Skip to Content

Montessori Living Vs. Non-Living Lesson & Resources


A Montessori zoology lesson on living versus non-living things is a great way to help children learn about the difference between life and non-life. In this lesson, children will explore both types of objects and learn more about what makes something alive.

This is a fun and interactive way for kids to learn, and they’ll enjoy exploring the different items in each category. Teachers can use this lesson to help introduce kids to Montessori education or as a review for older students. Either way, it’s sure to be an enlightening experience!

Living Vs. Non-Living Activity

One of the foundations of Montessori zoology is the Living Vs. Non-Living exercise. The Montessori zoology lesson is given early in the school year, first in a large group, then individually, and then in a small group.

This work, in some form, is placed on the shelf all year for the most part. By the way, I have a FREE Living/Non-Living Printable you should check out!

montessori zoology

Montessori Living Versus Non-Living Activity

To introduce the work, say, “I have something to show you today. We’re going to talk about living and non-living.” Then use your class pet or class plant as a prop, and ask your class:

Does our plant…



…have more plants?



living non-living activity

Once you receive affirmative answers, say: “Our plant is living.” Then go through a number of objects in a basket, asking the same questions.

Take three passages of objects over time: large, medium, and small. Then refresh the objects to give life to work over the year. Once the class has “mastered” the objects, introduce nomenclature cards.

living non-living

I used a mix of 8 objects and created zoology labels (free for your downloading pleasure), backing them on Red the Montessori color code for Zoology.

I placed the objects, the labels, and two pieces of felt in a small basket. Then I invited my son over to work, asking him to carry his work rug over to me.

living non living bean

I introduced this lesson when we were out on a nature walk earlier in the day. I could stop at a patch of newly “sprouted” grass and a few small rocks. I asked him the questions above, and we talked more about living and non-living as we walked along the trail.

We took a closer look at our kidney bean sprout during the lesson. As an observational experiment, we “planted” this bean in a mason jar. Nothing is easier to grab a child’s attention. I highly recommend the exercise. I ordered a Root-Vue Farm because my boys were so enthralled.

living non living montessori

This first round was reasonably simple for my son. So, next time, I need to mix a couple of tough ones. He questioned the car because “it gets fuel, mama, and it moves.” Yup, it does. I am excited to love Plants/Animals and Vertebrates/Invertebrates soon.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Please leave a comment, I love hearing from you!


Check out my Life Sciences Pack!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.