now this is where it gets interesting... Most of the children knew that with the proper light and water the flower would grow, and without it the flower would die. However, they thought the same thing would happen to the rocks. Even after I asked them if the rocks were living things and they said "no."
We have been watching these silly flowers and rocks for a week now, and I have to say that those are some pretty darn resilient flowers. They look way too good! I'm hoping they start to wilt a little soon or my lesson may be kaput. :P As soon as I see them start to noticeably wilt, we'll discuss our findings, and I'll have the children plant them outside.

Here is a picture of our science table with the flowers and rocks. The big red thing is the construction paper shielding the one flower from the sun. The other piece of paper is covering the rock.

This is such a cool activity, but I have 2 issues with it:
1. I tried to squeeze this all into one day and it really should have been two. It was a bit too much all at once.


2. I'm afraid that by the time these flowers actually start to wilt the children will have completely forgotten why we had them there in the first place. We'll see....


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