Germs, Germs Everywhere

What a busy day we had exploring the world around us and how germs attack it. The first graders began by looking at different types of germs like viruses and bacteria and how they affect our bodies.  We took a trip inside Ralphie’s body with “The Magic School Bus” where students could see what germs do inside us and how our bodies fight back.  Then students took the sneeze challenge, where we measured how far germs could fly when we sneeze or cough.  Some students germs carried up to 8 ft. but we researched this question and found that germs from a sneeze can travel at 100 mph. and up to 200 ft. Yikes! Cover that sneeze, please!

First graders then learned that most germs enter our bodies through the T-zone.  This area refers to the eyes, nose, and mouth.  Dr. Marshal of Dr. Mark Marshall D.D.S.,Inc., graced us with his presence to teach the children about oral health and how this affects our entire body. Each student was given a new toothbrush and toothpaste to fight back against those nasty germs.

Then we gave each student some secret gel to rub on their hands and sent to play at recess.  This gel would help us to see where germs were spread in our own room throughout the day during normal activities.  After we returned to the classroom, we shut off the lights and turned on a black light. If you think the dark is scary, just flick on a black light in an elementary classroom! The students were able to really see where they carried the germs.

We then put on a second dose of the special gel, as we had washed it off before lunch, and looked at our own hands.  Students were asked what they thought was the most effective way to remove these germs from their hands, hand wipes, sanitizer, or old fashioned good hand washing practices. The class was divided into thirds to discover the answer.  They found that washing with soap and warm water was the clear winner, but why?

Next, I put some water in a shallow cake pan and added glitter to act as germs.  With the students all gathered around, we added a few drops of soap and “germs” immediately scattered away from the soap.  What a cool visual for the students to embrace the power of good hand washing practices!

Finally, students replicated different germs we had seen at the beginning of our day with modeling clay and q-tips.  It’s safe to say that the students will not soon forget this lesson on healthy habits, and all this was possible through our amazing Flex Day learning!

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