An animated sequence that shows the key differences between living things, dead things and things that have never been alive. In a park setting, we see birds, trees and rabbits. The commentary tells us that like all living things, they react to their surroundings, grow, reproduce, feed and get rid of waste. They need air, too. These characteristics are contrasted with dead items, such as fallen leaves, and things that have never been alive at all, such as lamp posts and stones. The scene is rich with other examples of living, dead and non-living things. Pupils are challenged to spot them all.
Could be used to introduce a discussion on how to decide if something counts as a living thing. Each pupil could draw up an illustrated table listing items under three headings: ‘living’, ‘dead’, ‘never lived’. Give pupils some tricky items to discuss. Is an apple living or dead? It can no longer grow, but it contains seeds which can reproduce. What about a chair? It’s plainly not alive, but if it’s made of wood should we classify it as ‘dead’?