1. Engage students by asking them to stand if they think life exists in outer space.
2. Students will make a two-column chart in science notebooks with the headings "Living" and "Non-living" and record all they know about these words.
Students will turn-and-talk with table groups, adding to their columns as they discuss. Lead a class discussion, reviewing the fact that all life requires water, nutrients, and energy.
3. Ask students how they would go about looking for life in the solar system. Instead of searching for actual life forms, could we search for signs of life by searching for water, nutrients, and energy?
4. Distribute the What Does Life Require? Activity Guide. Discuss question 1, recording class answers under the document camera while students record answers on their activity guide.
5. Explain that each table group must maintain a growing environment for the next ten days so that their organisms will have what they need to live. Each table group should pick an Environment Card and answer questions 3-5.
6. Review students' plans for maintaining their environment. Share tips from the Teacher Notes on the 12 Environments for Growing Organisms with table groups.
7. Provide students with the necessary materials for their environment.
8. Students answer questions 7 to 10. Over the next week or two, students observe their environment and identify what is growing using the How to Tell What's Growing in Your Environment key. Students will write observations under question 11.
9. Students present their environments to the class. Each group must defend the claim that their environment supported life by providing energy, nutrients, and water. Teachers may use the Presentation Rubric as a formative assessment during presentations.
10. Have a class discussion based on students' answers to questions 9 and 10, which examine what all life requires. Discuss how each environment provides an energy source, nutrients, and water.