Teaching Tool - Hand-washing and Germs

This presentation teaches students about how germs spread and proper hand-washing techniques.

Target audience: students in ELKP to Grade 3
Length of core content presentation: 40-50 minutes

Criteria Met

Grade Ontario Curriculum Codes
Kindergarten The Kindergarten Program (2016): Self-Regulation and Well-Being 6.3
1 Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2015) C2.5
2 Grades 1-8: Science and Technology (2007) C1.1, C3.2
3 Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2015) C1.4, C2.2

Goals

In delivering this presentation, the teacher will:

  • Encourage students to reflect on how germs and illness are spread
  • Encourage students to practice correct hand-washing and hand-rub techniques
  • Encourage students to use correct respiratory etiquette as part of their daily living

Objectives

By the end of this presentation, students will demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of germs and how illness is spread
  • Identify appropriate times for washing hands and using hand-rub
  • Demonstrate the correct techniques for washing hands and using hand-rub
  • Demonstrate the correct respiratory etiquette technique

Core Knowledge Content

Core knowledge content provides the teacher with the background information needed to prepare and teach this health class.

Learning Activities

  • Hand-washing and germs - Kindergarten and Grade 1 (essential)
    Time: 30 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    Ask students the following highlighted questions and start a discussion:

    1. What does a person do to grow and stay healthy?

    Have two or more students share their responses, depending on time. Give hints if needed to elicit desired responses (healthy eating, physical activity, proper sleep, dental hygiene, body hygiene).

    • Introduce the 'Healthy Me' posters by saying, "I have some friends who would like to share with you what they do to stay healthy." Note: Ensure to end with the hand-washing poster (Raccoon)
    • Expand on the story words from the raccoon poster by saying, "Let's talk more about when we should wash our hands." Have students share their answer, give hints if needed to elicit appropriate responses.

    2. Raise your hand if you have heard of something called germs.

    • Show the 'Microscope and germs poster'
    • Explain what they are
    • Types of germs (briefly)
    • How they can make us sick, using the 'Do not touch the T-zone poster'

    3. What is the best way to get rid of germs?

    • Using the 'Stop - clean your hands poster', review the six-step method of hand-washing
    • Have students pretend to wash their hands as you demonstrate
    • Show the 'black and white clean your hands poster' showing areas to concentrate on when scrubbing

    4. If we can't wash our hands with soap and water, what else can we do to get rid of germs?

    • Using the 'Stop - clean your hands with hand-rub poster', review the eight step method of hand-washing with hand-rub
    • Have students pretend to wash their hands as you demonstrate
    • Reinforce that hand-rub is only to be used when there is not any visible dirt or mud

    Optional Summary

    Variation

    • Rather than presenting Healthy Me series as individual posters, print, laminate, and bind the series to create a book and present it as a read aloud. Then inform students that this book will be added to the class library.
    • Create a bulletin board displaying the Healthy Me posters
  • Hand-washing and germs - Grades 2 and 3 (essential)
    Time: 30 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    Ask students the following highlighted questions and start a discussion:

    "What does a person do to grow and stay healthy?"

    • Have two or more students share their responses, depending on time
    • Give hints if needed to elicit desired responses (healthy eating, physical activity, proper sleep, dental hygiene, hair care, body hygiene)

    "Let's talk more about how being clean, especially your hands. When should we wash our hands?"

    • Have students share their answer, give hints if needed to elicit appropriate responses

    "Raise your hand if you have heard of something called germs."

    • Show the Microscope and germs poster
    • Explain what they are
    • Types of germs (briefly)
    • How they can make us sick, using the Do not touch the T-zone poster

    "What is the best way to get rid of germs?"

    • Using the Stop - clean your hands poster, review the six-step method of hand-washing
    • Have students pretend to wash their hands as you demonstrate
    • Show the black and white Clean your hands poster showing areas to concentrate on when scrubbing

    "If we can't wash our hands with soap and water, what else can we do to get rid of germs?"

    • Using the Stop - clean your hands with hand-rub poster, review the eight-step method of hand-washing with hand-rub
    • Have students pretend to wash their hands as you demonstrate
    • Reinforce that hand-rub is only to be used when there is not any visible dirt or mud
  • Spray bottle
    Time: 5 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Fill the water bottle with water and add food dye if desired (note that the dye is not going to show if using the chalk board)
    • Draw a basic picture of a happy face using the chalk on the chalk board or the marker on the chart paper
    • Stand sideways to the chalk board; hold the spray bottle to the side of your head closest to the chalk board (try to hide the spray bottle from the students)
    • Say to the students, "This is what happens when someone coughs or sneezes and doesn't cover their nose and mouth with a tissue or their sleeve"
    • Say, "at-choo" or "cough, cough, cough", as you are pressing the spray bottle onto the face on the chalk board or chart paper
    • Say, "This is how germs travel into the air and are able to get this person and make them sick"

    "Does anyone know how to cough or sneeze so that we don't get our germs onto others?"

    • Have a student demonstrate proper respiratory etiquette and/or
    • Show the Cover your cough poster and review

    Debrief

    • Encourage students to continue the respiratory etiquette practises that they learned today
  • Hand-washing demonstration
    Time: 30 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Have students work on an individual activity at their desks (e.g. worksheets from supplemental activities)
    • Instruct students that while they complete their worksheets, they will be taking turns joining you at the sink to practise what they learned about washing their hands properly
    • Place the Stop - Clean your hands poster near the sink so that the students can follow along Invite students (individually or in groups of 2-3), to join you at the sink
    • Have each student demonstrate the six steps of hand-washing at a sink
    • If the school does not have paper towels, show the students how to turn off taps with the back of the hands if possible or to use the tips of the fingers
    • Explain to students that rubbing their hands vigorously under an air hand dryer will help kill germs
    • Once all students have washed their hands, open a brief discussion to summarize the hand-washing activity
      • Ask the students to identify the appropriate times to wash their hands
      • If multiple students had to repeat the activity to do it correctly, discuss this by asking which of the 6 steps was most challenging (e.g. not enough soap)
      • Encourage students to continue the hand-washing and respiratory etiquette practises that they learned today
  • Clean your hands word scramble
    Time: 15 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Distribute a word scramble worksheet to each of the students
    • Instruct students to complete the statements by writing the correct word on the line
      • Inform students that the correct responses are found in the left column next to each of the statements. To determine the correct response, they will have to draw on what they already know about hand-washing and un-scramble the words in the left column.
      • Inform students that all correct responses can be found in the word bank at the bottom of the page.

    Variations

    • Make the activity more challenging by removing the scrambled words in the left column
    • Make the activity even more challenging by removing the scrambled words and the word bank from the worksheet
  • Glo Germ
    Time: 10 minutes

    Materials

    • Glo germ gel
    • UV light
    • Toy from the classroom
    • Sink
    • Soap
    • Paper towel
    • Hand sanitizer (optional)

    Instructions

    • Ask for five to six volunteers, or use whole class for demonstration
    • Ask permission to use the Glo Germ gel on them (check for allergies)
    • Shake bottle of Glo Germ gel and place a small amount, about the size of a nickel, into each student's hand
    • Have students rub the gel all over their hands, particularly under the nails, around the cuticles, and between fingers
    • Give one student a soft toy/item from classroom and ask them to look it over (so they handle it) and then to pass it around
    • Explain that like the lotion, germs are on their hands, although they cannot see them
    • If demonstrating with a large group, review the six step method of hand-washing (to ensure time for item to be passed around in group)
    • Have a few students place their hands under the UV light (you may have to dim the lights in the room) to view the glowing 'pretend' germs that exist before hand-washing. The areas where there is Glo Germ gel will glow under the light.
    • Show the contamination of the glowing 'pretend' germs on the soft toy/item from classroom using the UV light
    • Explain that germs can be on things that we touch, like door handles, desks, books, etc. and that germs can be easily spread
    • Have students wash their hands using the proper technique and then look at their hands under the UV light again. There should be a significant reduction in the areas that glow.
    • Using the black and white Clean your hands poster, discuss areas that are commonly missed during hand-washing. Encourage students to pay attention to these areas when hand-washing.
    • Explain that like germs, the lotion can be washed off using proper hand-washing
    • After the activity, revisit learning with a discussion
      • Ask students when it is appropriate/necessary to wash their hands
      • Ask students to explain or demonstrate how to properly wash hands

    Variations

    • Divide the students into three groups
    • Ask permission to use the Glo Germ gel on them (check for allergies)
    • Shake bottle of Glo Germ gel and place a small amount, about the size of a nickel, into each student's hand
    • Have students rub the gel all over their hands, particularly under the nails, around the cuticles, and between fingers
    • Have a few students place their hands under the UV light (you may have to dim the lights in the room) to view the glowing 'pretend' germs that exist before hand-washing. The areas where there is Glo Germ gel will glow under the light.
    • Review the six-step method of hand-washing and the eight-step method of hand-washing with hand-rub
    • Have one group wash with water only
    • Have the second group wash with soap and water
    • Have the third group wash with hand sanitizer
    • After examining their hands under the UV light, discuss how much cleaner hands washed with soap and water become
  • Clean your hands word search
    Time: 20 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Distribute a word search worksheet to each of the students
    • Instruct students to find each of the words on the list at the bottom of the page in the word search
      • Let the students know that the words are written in all directions, so some of them are written backwards, diagonally, vertically, etc.
    • Encourage the students to think about how each of these words relates to hand-washing

    Variations

    • Correct the word search as a class with discussion about hand-washing vocabulary
      • Project blank word search onto SMART Board
      • Have a student read first word (bacteria) in word search list and circle the word in the word search projected on the SMART Board
      • Review the meaning of the word by asking students what the word means and how it relates to hand-washing and hygiene. Provide guidance or clarification as needed.
      • Repeat with remaining words on the list
      • Have students use 3 words from their word search to create a sentence about hand-washing
  • Hygiene songs
    Time: 5 minutes

    Materials

    • Lyrics for Hygiene song 1 and Hygiene song 2
    • SMART Board

    Instructions

    • Project the lyrics of one of the hygiene songs onto the SMART Board
    • Read the lyrics aloud to the class or have the students do a choral reading of the lyrics
    • Lead the students in singing the song together to the tune indicated above the lyrics

    Variations

    • Have students sing song whenever time permits for a quick review of hand-washing techniques and hygiene practices
    • Have students create gestures to accompany the song

    Hygiene Song 1

    Sung to the tune of, "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush"

    This is the way we comb our hair, comb our hair, comb our hair,
    This is the way we comb our hair when we get up in the morning.

    This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands,
    This is the way we wash our hands, before we eat our food.

    This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth,
    This is the way we brush our teeth after we eat our meals.

    This is the way we exercise, exercise, exercise,
    This is the way we exercise, to keep our bodies strong.

    This is the way we wash ourselves, wash ourselves, wash ourselves,
    This is the way we wash ourselves, after playing hard outside.

    This is the way we go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep,
    This is the way we go to sleep, early in the evening.

    This is the way we cover our mouth, cover our mouth, cover our mouth,
    This is the way we cover our mouth when we have a cough or a sneeze.
    (Do a fake sneeze at-choo).

    Hygiene Song 2

    Sung to the tune of, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"

    Soap and water, that's the way,
    You can wash the germs away.
    Keep on washing - when you do,
    You'll get rid of germs, it's true.
    Now your hands are clean, here's why:
    Germs are down the drain. Goodbye!

    Used with permission from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Health Unit

Consult Your School Health Nurse

Your school's public health nurse can help you prepare for delivering this presentation and can assist you in developing engaging projects and extension activities. To reach your school health nurse, contact healthyschools@niagararegion.ca or 905-688-8248 ext. 7379.


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