Applied Science - Built Environment (K)

  • Discovering what is human or naturally made.
  • Classifying objects in the classroom.


  • built
  • environment
  • human
  • natural
  • lab sheet

Students find human and natural made items throughout the classroom.


Most of our society has been altered by humans. The clothes we wear to the food we eat. Humans have a talent to mold their environment to make it easier and more efficient. For instance, humans have legs to walk, but the car, bicycle, airplane, and boat have been invented to move our body. It is this control of our environment that makes us different than most organisms.

Many people feel that we control our environment too much. Humans sometimes donít think of the consequence of our creation. Pollution of our air and land is a direct problem caused by humans.

As our society progresses it is important for young students to see the differences of the items that we have created.


  1. In this activity, students decide if certain items are natural or human-made. Your classroom is full of human-made items. The outside of the school contains more natural items.
  2. Have students cut out the pieces on the enclosed lab sheet and put their name on the back of each one.
  3. Control what the students look at by placing the items in back of a margarine tub or some other container.
  4. As they observe the items, the students then decide whether they think it is natural or human-made. After the students have made their decision, they place a "natural" or "human" strip in the appropriate margarine tub.
  5. Discuss characteristics of items made by humans and items that are natural. Human-made objects are usually constructed for the use of people. Even flags and paper are human-made. Trees, plants, nests, rocks, and sand are examples of naturally made.
  6. After students spend about 10-15 minutes deciding what is human made and what is natural, go over their discoveries. You might be surprised at what they think!

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