Living Things

Students will get a chance to feed and pat some of our animals while focusing on vocabulary for plants and animals and their features. Students will discuss the characteristics of living things and learn to distinguish between living and non-living things.

Sites which may be visited:

  • Goats
  • A tree or plants
  • Pigs
  • Tractor or bobcat

Learning Intentions:

  • To explore different entities on the farm and discuss whether they are living or non-living things
  • To learn and use correct terminology for animals (and features), plants and farm buildings

Victorian Curriculum Links:

Science (Foundation to Level 2)

 Living things have a variety of external features and live in different places where their basic needs, including food, water and shelter, are met (VCSSU042)

 Living things grow, change and have offspring similar to themselves (VCSSU043)


 Understand the use of vocabulary in familiar contexts related to everyday experiences, personal interests and topics taught at school (VCELA167) (Foundation Level)

 Understand the use of vocabulary about familiar and new topics and experiment with and begin to make conscious choices of vocabulary to suit audience and purpose (VCELA237) (Level 2) and (VCELA202) (Level 1)

Follow-up Activities

There is much potential to extend on students’ learning back at school as part of an inquiry unit or as a theme across curriculum areas. A Living Things tour could be used as the ‘Explore’ phase in the 5Es Instructional Model (Bybee, 1997). Visit to read about the Primary Connections 5Es teaching and learning model.
Follow-up activities could include:

  • Make or find a Kahoot quiz ( of living and non-living things
  • Sprout broad beans or grow something from a seed in the classroom. Observe it grow and discuss the characteristic of living things.
  • Discuss: What does a living thing do? What does a non-living thing do?
  • Create and label posters of the animals visited at the farm (labelling body parts, what the animal needs to survive and the names for the females, males and babies)
  • Create lifecycle flowcharts (eg. egg, chick, chook etc)
  • Graphic organisers: Pigs can, pigs are, pigs have- finish the sentences
  • Looks like, feels like, sounds like ‘Y Chart’ Collingwood Children’s Farm visit brainstorm as a prompt/seed for a writing activity
  • Read Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy (Black Dog Books, 2016) and learn about some of the living things that the Wurundjeri people traditionally used for food and shelter (murnong, eels, emus, possum skin cloaks etc)

Suggested External Resources

Websites and Resources PBS Learning Media provides a lesson plan and resources on the topic of ‘Living vs. Nonliving’ for primary aged students The eSchoolToday website provides clear information about the basic needs of living things, explaining the ways that plants and animals get their needs met The Compassion in World Farming website provides a video and activity resources introducing young children to the issue of animal welfare in farming focussing on animals’ needs The Country Classroom website contains loads of resources for teachers relating to food, farming and the natural environment Fact sheets with great fun facts for kids about animals including cattle, goats and poultry

Picture books

Allen, Pamela, Belinda, Puffin, 1994
Carle, Eric, Pancakes, Pancakes!, Aladdin, 2005
Shea, Susan, Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?, Blue Apple Books, 2011


It’s Alive! Biology for Kids by SciShow Kids The dark world of fungi by ABC Kids in the Garden!/media/104122/fungi-how-they-grow

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