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Living and Nonliving Things

living and nonliving things sort with sand box. Hands-on and engaging activity for kindergarten students. A fun way to teach this science topic.


living and nonliving things sort with sand box. Hands-on and engaging activity for kindergarten students. A fun way to teach this science topic.


These past few weeks we have been working on Living and NonLiving things during science.

We began with a simple Shared Reading poem to help them remember the basics:

living and nonliving things poem

The Living Song:

It is living!

It is living!

I know why!

I know why!

It eats and breathes and grows.

It eats and breathes and grows.

It’s alive!

It’s alive!

I do not know where this song originally came from, I have seen it all over the place. It was really effective, and the students loved singing it since it was so easy to remember.

living and nonliving things write the room

We also did a Write the Room activity that had the children finding 12 pictures, writing down what they found and determining if it was living or non-living. They had a blast doing it, and did a great job explaining their thinking. Get that activity here!

living and nonliving things sort

livingandnonliving

We also turned our sand table into a Living and Nonliving things sorting activity. I placed various objects in the sand, and the students had to find them all and sort them either into the ‘Living’ or the ‘NonLiving’ bucket.

Again, this was a great opportunity for the students to talk about their thinking and really think about each thing and what makes them alive or not.

livingandnonliving2

Some things that I placed in the sand table:

  • dinosaur
  • rhinoceros
  • ladybug
  • flowers
  • gorilla
  • pumpkin
  • leaves
  • pine cones
  • gems
  • buttons
  • cars
  • rocks

If you need more hands-on sorting activities, I have a Kindergarten Sorting Centers blog post and Sorting Activities blog post that you can take a look at.

For more information on how I use activities like these in my classroom, take a look at My Ultimate Guide to Kindergarten Centers.

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