Grade Level: First Grade

In this lesson plan, first graders use BrainPOP Jr. resources to learn the differences between living and nonliving things. They also explore similarities among all living things, such as their need for energy to survive, and ways they differ, like how they adapt to their environments. Then students apply their understanding by identifying living and nonliving things that they see.  

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Lesson Plan Next Generation Science Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Build background knowledge: Watch the BrainPOP Jr. Living and Nonliving Things movie.
  2. Express understanding: Identify and discuss living and nonliving things they see.
  3. Complete an Assessment: Take the Living and Nonliving Things EASY Quiz to show what they learned.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP Jr.
  • Printout of Talk About It (offline option)
  • Printout of Easy Quiz  (offline option)


  *If using this lesson for distance learning, setup for video conferencing, such as Zoom, Google Meet, etc. Create and send an invitation with a link.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Tap students’ prior knowledge. Ask them to tell you something that is living and something that is not living. Or you can give examples and ask if each is living or nonliving and how they know: Is a dog living? How do you know? Is a chair living? How do you know? Is a tree living? How do you know? 
  2. Watch the BrainPOP Jr. movie Living and Nonliving Things. Click the pause button each time a question appears in Annie’s Notebook and answer it. Then play to see how Annie answers it.  TIP: The pause button turns red to remind you to pause. 

    Offline Option: Print out the transcript and Annie’s Notebook for a grown-up to read aloud at home. Suggest that the child play Moby and “Beep” in response to Annie.
  3. Instruct students to open their Talk About It assignment. Or, if you are not using the Assignment Builder, show how to open Talk About It. .  
  4. Hover over the prompt to hear it read aloud: Look around you! What living and nonliving things do you see?  Direct students to click the Start arrow. When they finish, remind them to click the Submit To Teacher button and/or print out their completed chart.

    Offline Option: Students write in their responses on the printout.
  5. Have students open their Quiz assignment. Or, if you are not using the Assignment Builder, show how to open the Easy Quiz.  
  6. To hear the questions and answer read aloud, show students how to hover over the words. If you assigned the quiz, you will see students’ results in your Dashboard. If not assigned, remind students to click the Submit to Teacher button.

    Offline Option: Print out the Easy Quiz for students by clicking the print icon.  Read aloud each question and answer options, repeating as needed.