Interaction of Living and Non-Living Things

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Subject:  Science                  

Grade:  4

Unit:   4.2 Interactions of Living and Non Living Things in Their Environment                  

Pacing:  Marking Period 4

Essential Question(s):

1.     What are the living and non-living factors in an ecosystem?

2.     What do organisms need to survive in an ecosystem?

3.     Can we, as humans, live without honeybees?

4.     What happens when one part of the food web disappears?

5.     How does the lack of rain affect your food supply and cost?

Big Idea(s):

·        All organisms depend on living and non-living features of the environment for survival.

·        Any changes in the ecosystem, can effect the survival of living and nonliving things.


CT State Standards (includes West Haven’s “Priority” GLES’s in BOLD and “Supporting” Standards)

1. Give examples of ways that living and nonliving things are interdependent within an ecosystem.


2. Draw diagrams showing how the sun’s energy enters and is transferred from producers to consumers in a local land or aquatic food chain.  B INQ. 5


3. Design and conduct simple investigations to record interactions among producers, consumers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores and decomposers in an ecosystem.  B INQ. 1


5. Distinguish between naturally occurring changes in ecosystems and those caused by human activity.  B INQ. 6


4. Analyze food webs to describe how energy is transferred from plants to various animals in an ecosystem.  B INQ. 6


6. Predict the effect an environmental change, such as drought or forest destruction, might have on the community of living things.


“Unwrapped” Concepts and Skills, and Bloom Levels (BL)

Concepts(Need to Know)

Skills(Able to Do)




4.2 Ecosystems


Living/Non living


Ecosystem – effect of changes






Give examples  - living/non living


Distinguish - changes between natural vs. human activity






 “Dipsticks” (Informal Progress Monitoring Checks):


1 – activity sheet 1

2/3 – activity sheets 2/3 (good to keep in journals)

6/9 – activity sheets 6, 9

10 – activity sheet 10

11 – activity sheet 11

 Instructional Planning

Suggested Resources/Materials:

Hands on Activity #

1 – 60 minutes w/o terrariums

2/3 – 40 minutes initially and 10 minutes every other day to observe plant growth.  Suggest using string bean seeds rather than grass.  After two weeks, 30 minutes to discuss cumulative growth. Activity Sheet #3 a MUST!


***4/5/6/7/8 depend on getting the live animal cards for ordering*** 


6/9 - 45 minutes initial, 10 minute observations every other day for two weeks.


Suggestion: add some earthworms to plant experiments to see if earthworms play a factor in plant growth.


10 – 2 possibly 3, 45 minute sessions

11 – 50 minutes

12 – do as review


Vocabulary/Word Wall


Interdisciplinary Connections









Food chain

Food web








Nice intro or review to three different habitats

Create a food web and get more info on the topic..great to do on the smartboard

Interactive and corrects with each question

A plethora of activities




Food Chains and Webs reader

Leveled Readers and skills builders

What Lives on a Sandy Beach?

Earthworms Underground

Snail Investigations

My Sea Otter Report