1. Is it alive? - Assessment

Play the game “5 Alive”. On a piece of paper, the person who is “it” should write the name of any item that they know for sure is alive or not. The rest of the group gets to ask 5 yes or no questions to figure out if the mystery item is alive.

Going Further

  1. Many of the other activities in this box extend upon this first lesson.
    • The Life Trap activity demonstrates that living things can be microscopic, grow and reproduce.
    • The Testing for Life activity introduces the idea that all living things are made of the same organic molecules and has students test for proteins, starches and sugars.
    • The Seeing Cells activity introduces students to the idea that all living things are made of cells.
    • The Cell Energy activity brings up the concept of cell metabolism.
    • The Life on Mars project asks students to design 3 experiments to determine whether there is anything living in a sample of “Martian soil”.
  2. A great resource for additional lessons on the characteristics of life is the Life in the Universe curriculum, published by the SETI Institute.
  3. Another resource is the Searching for Life curriculum from NASA.