How do you tell if something is really alive?

Are any of your pets really alive?

Todays learning: (WALT)

  • That animals, including humans, are living.

  • Explore and compare the differences between things that are living, dead, and things that have never been alive

  • To make observations of animals and use these to group them as alive or dead explaining criteria chosen.

Design Technology
  • Understand where food comes from

  • Key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop

Citizenship & PSHE
  • 2e to realise that people and other living things have needs, and that they have responsibilities to meet them.

Lesson Activities / Tasks

VIDEO Are all your pets really alive?

  • Dialog for video:
    • Think about the pets you have at home or in school
    • One thing all living animals do is... poo!
    • How are your pets different from....
    • these pets?

Ask pupils

  • How can you tell if something is alive or dead?
  • Are Nintendo pets really alive?
  • Why not?
  • Video shows animals and examples of pets pupils may have it also shows images of virtual pets pupils may have or know of such as Tamagotchi and NintenDogs.
  • This helps open a discussion on the difference between living & non-living.
  • The following sessions then help pupils consider what all living things have certain things in common that are essential for keeping them alive and healthy. What have they seen so far that animals all have in common - poo!! The use of electronic games which simulate looking after pets is introduced as a way of looking at what living things need or do to show they are living.
  • Pupils  should raise and answer questions that help them to become familiar with the life processes that are common to all living things
  • Include activities which you usually use here for living and non living idea - e.g. from QCA Science Unit 1a Ourselves. Ask children to sort the collection into groups and explain the criteria they used.
  • Complete first section of pupil work book


  • Do quiz for first section answers…


Outcomes: (WILF)

  • Explain reasons for groupings e.g. woodlice and snails move and, if necessary with prompting, group into alive and not-alive.
  • Identify the living things as those which feed, move and use their senses.

Teaching notes:

This video is similar to Entry point video - the two could be combined and this lesson and entry point exercise combined into one

Last modified: Monday, 18 November 2013, 12:35 PM