GUEST BLOGGER LYDIA LUKIDIS
A story about inquiry
Our world if full of interesting things, and we can divide them in two main groups: living things and nonliving things. But what’s the difference? How can we tell if something is alive or not? That’s where inquiry comes in.
I answer these questions in fun ways through my creative nonfiction narrative A Real Live Pet (Boyds Mills Kane Publishing.)
JJ and his sister Nala discover the answers once he gets a new pet, a rambunctious frog. Not to be outdone, Nala wants her own pet, and chooses a branch as her new friend. But when JJ argues that a branch can’t be a real live pet, the two discover what makes something living.
Discussion: Living or nonliving?
Here’s a fun activity for students in kindergarten through grade 3 that fosters critical thinking and helps itemize the main attributes of living and nonliving things. Ask your students to start with some brainstorming, and show them this handy chart that’s sure to get the creative juices flowing:
Student inquiry questions
Now, ask the students to answer these questions and give examples. If it:
- breathes, is it alive?
- has a face, is it alive?
- reproduces (makes babies), is it alive?
- it moves, is it alive?
- pees and poops, is it alive?
Now ask the students to look over their answers, and make a list of qualities only living things can do.
Lastly, ask the students to think of everything you could find in a forest (animals, trees, flowers, rivers, rocks etc…), and determine whether or not each thing is alive.
Lydia Lukidis writes for children aged 3-12, and her artistic mandate is to inspire and enlighten. She’s the author of three trade picture books, thirty educational books, thirty-two eBooks, as well as numerous articles and stories. Her latest STEM book, THE BROKEN BEES’ NEST (Boyds Mills & Kane, 2019), received a CYBILS Award nomination. Lydia is also a two-time finalist for the #PBParty contest. Her background is multi-disciplinary and spans the fields of literature, science, and puppetry.
Lydia is an active member of SCBWI, CANSCAIP, 12 x 12, The Authors Guild and QWF, and involved in the kidlit community through her blog and newsletters, as well as on social media. She’s also a judge on Rate your Story. Another passion of hers is fostering a love for literacy with children through the writing workshops she regularly offers in elementary schools.
Featured image: “Allison and Lady, Easter Sundat, April 20, 2014 #theyearoftheportrait #portrait #family #children #petportrait #pet #eastersunday #easter” by WorkingTitle/Gallery 3940 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0