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Science: Needs of Living Things

What do living things needs in order to stay alive? What makes something alive? These pages contain activities and experiments to help students observe and explore the characteristics and needs of life. There are also videos, quizzes, and handouts. Included are eThemes resources on ecology, habitats, food chains and webs, and producers, consumers, and decomposers.


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Explore the traits of living things in these interactive exhibits and activities. There are movies, animations, articles, and interviews.
All living things reproduce, but how long does it take for a population to double? For how long can it keep growing? Watch cells multiply on these repeating "live" cams.
See how life has adapted to survive in one of the strangest and most hostile environments on Earth: the deep ocean. See a video of strange creatures such as stalked crinoids, and underwater vents known as "black smokers."
What do animals need to live? In these sections, discover how animals find four things they need (food, water, cover, and places to raise young) in suburban gardens, find out how you can encourage wildlife in your own backyard, learn about backyard diversity, and more.
This site is about how living things manage to survive in Antarctica. Scientists look for clues from extreme environments such as this one to form hypotheses about the possibility of life on other planets. Explore the links for more pictures and information.
This site provides step-by-step instructions for keeping a vermiculture, or worm bin, from building the bin to providing your worms with everything they need to live.
In this activity, students can observe single celled organisms under magnification and discuss how these creatures satify their needs for air, food, and water.
What kinds of living things can a pond habitat support? In this collaborative research activity, students can observe organisms from a local pond and compare their findings with other students doing the same activity in other schools. Will they find the same kinds of animals?
Find out the similarities and differences between humans, plants, and animals on this interactive site.
This page defines the characteristics of living things including a trick for remebering them easily. Read further to learn about cells and organs and take a quiz.
Each of these themes about living things contains an interactive activity, online fact sheet, printable work sheet, and test. Start with "Life Processes" for an introduction to the needs and characteristics of living things.
What makes living things alive? In this activity, students can learn about the characteristics of life, examine an unknown substance, and determine whether or not it is alive based on their observations.
What is a producer, consumer, and decomposer? These are sites about these different kinds of organisms and how they interrelate to one another in food chains and food webs. There are experiments, games, other interactive features, and suggested classroom activities.
These sites are an overview of ecosystems including what they are, how they are different from and related to habitats and biomes, and how to preserve ecosystems. Classroom activities and online exercises are included. There are links to eThemes resources on animal survival and habitats including overview, deserts, forests, grasslands, ponds and lakes, rainforests, tundras, wetlands, and mountains.
These sites are about food chains and food webs. Includes examples of webs and chains with animals from various biomes. Learn about consumers, producers, prey, predators, herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores. There is a short animated movie, online games, and suggested classroom activities.
This resource covers the different ecosystems on our planet. Find out how these biomes differ, what characteristics make them unique, and where they are located. Includes a map of the different habitats found in Missouri and information about habitats in Utah. There are links to eThemes Resources on specific habitats and animal food chains.

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