Characteristics of living things

There are seven activities which make organisms different from non-living things. These are the seven characteristics of living organisms.

1. Nutrition

Living things take in materials from their surroundings that they use for growth or to provide energy. Nutrition is the process by which organisms obtain energy and raw materials from nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

2. Respirations

Respiration is the release of energy from food substances in all  living cells. Living things break down food within their cells to release energy for carrying out the following processes.



3. Movement

All living things move. It is very obvious that a leopard moves but what about the thorn tree it sits in? Plants too move in various different ways. The movement may be so slow that it is very difficult to see.

4. Excretion

All living things excrete. As a result of the many chemical reactions occurring in cells, they have to get rid of waste products which might poison the cells. Excretion is defined as the removal o toxic materials, the waste products of  metabolism and substances in excess from the body of an organism.



5. Growth

Growth is seen in all living things. It involves using food to produce new cells. The permanent increase in cell number and size is called growth.

6. Reproduction

All living organisms have the ability to produce offspring.

7. Sensitivity.

All living things are able to sense and respond to stimuli around them such as light, temperature, water, gravity and chemical


Strategies & Activities:

Step: Teacher revises the previous topic.

Step 2: Teacher introduces the new topic.

Step3: Teacher explains the new topic.

Step4: Teacher welcomes pupils’ questions.

Step5: Teacher evaluates the pupils.


Assessment & Evaluation:

  1. State reasons why animals are living things.
  2. Compare plant and animals as living things
  3. List the characteristics of living things



  1. State 5 reasons why animals are living things.
  2. In a tabular form Compare plant and animals as living things
  3. List 7 characteristics of living things


See also



The human body

Where animals live and security

Behavior and sounds of animals

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