What Do Living Things Need?

Contributor: Beth Price. Lesson ID: 10227

What if you stopped eating and drinking? Would you survive? Sing some fun songs, view videos, play with plants, and make things to help your birds, bats, butterflies, and begonias thrive and survive!


Life Science

learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


What does it mean to survive? Discuss this with your parent, friends, or teacher. All living things need some basic things in order to survive. Do you think all living things need the same things as you do to survive?

The word survive means to continue to live or exist.

Today, you will learn what plants and animals need to have so they can survive.

  1. What do plants need to survive? Plants need the following 5 things in order to live, grow, and reproduce:
  • Water Without water, a plant's leaves and stems will wilt. Water keeps leaves and stems sturdy, and, just as important, water is used in the process of photosynthesis. That is how sunlight converts the water and carbon dioxide in the air into sugar that nourishes the plant.

To learn more about photosynthesis, Watch this Dr. Binocs video called Photosynthesis:

  • Sunlight Sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis to occur so the plant can produce food.
  • Soil The soil provides nutrients for the plant.
  • Air As mentioned above, plants use the carbon dioxide in the air to create sugars for the plant's food.
  • Space A plant must have room to grow.

You can perform an easy plant experiment!

  1. First, fill 3 flowerpots with soil, and plant a couple of seeds in each. Radish, pumpkin, and wildflower seeds will sprout quickly.
  2. Place one flowerpot in a place where it will receive adequate sunlight, and water this plant as needed.
  3. Place one flower pot in a dark place, such as a closet, and water this plant as well.
  4. Place the last flower pot in a well-lit area, but do not water the plant.
  5. Observe your three flower pots each day, and record your findings by drawing or writing a few sentence about each plant each day. Note if the plant has sprouted, the color of the young plant, and how tall the plant is growing.

Enjoy this fun Harry Kindergarten Music song called The Needs of a Plant:


2. Animals also have basic needs that have to be met in order to survive.

Animals need:

  • Food Animals need food in order to live and grow. An animal's body gets nourishment from the food it eats.
  • Water Water is essential for survival. An animal's body uses water to stay hydrated, digest food, and build body fluids.
  • Shelter Shelter keeps animals warm when it is cold and dry when it is wet outside. Shelter also protects animals from predators (enemies).
  • Air Animals breath oxygen in the air. Oxygen is necessary for their bodies to function properly.

This fun Harry Kindergarten Music song called The Needs of an Animal can help you remember these four basic needs:


Now, you need to move on to the Got It? section to explore your habitat!

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