In Unit 1, students engage in a variety of experiences to build their excitement and curiosity as they answer the unit guiding question: “How do we know that something is living?” Students’ engagement and curiosity are piqued by closely observing and sorting a variety of living and nonliving objects (or pictures of objects) and discussing any noticeable patterns. As students build background knowledge about living and nonliving things through the text What’s Alive?, they develop their skills as readers of informational texts and researchers. In addition to reading, students participate in structured conversations, observational drawing, shared writing, and independent writing in their Living Things research notebook. Students deepen their understanding of the criteria that make living things living by observing previously grown plants that have been provided varying levels of care. Through all of these experiences, students develop a growing understanding of what makes a living thing living and patterns that exist among living things.
For the Unit 1 Assessment, students engage in an informational text reading assessment in which they listen to two sections of the text What’s Alive? read aloud again and respond to selected response and open response questions (RI.K.3, RI.K.7). Students finish the unit by applying their knowledge of what makes a living thing living to trees as they prepare for and engage in a Science Talk to answer the questions: “Is a tree living? How do you know?”