4th Class Science Living and Non-living Things Living and Non-living Things

Living and Non-living Things

Category : 4th Class


This lesson will help you to:

  • understand movement of livin9 and non-living things.
  • examine the growth and sensitivity of living and non-living things.
  • understand how sense organs help living things.



As you already know there are mainly two types of thing around us living and non-living things. You also know that living things can move, eat, grow and breathe and non-living things do not eat, move, grow and breathe.    Now, we shall learn more about living and non-living things.

Let's discuss them one by one:

2. Movement: We all go from one place to the other. Birds fly from one place to the other. Animals can walk and fishes can swim. All these show how living organisms move from one place to the other. This is the characteristic of living things.              


  • All human beings and -animals use their legs to move from place to place by walking or running like horse, cow, dog, goat and human beings.
  • Birds use their wings for their flight.
  • Fishes use their fins to swim in water.

All living things go from one place to the other for different purposes. Animals move from place to place in search of food.

Whereas non-living things cannot move unless a force is applied on it.


  • A book lying on the table can never move from place to place.
  • A table cannot walk.

All the vehicles move from place to place but that does not mean that they are living. We put fuel in them and drive them, only then they can move. A car parked in the garage cannot get started by its own so it is non-living. It will only move when a driver will start it.


2. Growth: A small plant will grow into a tree one day. We all grow in size with time. All living things grow.

Non-living things do not grow. A small chair will not become a big chair with time, size of a kite, a vehicle, refrigerator, computer, pen, window will not change because all these are non-living things.

A baby elephant becomes a big elephant one day.

Like this all living things grow in size.

3. Food and Water: When we talk about our growth everybody suggests us to eat healthy food and drink milk. This is because living things need food to grow. We get our strength and energy from the food we eat. But all living things do not eat same food.


Misconcept / Concept

Misconcept: Silk, wool, leather and wood are living things.

Concept: Silk, wool, leather and wood are non living materials obtained from living things like silkworm, sheep, snakes and plants respectively.

Misconcept: Non-living things do not need energy.

Concept: Non-living things need energy to function. For example, an electrical machine uses the electric energy to work.


Some animals eat grass, some eat small organisms and some eat plants. Living things need water also.

Human beings eat food like vegetables and grains etc. which they get from plants or some may also eat flesh of other animals.

Have you ever seen a plant eating anything? No, because plants have their own process of preparing their food by using sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. Plants use carbon dioxide and give out oxygen while preparing their food which the other living beings inhale while breathing. So in this way living beings depend on the plants which are also living beings. Plants give us food and oxygen to breathe.


Historical Preview

Charles Darwin gave the “Theory of Evolution” In his book he mentioned that humans were just another form of animal who might have developed possibly from apes.

So in brief we can say that all living beings need food and water from which they get energy to do work. But non living things do not eat food as they don't need it. For example our table, chair, pen, building and toys do not eat food as they all are non-living. 


Living things can move, they need food to live and they grow with time

Non-living things cannot move, they do not need food to live and they do not grow with time.


4. Breathing: All living things need oxygen to breathe which they get from air. All animals, human beings birds and aquatic animals breathe. They all have different organs to breathe. Like we use our nose to inhale oxygen, animals also have nose. Fishes take oxygen mixed in water through their gills. Plants give out oxygen during the process of photosynthesis and all living beings use that.

5. Reproduction: All living beings can produce young ones like them. That means they multiply. This process of giving birth to young ones is called reproduction. Some of them lay eggs from which babies come out after sometime whereas others give birth to babies directly. Birds lay eggs while mammals give birth.

But Non-Living things cannot reproduce. A table cannot produce another table like it.


6. Sensitivity: All living things are sensitive to their surroundings which means they react to the changes around them. When something comes near to us we immediately respond to that in our defense, because we are sensitive to our surroundings. We can hear, smell, touch and feel through our different sense organs.

Plants are also sensitive to their surroundings. Trees shed their leaves in autumn. The sunflower bends towards the sunlight. Leaves of touch me not roll back when we approach them. This is because living things are sensitive to changes and they react to them. But non-living things do not react as they are not sensitive. A table does not feel pain when we hit it because it is non-living.



Eye (sensory organ of sight)


Ear (sensory organ of hearing)


Tongue (sensory organ of taste)


Nose (sensory organ of smell)


Sensory receptors in skin, joints, muscles, and other parts of the body


Amazing Facts

  • Plants also move, such as opening and closing of petals, and turning to face the sun.
  • A habitat is a place where a collection of plants and animals live and which provides them with food and shelter.

Other Topics

Notes - Living and Non-living Things
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