Interdependence: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Interdependence
  • 1:03 Among Living and…
  • 2:09 Interdependence Among…
  • 4:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Think of everything you do in a day. Do you have to count on anyone else for help at some point? In this lesson, you are going to learn how living and non-living things depend on one another to survive.


What do you think this oxpecker and giraffe have to do with one another?

An oxpecker and a giraffe
Giraffe and Oxpecker

These two animals depend, or rely on, each other. A giraffe can be a host for many unwanted parasites, like ticks and fleas, that cause the giraffe trouble. Thankfully, the giraffe's pal, the oxpecker, likes to eat these ticks, flies, and other intruders off of the giraffe.

Both animals help one another. The giraffe gets cleaned, and the oxpecker gets fed. This is an example of interdependence, a big word! Interdependence is simply how living and non-living things depend on one another.

Think about how you go through a day. At some point, you probably depend on your parents for things like food, clothing, and shelter. You may also go to school and depend on your teacher to help you learn.

Many living and non-living things depend on one another. Let's take a look at two categories of relationships between organisms.

Among Living and Non-Living Things

Can you think of any non-living things that you need every single day? What about water for drinking? How about air for breathing? Certain non-living things are necessary for living things to survive.

Take a look some non-living things and think about how you depend on them:

  • Water
  • Air (oxygen)
  • Soil
  • Sun
  • Food
  • Shelter (home, buildings, schools)

Now, think about how other animals rely on non-living things. All animals need water and air. Plants need nutrient-rich soil and water to grow well. The sun provides energy for plants. Each living thing has its own way of getting food for energy. Living things also need shelter. Animals in the forest need to have trees, bushes, rocks, caves, or other ways to protect themselves.

Living things are lucky to be able to count on all of these non-living resources for a healthy life.

Now let's have a look at how living things can help one another!

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