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!

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  • What does it mean to survive?

All living things need some basic things to survive.

  • Do you think all living things need the same things you do to survive?

The word survive means to continue to live or exist.

Today, you will learn what plants and animals need to survive.

  • What do plants need to survive?

Plants need the following 5 things to live, grow, and reproduce.

  1. Water

Without water, a plant's leaves and stems will wilt. Water keeps leaves and stems sturdy.

Just as important, water is used in 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 video.

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  1. Sunlight

Sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis to occur so the plant can produce food.

  1. Soil

The soil provides nutrients for the plant.

  1. Air

As mentioned above, plants use the carbon dioxide in the air to create sugars for the plant's food.

  1. Space

A plant must have room to grow.

Perform an easy plant experiment!

Gather the supplies in the right-hand sidebar, then follow these directions.

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

Now, enjoy this fun song about a plant's needs!

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Animals also have basic needs to be met to survive.

Animals need these 4 things.

  1. Food

Animals need food to live and grow. An animal's body gets nourishment from the food it eats.

  1. Water

Water is essential for survival. An animal's body uses water to stay hydrated, digest food, and build body fluids.

  1. Shelter

Shelter keeps animals warm when it is cold and dry when it is wet outside. Shelter also protects animals from predators (enemies).

  1. Air

Animals breathe oxygen in the air. Oxygen is necessary for their bodies to function properly.

This fun song can help you remember these four basic needs.

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

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