This activity introduces students to pathogens or “germs” and how they are transmitted.
This is a multi-day activity that integrates Common Core Reading Standards with NextGen Science Standards.
Students will be able to identify how pathogens are transmitted and brainstorm ways to keep their classroom healthy.
Students should discuss their first inquiry question, “What are some signs you are sick?” and they should compare the cold and the flu.
Start off with these activities:
A Tree Map is used to classify objects. Have students label the four columns: (1) bacteria, (2) viruses, (3) fungi, (4) protozoa. Before going over the PowerPoint, write down questions you’d like the students to answer in their tree maps. You can choose your own questions based on information you will add to the presentation, or use the following set questions: “What is it?,” “What illnesses might it cause?,” and “What is its environment?”
Start with the inquiry question “What are some ways we could prevent spreading bacteria and viruses?” Have student groups come up with skits that demonstrate ways they can answer this question.
Finally, have your students take the pathogens test.
You Will Need
Day 1: Each student receives a copy of the Cold and Flu worksheets included in the experiment packet.
Day 2: You will need the Traveling Germs Slideshow (PDF | PPT) as well as: water, cups, clear indicator in one cup, red indicator, germ juice (GermJuice’s Jr. Hand Washing Kit is suggested), black light, spray bottle.
Day 4: Space for students to work on their skits, pathogens test.
Discussion is essential throughout these lessons. Make sure you allow enough time for students to discuss and process the presented information. Use the two inquiry questions to guide discussion and learning.
Ask students how they could help prevent the spread of disease in other classrooms.
Prompt students to do research and find specific examples of each type of transmission (which infections spread better by which route?).
Strand 1: Inquiry Process (Grades 3-4)
Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses
Observe, ask questions, and make predictions.
Concept 2: Scientific Testing (Investigating and Modeling)
Design and conduct controlled investigations.
Concept 3: Analysis and Conclusions
Analyze and interpret data to explain correlations and results; formulate new questions.
Strand 4: Life Science (Grade 3)
Concept 3: Populations of Organisms in an Ecosystem
Understand the processes acting on the Earth and their interaction with the Earth systems.
Satina Sund, Vanessa Vierkoetter, Esmeralda Manzano, Julie Dunlap. (2014, August 01). Germ Activity: For Teachers. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved May 12, 2021 from https://askabiologist.asu.edu/let-germs-begin/teachers
Satina Sund, Vanessa Vierkoetter, Esmeralda Manzano, Julie Dunlap. "Germ Activity: For Teachers". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 01 August, 2014. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/let-germs-begin/teachers
Satina Sund, Vanessa Vierkoetter, Esmeralda Manzano, Julie Dunlap. "Germ Activity: For Teachers". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 01 Aug 2014. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 12 May 2021. https://askabiologist.asu.edu/let-germs-begin/teachers