Needs of Living Things

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SWBAT identify the main needs of living things and explain possible ways of fulfilling those needs.

Big Idea

Through video and image analysis, students will identify the basic needs of living things.


5 minutes

Teacher Tip: This lesson is intended for students to identify the basic needs of living things. This lesson is working to address MS-LS2-5 as students will be determining what environmental factors can affect the survival of living things. For this lesson, you will need to make copies of the images found in the EXPLORE section, as well as the notes sheet, should you choose to use them.  You will also need to download the videos in the EXPLAIN section or have internet access available for the lesson. 

To begin this lesson, students will reflect on the prior day's lesson Living vs. Nonliving Things, and will individually answer the following question on their student notes sheet

ENGAGE: Provide an example of a living thing and explain how you know it’s living.

An example of a living thing is…

I know it’s living because…

After 3-4 minutes, I will ask 1-2 students to share their responses with the class


15 minutes

Students should sit in groups of 3-4 for this next section of the lesson.  I pass out the copies of the EXPLORE images.  Students should circle 5 organisms they recognize and identify 2 things they each need to stay alive or survive.  They will complete the chart on their student notes sheet individually:

EXPLORE: Looking at the pictures of living things, discuss with your group 2 things that each of those organisms needs to survive.

After groups have had 6-7 minutes to work or I see most groups have 3-4 organisms identified, I will ask a few groups to share with the class. 


10 minutes

Next, students watch two videos, one about plant needs and one about animal needs.  From the needs they write down in their notes, they will put together a list of plant and animal needs that are the same. While watching, they will write down the needs in the chart on their notes sheet: 

EXPLAIN: Watch the video about plants and animals and their needs. Record your notes below.


I write the list on the SMARTBoard for reference in the ELABORATE section of the lesson. 


10 minutes

Now that students know the needs of organisms, they can go back to the EXPLORE section of the lesson where they identified organisms and their needs.  They will now infer as to where the organisms will acquire these needs.  They will complete the chart on their student note sheets while working together in their small groups: 

ELABORATE: Think about where the needs of these organisms might come from. Choose 3 of the organisms from the EXPLORE section and complete the table below. (See student work sample for sample results.)


5 minutes

Finally, as an exit ticket style activity, students will individually answer the following prompt on their notes sheet, in complete sentences: 

EVALUATE: What do ALL living things need to stay alive? List at least 2.