Living and Non-Living Things

We see many things around us. These things can be categorized into two groups living things and non-living things.

Living Things

Plants, human beings and animals are living things.

Living thing displays the following characteristics:

Living things can move

Living things show movement by moving parts of their body. For example, a horse runs from one place to another, birds fly, and fishes swim. Plants do not move from one place to other but show movement by moving their part. For example, leaves bend towards the direction of sunlight.


Living things grow

Living things grow and develop. Human beings are born and grow into adults. Seeds grow into the young plant and then into an adult tree.

Living things breathe

All living things breathe. Different animals have different organs that they use for breathing. Some animals like horse, monkey, dog use their nose. Fishes have gills for breathing. We humans breathe through our nose while plants breathe through small opening on their leaves called stomata.

Living things reproduce

Living things produce new organisms. Some give birth to their young ones while some lay eggs. Plants have seeds and these seeds turn into new plants. Chicken lay eggs and a chick hatch from these eggs.

Living things need food and water

Living things need food to survive and stay healthy. A horse feeds on the grass to obtain energy. A plant makes its own food by the process of photosynthesis. Some animals like lion, tiger, eagle feed on other animals.

Living things feel

Living things have senses. They react to the changes in their surroundings. For example, you remove your hand from the hot pan. The leaves of the mimosa plant close immediately when you touch them. An animal sees, smells, tastes, hears and feels.

Living things die

All living things grow old and die.

We can say something is alive if it displays all of the above characteristics.

Non-living things

Things that cannot breathe, cannot feel, cannot grow, cannot move, and do not give birth to young ones are called non-living things.

For example, table fan, home, car, stone, and many more.

Non-living things are of two types natural non-living things and man-made non-living things

Natural non-living things include rocks, mountains, stars, sun, moon, etc.

Man-made non-living things include umbrella, table, chair, pencil, bottle, etc. These are present in our environment naturally.


  • Things that can breathe, feel, grow, move, and give birth to young ones are called living things. Example, dog, cat, human beings, fish, etc.
  • Things that cannot breathe, cannot feel, cannot grow, cannot move, and do not give birth to young ones are called non-living things. Example, table, chair, pen, bike, etc.