3rd Class Science Living and Non-living Things Living and Non - Living Things

Living and Non - Living Things

Category : 3rd Class


This lesson -will help you to:

  • know about a great variety of living and non-living things around us.
  • learn about the characteristics of living and non-living things
  • classify various objects around us as living or non-living


Amazing Facts

  • The oldest living organism was a 250 million year old bacterium.
  • Scientists estimate that around 5 million to 100 million unique species of plants and animals are present on earth out of which only two million have been identified.



Look at the things around you. There is a table, book, your mother, your friends, plants, toys, birds and buildings etc. They all are different from one another in shape, size, colour and looks. On the basis of their characteristics, we can categories them into 2 groups. These two categories are living and non-living things. In this lesson we will discuss these two categories under which all the matter comes.


Characteristics of Living and Non-living Things

You all must have seen your childhood photographs. In all those pictures you look smaller than you are now. This shows that you have grown in size. This is the first characteristic of living things.

1. Living things can grow but non-living things do not grow.

All those things which grow with time are called living things.




1. A seed grows into a plant.           



2. A baby chicken grows into a hen/cock.



3. A baby grows into an adult man/women.    


There are many things which remain same in size even after so many years. For example, you cannot wear the same clothes of your childhood days now, as you have grown up but your clothes haven't.

Thus the things which don't grow with time are called non-living things.                                     

Examples: Your school, tap, door and pencil donot grow and remain same in size. So they are non-living things.   


2. Living things can move from place to place but non-living things can't move.

You can get up, walk, run and move from one place to another on your own. Similarly, birds fly, fishes swim, animals walk and run. Plants also show movement. For example sunflower moves in the direction of sun. All these are living things.

So, all living things can move from one place to another

1. Children run while playing.



2. When you try to catch a butterfly it flies away.    



3. Sunflower moves towards sun

But have you ever seen your mat, vest or chair moving itself? The answer is NO, because they-are non-living. So, non-living things cannot move.




Try This

  • Take two pots filled with soil. I one pot sow seeds of a Plant, and in the other sow pencil and a pipe, water them both daily. After some days you will observe that the seed has started to grow whereas the pencil and the pipe remain the same. This is because plants are living and pencil and pipe are non-living.


3. Living things need food to live whereas non-living things do not need food or water.

We all eat food whenever we are hungry, because all living things need food to live and grow.                    

All animals move from place to place in search of food as they are living. Without food living beings cannot survive. Along with that they need water too.   


  1. Cows eat fodder and grass.
  2. We eat food and drink water.

Plants also eat food. They prepare their own food using water, air and sunlight.

Non-living things do not eat, food or drink water.


4. Living things need air to breathe but non-living things do not need air for survival.

Can we hold our breath for a long time? No, because all living things need air to live.

All living things, including human beings, animals as well as plants need to breathe in oxygen for their survival.

Whereas non-living things do not breathe.

If a living thing gets food and water but doesn't get air to breathe, it cannot survive. It will die.


5. Living things can give birth to their young ones but non-living things cannot.

All living things, reproduce and give birth to their young ones.


1. Birds and frogs lay eggs.



2. Human, cows and lions give birth to babies.



3. A plant produces seeds which gives rise to a new plant



Whereas non-living things do not reproduce.

For example: your table can never give birth to a new table.

Look in to your surroundings and make a list of living and non-living things

Living things

Non-living things

















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