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Organization of Living Things

The organization of living things includes cells, tissues, and organs, and how they correspond with their environment.

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Is It Alive?
Teacher Contributed

Photo credit: © WGBH Educational Foundation

Is It Alive?

Life occurs in many incredible forms in many unexpected places. It isn't always obvious when something is alive so what do you need to look for to make that determination?

Why It Matters

You’re exploring a cave with a friend when you hear a drip…drip…drip… turning toward the sound you see...Snottites...


Look over the criteria given for a living organism in the Introduction to Biology concept collection. How would you test to see if the “snottite” matches the criteria? Whether you decide if it is alive or not, organize your ideas to persuade someone who disagrees with you that you are correct.

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If you need help scratching a mental itch, use the resources below:

  1. What characteristics do you feel are essential to consider something alive?
  2. How does a “snottite” differ from organisms you are more familiar with?
  3. What do snottites use as an energy source? How is this connected to the environment they live in?

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