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    In this activity, students use two separate online interactives or paper-based graphic organisers to explore these key science ideas: what makes something living and what makes something an animal. This activity can be done individually, in pairs or as a whole class.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • describe the characteristics of living things
    • describe the characteristics of animals
    • classify things as living or non-living/animal or not, based on these characteristics.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • extension ideas
    • student worksheets.

    In the first interactive, students explore their ideas about the characteristics of living things.

    In the second interactive, students explore their ideas about the characteristics of animals.

    Related content

    Use this article to explore the science ideas and concepts behind the characteristics of both living things and animals using earthworms as the example.

    Useful link

    Visit this website for more information about common student alternative conceptions related to living things and classification.

      Published 12 June 2012, Updated 11 August 2020 Referencing Hub articles