1. WHAT ARE GERMS? (Sheet 1)
– Appreciation of the diversity of germs.
– Concepts of pathogenic and non-pathogenic germs.
– Usefulness of some germs.
Material: Sheet 1
Time: 60 minutes.
– Define the words “germ” or “microbe”.
– The class should work in small groups, each group working on one family of germs: bacteria, viruses and funguses.
– Pool the results and fill in the table on the sheet.
2 – VACCINATION OR TAMING GERMS (Sheet 2)
The objective is to examine prevention of disease and teach the principle of vaccine.
Material: Sheet 2
3 – PETRI DISH EXPERIMENT (Sheet 3 )
– Realize the presence of germs on everything around.
– Show the importance of washing hands thoroughly.
– Find out a good way to wash hands.
– 4 petri dishes (or more).
– Adhesive tape
– Sheet 3
Time: 1 30-minute session + 10 minutes observation for 2 days.
– In 4 petri dishes, do the following experiment:
1st dish: a pupil puts a piece of plant gathered from the playground.
2nd dish: a pupil puts a piece of pen recently put in the mouth (wash it afterwards)
3rd dish: a pupil puts a hair or an eyelash, etc.
4th dish: control dish.
– Identify and close the dishes with adhesive tape.
– Leave the dishes at ambient temperature, but out of direct sunlight.
– Observe the 4 petri dishes every day, analyse progress and fill in the pupil’s sheet.
– Encourage suggestions on the kind of marks in the dishes – what do they relate to?
– Everyone draw a conclusion, using as evidence connection between germs and the marks left by the objects and germs:
the more marks there are, the more germs there are.
4 – RED BEAN OR GERM?
The objective is to demonstrate the idea of how germs and diseases are transmitted and to introduce the concepts of basic hygiene.
Material: 5 small bags with 10 red beans in each.
Time: 30 minutes.
– Give the 5 bags to 5 pupils.
– Each pupil with a bag takes out a bean and passes the bag to his neighbour.
– When the bags are empty, count the number of pupils with beans.
– Compare the passing round of the beans with the transmission of germs and diseases:
I have 1 bean = I have 1 germ.
I have 2 beans = I have 2 germs…
The more beans I have, the more germs I have, the more risk I have of getting ill, but I could get ill with just one germ.
– Emphasize to the pupils ways of avoiding the transmission of germs.
5. LET’S INVESTIGATE!
The objective is to be receptive to the concept of hygiene. Draw up, make and use a questionnaire.
– Ask the children to prepare a questionnaire and to do a survey among adults close to them or at school.
– When should we wash our hands?
– When should we have a shower?
– How many germs are there on one hand?
– Are all germs a threat to man?
– What can protect us against disease?
– What are acarids?
– Who are most susceptible to germs?
– What proportion of the population do you think lives in a town?
– Show the answers statistically.
– Ask the pupils to write a short text describing people’s habits (a child could be asked to give a presentation).
– Highlight misconceptions and lack of knowledge, the main causes of many hygiene problems.
6. DAILY HYGIENE
– Understand that hygiene is part of our daily routine.
– Identify different types of hygiene: personal hygiene, food hygiene, hygiene at home and hygiene with pets.
– Identify main principles of hygiene for each of these types.
Material: Board or large sheet of paper.
Time: 60 minutes.
– Some days before, ask pupils to cut out objects or products relating to hygiene from catalogues at home: each child to cut out one object only.
(If he wishes, the teacher can ask the children to bring in a product or object linked to hygiene.)
– On the day, put all the cut-outs (or objects and products) together.
– Everyone to say the purpose and usage of the different objects or products, and then sort them.
– Define four major classifications of hygiene and stick the images on the board in 4 columns. Each column can be labelled with the corresponding Netoon.
– The pupils should consider the main hygiene principles for each category.
7. HYGIENE AND NUMBERS (Sheet 4)
The objective is to think about modern-day threats to good hygiene and people’s health.
Material: Sheet 4
Time: 45 minutes.
– Hand out the activity sheet..
– Do the exercises, correct and discuss.
– Explain that figures very rarely reflect the truth and that there are many more germs on the things we touch.
– Think about habits and omissions resulting in a large increase of germs on objects and living beings.
During a 24 hour day, people spend 75% of the time at home i.e. 18 hours a day.
A family of four uses 2600 grammes of soap a year, which means 650 grammes per person.
That’s not very much, and this is in one of the world’s highly developed countries.
Only 3 germs should be left.
8. TRUE OR FALSE? (Sheet 4)
The objective is to reinforce knowledge of hygiene and to be able to justify the answers.
Material: Sheet 4
True. Life expectancy increases annually.
False. Germs and diseases evolve, change, adapt and remain a permanent threat to man.
False. A very high number of diseases could be avoided with better hygiene.
True. False. New medicines can treat certain diseases, but since germs adapt, these medicines become ineffective, and we again have to find new ones.
True. A large number of germs live and multiply in water. Drinking or washing with impure water risks contamination.
False. Countries differ enormously from each other, particularly developing countries which lack the means to ensure appropriate hygiene.
9. WHO WAS HYGEIA?
The objective is to become familiar with information search tools and to realize that good hygiene was known in ancient times.
Time: 60 minutes.
– Organize research on Hygeia in an encyclopaedia or on the Internet.
– Create a poster from information gathered.
– Elaborate on how the idea of hygiene has evolved over time, and what it means for us today.