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Germs, Bacteria, and Virus Science

Wow! What a week. I have to say that I typically don't research germs and viruses, but I can't stop watching the news or reading an article about the Coronavirus. This last week, a long term substitute who went to Italy for a few days, stepped into our school to help the newly hired teacher get ready for her new job before she arrived this next week. Needless to say, our school was heavily disinfected and it now has impacted us right in our classrooms and in our community. Thank goodness she didn't have contact with any children or adults! 

I wasn't going to address the virus in my class, but it has become so much a part of our school conversation Friday, so as the science teacher who works with each student in my school, it was time for me to make sure that we had lessons that could help our students with the understanding of what germs are and how to stay germ free. So, this weekend, I spent a ton of time organizing a new germ unit that I started right off the bat on Monday! 
We have been using Mystery Doug for the germs video. It is pretty good and I am using it for grades K-5th grade with supplemental activities and sheets included in the link below.

Extension Activities and Ideas...
K-1 Activity: Glitter Germs
  1. Get a small bottle of hand sanitizer (good luck if you don't have any now, stores are getting sold out fast...). Fill the hand sanitizer with glitter. I use bigger pieces of glitter and not the small stuff. It is easier to wash off.
  2. Describe how the glitter represents germs. We need to wash away the germs by washing our hands. 
We wash our hands with water first, then with soap and water. I line them up at the bathroom and practice as we wait for someone to finish

    K-5 Cinnamon Test:
  1. I practice hand washing with the cinnamon test and petroleum jelly, too. This one isn't as messy. I ask for 3-4 volunteers, then on their hand they shake with I rub petroleum jelly on it. I sprinkle the hand with cinnamon which represents germs. 
  2. We then shake and give high fives seeing how easy the germs spread. 
  3. We then wash our hands for 20 seconds!
I have used this song to inspire them...

K-5 Activity: Black Pepper Activity
  1.  Discuss the importance of washing hands
  2. Get a flat tray and fill it almost full with water
  3. Sprinkle black pepper on the surface of the water (enough so that the surface is filled with pepper)
  4. Describe how the pepper represents germs and why it is important to use soap and water to wash our hands
  5. Demonstrate by adding a couple of drops of dish soap to the surface and have students observe ( I use a dropper)
  6. The germs will immediately cling to the side of the bowl to get away from the soap
  7. Remind them of the importance of washing their hands (demonstrate hand washing techniques as well as the 20 second reminder of how long it should be! I say two ABC's, the chorus to Frozen, or two Happy Birthday's!)
I am sharing my germ science freebie for the 2020 school year as more and more schools go to elearning. Help your students learn how germs spread, and how to stay healthy with my Germ Science Resource for you found here. 

Stay healthy and safe! Please feel free to share your ideas below if you have any ideas to add to our germ free lessons! Literally, as I was writing this post, we got a call letting us know we are going virtual tomorrow. No time to train our kids or even give them their bags of supplies...wish me luck!

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