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Needs of Living Things: Post-assessment

Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, and Paula H. Cutler, BA.
Needs of Living Things: Post-assessment

Red squirrels are omnivorous, but they mostly eat the seeds of trees.
© Katarzyna Mazurowska.

  • Grades:
  • K-2
  • Length: 30 Minutes


Students take a post-assessment, then apply concepts learned in this unit by revisiting the pre-assessment, where they originally recorded what they needed to live. This activity will be extended by including another animal and its needs.

This activity is from the Living Things and Their Needs Teacher's Guide. Although it is most appropriate for use with students in grades K-2, the lesson is easily adaptable for other grade levels. The guide also is available in print format.

Teacher Background

Most living things need air, food and water. Organisms also need physical space. Some plants and animals are similar in the ways they use resources from the environment and in the places where they live; others are very different from one another. Plants, in general, need air, nutrients from soil, water and sunlight in order to grow and reproduce. Plants can capture, store and use energy from the sun through a process known as photo­synthesis. Animals are dependent on plants and other photosynthetic organisms (such as seaweeds) for food. Some animals eat only plants, others eat only animals, and some eat both plants and animals. Animals also need air and water.

Like all other living things, people need air, food, water and a place to be. Unlike plants and animals, people cook and combine their foods to make them better tasting and easier to digest. Unlike other organisms, people also create and use things to make their lives more comfortable and more pleasurable.

This final activity is designed to help you, the teacher, assess what your students have learned during this unit about the needs of living things. Part of the activity is matched to the drawing they created at the beginning of the unit. The second part of the activity lets you judge how they have been able to extend their knowledge.

Objectives and Standards


  • All living things have basic needs that must be met.

Science Skills

  • Comparing

  • Communicating

  • Applying knowledge

Language Arts Skills

  • Listening

  • Communicating

  • Using descriptive language

  • Following directions

Materials and Setup

Teacher Materials (see Setup)

  • Students' pre-assessments

Materials per Student

  • Sheet of white construction paper, 18 in. x 12 in.

  • Crayons or markers


  1. Gather paper, crayons and/or markers for distribution.

  2. Hold pre-assessments until after the post-assessment.

Procedure and Extensions

  1. Distribute materials and instruct students to fold the large piece of paper in half (like a book), so that the folded page is 9 in. x 12 in. They should make a crease on the fold, open the paper and draw a line down the crease. On the left side of the page, each student should draw a picture of him or herself. Students then should draw images of their basic needs around the pictures of themselves.  

  2. Next, have students draw an image of one living thing (plant or animal—their choice) on the right side of the page. After they complete the animal or plant drawings, have students add images of what is needed by the selected animals or plants for survival. Older students may want to label the objects.

  3. Distribute students’ original pre-assessments. As a group, compare the pre- and post-drawings, and have students identify additional elements present in the new drawings.


Students may write a story or poem about an animal or plant and its needs. Younger students could “brain storm” in groups and dictate their ideas to the teacher or make picture books.

Handouts and Downloads

Related Content

  • Living Things and Their Needs

    Living Things and Their Needs Teacher Guide

    The Living Things and Their Needs Teacher's Guide provides resources that allow very young students to explore living and nonliving things and learn about the basic needs of plants, animals, and people. (10 activities)

  • Tillena Lou's Day in the Sun

    Tillena Lou’s Day in the Sun Reading

    Tillena Lou and her siblings spend a lazy day imagining what it might be like if they were other types of animals. What would they need to survive?


Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Filling the Gaps: K-6 Science/Health Education
Grant Number: 5R25RR013454