Living Things and Their External Features Unit Plan

Teach Starter Publishing
10 x lessons | Suitable for years: 1

This Biological Sciences unit covers a range of concepts relating to living things, such as their external features and the places in which their needs are met.

It consists of 9 lessons of approximately 60 minutes duration.

The sequence of lessons and suggested time frames should be regarded as a guide only; teachers should pace lessons in accordance with the individual learning needs of their class.

An assessment task for monitoring student understanding of the unit objectives is included and will require an additional lesson.

Teachers are encouraged to collect samples of students’ work throughout the unit to add to a learning portfolio. These can also be used to assess students’ understanding of the unit objectives.


  • To activate prior knowledge about living and non-living things.
  • To identify that small animals have different external features.
  • To investigate the external features of small animals.
  • To represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways.
  • To identify the external features of an earthworm.
  • To identify that living things live in different places where their needs are met.
  • To identify the external features of an ant.
  • To investigate which foods ants prefer to eat.
  • To compare the external features of small animals.
  • .

Preparing for Learning

This Science unit provides excellent opportunities for cross-curricular integration. Look for ways to meaningfully integrate the content of the unit with other learning areas e.g. Literacy and The Arts.
Prior to commencing the unit, develop a classroom display which focuses on living things. Display word wall vocabulary and learning goals that the students will engage with throughout the unit to stimulate their learning. For examples of additional teaching resources to display in your classroom, browse the Living and Non-Living Things collection and the Minibeasts collection on the Teach Starter website.

The lessons and science experiments within this unit are structured in accordance with the scientific method. Ensure that the students are familiar with this process before commencing the unit. Alternatively, teach the method concurrently with the relevant lessons.

Some of the resources which accompany this unit plan will need to be prepared prior to teaching. For this reason, it is advised that teachers browse through all lessons before commencing the unit.



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