1. Teaching Ideas

Sorting, Living and Non-living

We had a set of 8 pictures. We gathered to have a discussion about the pictures to decide how we might want to sort them. The students began by counting the pictures and using their fingers to count out 8.

Next, the children named the pictures “A boy, bicycle, a ladybug, a bench, a tree, a dog, a swing, a rock.”








Then, we recalled what we had done the day before with a picture of a person made with shapes. The children were encouraged to think about how they sorted the shapes based on their characteristics.

We looked at the picture to help us recall the different groups we made, naming them as ‘circle, dot, triangle…”

 The children were invited to think, how they might sort the 8 pictures in front of them.

  • Felix “We put the animals together.”
  • Charlotte “Tree is animals too. Because tree is living too.”

  • Felix “Tree is not living because living is when you have nose and mouth, so trees are not living.”
  • Charlotte “Because tree is really animal.”

Teacher “Why are these pictures on this side?”

  • Michelle “No eyes. No ears and no mouth.”
  • Charlotte “These things are help people.”

The children decided to call one group ‘Living things, another group ‘not living’ things.

Teacher “What do they need to live?”

  • Michelle “Eat.”
  • Felix “Vegetables, fruits, meat. They have to learn. Climbing the tree. The ladybug. Dog learn running. People learn talking.”
  • Nina “Ladybug, dog, they need sleep, they run.”
  • Charlotte “They walk.”
  • Felix “And try to climb the tree.”

Teacher “What is the same about the things that are ‘not living’?”

The children thought hard about this question. Michelle stated that the swing can move so it has to be in the living group. But others did not agree because they don’t have ‘eyes’.

The children started wonder and talk about ‘trees’, “Do they sleep?

  • Nina “When he sleeps tomorrow, they will grow.”

The other children did not agree. Some of the children decided that tress don’t sleep.

  • Michelle “Windy day it can move.”

Yoochan and Charlotte used actions to show how the trees move when it’s windy. They showed us how the leaves move with the wind.

We wondered why people, animals and bugs needed ears.

  • Felix “They listen.”
  • Nina “He has ears.”

We wondered why people, animals and bugs needed mouths.

  • Sarah “Drink water.”
  • Yoochan “Teeth.”
  • Felix “People need the teeth to eat the hard things. The bug just opens the mouth and just eat.”

We wondered why people, animals and bugs needed noses. What was the purpose?

  • Charlotte “To smell.”
  • Felix “To smell the plant.”
  • Yoochan “To smell the flower.”
  • Charlotte “To breath in. Bugs nose is like this.” (Charlotte used her index fingers to show us how bugs have moving ‘things’ above their heads)

Michelle and Charlotte explained that there were bugs outside that had a nose and mouth.

  • Felix “What about caterpillars? He doesn’t have eyes, nose and ears.”

As our next step, we hope to observe mini-beasts to see what more we can learn about them.

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