Quick summary: Students investigate how to distinguish between living and non-living things. They begin by thinking about the living and non-living things in their classroom before attempting to classify a range of things as living or non-living. They are then introduced to the MRS GREN tool, and use it in conjunction with the example of a beetle to explore how to determine if something is living or nonliving. They then create their own drawing or 3D model of a spider to demonstrate the attributes that qualify it as a living creature. Finally, students return to their original classifications and work to reclassify these things as living or non-living based on what they learnt in the lesson.
This lesson has been developed with generous support from the Ian Potter Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts and The Myer Foundation.
- Students understand the difference between living and nonliving things
- Students recognise the value of a tool – like MRS GREN – for assessment if things are living or nonliving
- Students recognise how MRS GREN can be applied to a beetle and a spider.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 3 Science
- Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)
- Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (ACSIS215)
- Represent and communicate observations, ideas and findings using formal and informal representations (ACSIS060)
Year 4 Science
- Living things depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)
- Compare results with predictions, suggesting possible reasons for findings (ACSIS216)
- Represent and communicate observations, ideas and findings using formal and informal representations (ACSIS071)
Syllabus outcomes: ST2-10LW, ST2-4WS, ST2-11LW.
General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.2, OI.9.
Relevant parts of Year 3 achievement standards: Students group living things based on observable features and distinguish them from non-living things, and they use diagrams and other representations to communicate their ideas.
Relevant parts of Year 4 achievement standards: Students describe relationships that assist the survival of living things and sequence key stages in the life cycle of a plant or animal. They use formal and informal ways to communicate their observations and findings.
Topics: Biodiversity, Sustainability.
This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: Investigating Invertebrates – Lower Primary.
Time required: 100 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee discussions and lead students in activities.
- MRS GREN and the beetle – worked example
- Device capable of presenting a website to the class
- Insect Life-cycles
- Materials for drawing OR materials for 3D model (modelling clay or playdough and paper for labels)
- MRS GREN Image
- Scientific Drawing Guidelines
- Student Worksheet – one copy per student
- Whiteboard and markers
Keywords: living things, non-living things, invertebrates, beetles, spiders, drawing, model.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.