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Classification of Living and Non-living Things

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The world around us is filled with variety of things. We see so many different things every day. Inside our house or school we see furniture, electronics, food, drinks, birds, books, plants, etc. These things can be classified as living or non-living. Things like soil, sun, water and air occur in nature and called as natural things. These are non-living. Animals, plants and human beings are living things, also called as living beings. Buildings, table, chair, curtains, etc are man-made things. They are also non-living things.

Difference between living and non-living things

Living things are different from non-living things in the following ways:

1. Food

All living things need food to get energy to carry out all the activities. Plants make their own food in the presence of water, sunlight and soil. Animals and human beings depend on plants for food.

Non-living things do not need food for their survival.

2. Growth

All living things follow a life cycle in which they are born, grow and finally die. A seed grows into a seedling, then into a plant and finally into a tree. A baby grows into an adult and finally becomes old. Animals also grow from babies to adults. As the living beings grow, they change in size, shape and appearance.

Non-living things do not grow and they remain the same.

3. Movement

All living things move from one place to another. Animals move in search of food. Some animals hunt for their food while others graze on grass. Birds fly in the air. Human beings roam for different activities. Plants though living do not move from place to place. They are help in the soil by their roots. Some parts of certain plants can move some of their plants like the leaves of certain plants close at night and open in the night and the branches of a sunflower always bend in the direction of sunlight.

We need to push or pull to move a non-living thing. Non-living things cannot move on their own.

4. Breathe

All living things need also to breathe and stay alive. All living things have an organ which helps in breathing. Human beings and many animals breathe through nose. Insects have tiny air holes in their body called as spiracles. Fish breathe though gills. Plants breathe through openings, called stomata, on their leaves.

As non-living things do not have life, they do not breathe.

5. Reproduction

All living things produce more of it’s kind with the process of reproductions. Some animals lay eggs while others including human beings give birth to young ones. Plants produce seeds.

Non-living things do no reproduce.

6. Response

Living things have sense organs (eyes, nose, tongue, skin and ears) due to which they respond to changes in their environment. Animals also feel and respond to changes in their environment. Bears hibernate in winters to protect itself from cold. Dogs have sharp sense of smell. Plants do not grow in the absence of light, water and air.

Non-living things do not feel. They are not affected by any changes around them.

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