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"Germs Make Me Sick"
To being the lesson read the story, "Germs Make Me Sick", by Melvin Berger. This story is simply written, yet very kid-friendly. It explains the difference between microbes like bacteria and viruses. In addition, it gives examples of how germs get into kids' bodies. This book will show preschoolers what germs are, and how they make us sick. After reading this book, do the following simple experiment to further show how germs spread from person to person through our hands. Follow with a lesson on hand washing.
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A Glittery Experiment
Objective: Students will observe how germs spread from person to person through touch.
large pan or basin
You might want to do this outside, or else be prepared to get out the vacuum.
Pour some brightly colored glitter into a basin or large pan. Ask a student to place both hands into the glitter. Point out how much of the glitter sticks to the student's hands. Then ask that student to shake hands with each of the other students. Have everyone look at their hands. They will notice glitter on their hands that spread from the first student's hands. Explain that the glitter is a lot like germs. Germs spread when we touch others, and sometimes that is how we catch colds and other illnesses. Let them know that the good news is that we can keep germs from spreading like the glitter did, simply by washing our hands. Now, wash hands to get rid of the glitter.
Start the hand washing by explaining that keeping our hands clean through hand washing is the best way to avoid spreading germs. Go to the sink, wet your hands, and apply soap to your hands. Explain how soap helps remove the germs more effectively. Rub your hands together for 15 seconds. Have the students count with you. Then rinse and dry. Let each child take turns washing his hands, and have the class count to 15 together. Point out that the glittery "germs" are gone after hand washing.
Teacher will observe each student for understanding of the concept of germs spreading through touch.
Preschoolers probably have heard the word, "germs" many times, but since we can't see them with our eyes, it's a difficult concept to teach without some sort of visual guide. That's why the book, "Germs Make Me Sick", as well as the glitter experiment, followed by hand washing are great preschool health lesson plans for teaching about germs.