Study P3 Science Science - Living and Non Living Things - Geniebook

Living And Non-Living Things

In this article, you will be introduced to the concept of living and non-living things according to the Singapore Primary 3 Science Syllabus. We will understand the characteristics of living things as well as non-living things. We will also learn how to classify things.

 

What is classification?

Classification is the grouping of things according to their characteristics. A characteristic of a thing refers to the unique feature of the thing. 

How to classify things?

Step 1

Make an observation.

List down the similarities and differences among the things given.

Step 2

Identify the similar characteristics and group the similar things together.

Step 3

Give a suitable heading to the group of things.

Classification can be done in flowcharts and tables as shown below.

 

Flowcharts:


 

 


 

Tables:

Observations

Group W

Group X

Group Y

Group Z

It has scales

 

 

It has six legs.

 

 

 

It breathes through its gills.

 

 

 

It breathes through its skin.

 

 

 

 

Animals

Provide Their Young With Milk

Do Not Provide Their Young With Milk

Can fly

Cannot fly

Can fly

Cannot fly

E

F

G

H


 

Living Things And Their Characteristics

A living thing is a thing that is alive. A living thing is also known as an organism. Living things can be further classified into the different types of living things:

  • animals
  • plants
  • fungi
  • microorganisms (bacteria)

 

Characteristics Of Living Things

Living things have the following characteristics:

  • need air, food and water to survive
  • reproduce to ensure continuity of their own kind
  • grow
  • respond to changes

 

Living things need air, food and water to survive.

Living things need air, food and water in order to survive. Plants are able to make their own food while other living things will have to consume food in order to survive.  

Let us look at the following experiments to show that living things need air, food and water for survival.

 

Experiment 1: 

Living things need air to survive.

In the experiment as shown in the diagram below, both set-ups have a snail each and contain the same amount of food and water.  However, the cover of the bottle in set-up A does not have holes while the cover of bottle in set-up B has holes.


 

What will happen to the snails in both set-up after two days?

The snail in set-up A will not survive after some time while the snail in set-up B will survive.

Reason: 

The holes of the bottle in set-up B allows air to enter while there are no holes in set-up A for air to enter. Thus, the snail in set-up B has sufficient air for survival while the snail in set-up A will use up the limited air in the bottle and die eventually due to the lack of air.


 

Experiment 2:

Living things need food to survive.

In the experiment as shown in the diagram below, both set-ups have a snail each and contain the same amount of water.  However, there is food (leaf) in set-up K while there is no food (leaf) in set-up L.


 

What will happen to the snails in both set-up after two weeks?

The snail in set-up K will survive while the snail in set-up L will not survive.

Reason:

There is leaf (food) for the snail in set-up K to feed on while there is no food for the snail in set-up L to feed on. Thus, the snail in set-up K will be able to survive while the snail in set-up L will not be able to survive due to the absence of food.


 

Experiment 3:

Living things need water to survive.

In the experiment as shown in the diagram below, both set-ups have a snail each and contain the same amount of food (leaf).  However, there is water in set-up X while there is no water in set-up Y.


 

 

What will happen to the snails in both set-up after one week?

The snail in set-up X will survive while the snail in set-up Y will not survive.

Reason:

There is water for the snail in set-up X while there is no water for the snail in set-up Y. Thus, the snail in set-up X will be able to survive while the snail in set-up Y will not be able to survive due to the absence of water.


 

Living Things Reproduce.

Living things need to reproduce to ensure continuity of their own kind. If they do not reproduce, they will become extinct. Living things reproduce in different ways. Some examples are shown in the table below.

Living Things

Reproduction Method

Examples

Animals

Mammals

give birth to young alive

lion

rabbit

Birds

lay eggs

eagle

chicken

Fish

lay eggs

goldfish

clownfish

Reptiles

lay eggs

snake

crocodile

Amphibians

lay eggs

frog

toad

Insects

lay eggs

ant

mosquito

Plants

Flowering plants

seeds

apple tree

papaya tree

Non-flowering plants

spores

ladder fern

bird’s nest fern

Fungi

-

spores

mushroom

toadstool


 

Living Things Grow.

Living things grow and develop in terms of size and appearance over time. When they develop into adults, they are able to reproduce.


Image Credits: WFranz -
Cat Family Kitten Cuddle
 

 

Living Things Respond To Changes.

Living things respond to changes in their environment to ensure their own survival.

Examples:


credits: cocoparisienne - 

A millipede curls up when being touched to protect itself from predators.

 


credits: jc12203 - 

A cheetah chasing after some gazelle. The gazelle has to run away from the cheetah to avoid being killed and eaten by it.


 

Non-Living Things And Their Characteristics

Non-living things are things that are not alive.  They do not need air, food and water to survive. They cannot reproduce, grow or respond to changes around them.

 

Differences Between Living And Non-Living Things

Living Things

Non-Living Things

  • need air, food and water to survive

  • does not need air, food and water

  • reproduce to ensure continuity of their own kind

  • does not reproduce

  • grow

  • cannot grow

  • respond to changes around them

  • does not respond to changes.


 

Conclusion

In this article, we learnt about classification and how classification can be done. We also learnt about living things and their characteristics. We also explored characteristics of non-living things as well as how they are different from living things.

 

Test Your Concepts

Answer the following questions based on the concepts that we have covered in this article. If you are unclear, you may want to revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.

 

Question 1:

Chevelle made some observations for four objects in her house for a week. She recorded her observations as shown in the table below.

Objects

Reproduce

Respond To Changes

E

F

G

H

Which of the following are most likely to be living things?

 

  1. E and H only
  2. G and H only
  3. E, G and H only
  4. E, F, G and H

 

Solution

(1) E and H only

Explanation:

Living things are able to reproduce and respond to changes.  Some non-living things are able to respond to changes such as toy cars. However, non-living things are unable to reproduce.


 

Question 2:

Chloe placed a grasshopper in a sealed container. What must she do to ensure that the grasshopper survives?

  1. Poke holes in the lid of the container.
  2. Place a plate of water in the container.
  3. Clean the container to ensure that the container is free of dust.
  4. Ensure that there is sufficient food for the grasshopper to feed on.

 

  1. A and C only 
  2. B and D only
  3. A, B and D only
  4. A, B, C and D

 

Solution

(3) A, B and D only

Explanation:

Cleaning the box does not affect the grasshopper.


 

Question 3:

Bobby saw some plants and touched the leaves of the plant.  When he touched the leaves of the plant, the leaves closed up as shown in the pictures below.

Which characteristic of living things did the above plant show?

Solution:

Living things respond to changes around them.

Explanation:

The leaves closed up when Bobby touched them. This shows that the leaves of the plants responded to Bobby’s touch, causing them to close.


 

Continue Learning
Systems Diversity Of Materials
Plants And Their Parts Living And Non-Living Things
Diversity Of Plants Digestive System
Diversity Of Animals Fungi & Bacteria

 

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Plants And Their Parts
Living And Non-Living Things
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