OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES
1- WHERE DO GERMS HIDE ?
– Recognize that there are germs on animals.
– Be aware that we need to wash our hands after touching an animal.
– Board or poster paper
– Drawing paper
– Felt pens, glue
Time: 1 hour
– A week beforehand, divide the class into small groups. Ask each group to choose a pet (dog, cat, mouse, tortoise, hamster, etc.).
– Ask the groups to collect things linked to the pet they have chosen:
Hairs / feathers
Animal food leftovers (in an airtight bag)
Utensils used for pet food
– On the day, get the children to sort what they have brought by animal type and in three categories:
Hairs or feathers
Items used for feeding
– Under the microscope, each group examines the items relating to the pet they have chosen.
– The children draw what they have seen under the microscope, and write explanatory notes alongside. Guide their comments to concentrate on the presence or absence of germs and remind them to add a title and captions to each drawing.
– Each group presents to the rest of the class the results of their observations under the microscope, and then sticks their drawings on the poster board. Write the name of the animal above the drawings.
– Résumer les endroits où l’on trouve des microbes (objets, nourriture des animaux, etc.).
– All together agree that animals and anything they use harbour many germs, and that good hygiene with pets is essential.
– Summarize places where germs are found (everything used by pets, pet food, etc.)
– Remember ways in which a pet can pass on germs (hairs, feathers, cough, defecation, vomit, etc.)
– Conclude by emphasizing the risk of germ transmission and the necessity of washing hands after touching an animal. (Optionally link with pictures of personal hygiene routines.) .
2- PETS AND THEIR BELONGINGS…
– Realize how many germs there are on food in a pet’s bowl, and on all the things our pets use.
Material: Hygiene and Pets Worksheets Number 1
Time: 30 minutes
– Question the children about their pets: What do they eat? Who feeds them? Where do they sleep? What do they play with ?
– Hand out the sheet and do the maths exercises.
– Emphasize the risk of contamination and the importance of regularly washing food bowls, baskets, litter trays, cages, pets toys. And to wash hands thoroughly after being with a pet.
– 24.367 kg = 24 kg 3 hg 6 dg 7g
– 1509 / 1006 fleas
– One mullion six hundred and twelve thousand three hundred and fourteen
– Four hundred and twenty one thousand three hundred and forty eight
– One thousand two hundred and thirty one
– Four hundred and ninety five
3- DANDELION EXPERIMENT
– Be aware of airborne contamination from animals.
– Know how animal behaviour can spread germs.
– Dandelions in seed or any substance that can be spread by air movement.
Time: 45 minutes
– Outside, hand out dandelions to the pupils.
– Ask them to blow on the dandelion heads: what happens ?
– Observe the suspended particles .
– The pupils put forward theories (e.g. analogy between the floating particles and pets’ hairs scattered around the house).
– Get the class to respond:
How are the dandelion seeds dispersed? (Airborne.)
To what can we liken the dandelion seeds? (Animal hairs / germs.)
To what can we liken the dispersion of the dandelion seeds? (Airborne contamination.)
– Compare the dandelion experiment to a pet shedding hairs.
-Then expand by questioning the children: in which other circumstances can a pet pass on germs to us? (Shaking when wet, sneezing, vomiting, coughing, etc.).
– Explain that in this way germs can travel all over the house and over people.
– Review personal, home and food hygiene. (Optionally link with hygiene routines.)
– Don’t forget hygiene for the pet itself (bath, vaccination, combing, etc.)..
4- ALLERGY STORIES
– Find out principal causes of allergies from pets.
– Distinguish between being afraid of animals and being allergic to them.
– Drawing paper
– Felt pens, colour pencils
– 3 sets of paper slips prepared in advance by the teacher as a context for the children’s stories:
Typical places: boat, tent, cave, cottage.
Timeframe: prehistory, year 3000, Victorian era, in the time of Henry VIII.
Words (nouns, proper names, adjectives, etc.) that must be used in the stories e.g. window, ice-cream, blanket, slipper, daisy, jumper, Granny, basket, litter tray, armchair, pillow, strong, forgetful, cuddly, ticklish.
Time: 1 hour
– Question the children on allergies: is anyone in the class allergic? To what? What are the symptoms ?
– Question the children on allergic symptoms (skin irritations, itching, sneezing, nettle-rash, asthma attacks, etc.).
– Go over main sources of allergies (pollen, mites, pets). Point out that animals secrete substances which can cause allergic reactions and, because their fur or feathers collect pollen from outside and also contain mites, they are prime carriers.
– With the children, make the distinction between being allergic to animals and being frightened of them. At this point, the teacher can ask the children to look up the words “allergy / allergic” and “phobia / phobic”..
– Ask the children to make up a story about allergies to pets.
– Divide the class into small groups of 4 to 5 pupils.
– Each group has to make up a story comprising a sequence of eight events at most.
– Each group in turn picks 4 slips of paper:
– Each group must integrate into their story the place, time and words they have picked.
– Remind the children that each story should be properly composed, with an introduction, a climax and an ending.
– Collect the stories, put them together and display them in a central place (e.g. library) so that pupils can look at them.
– All together conclude that a pet can increase the risk of allergies, but that good hygiene can limit effects in the home. The majority of mites are found in mattresses, carpets, armchairs, etc. and only a small proportion on the pet itself.
The need to brush a pet regularly ;
The need to clean regularly baskets, blankets and anything where a pet could leave hairs or feathers ;
The need to keep pets away from certain areas of the house (bed, sofa, armchair, etc.) ;
The need for air circulation, so air rooms every day ;
The need to clean the house regularly to get rid of dust and the mites it contains .
The need to disinfect any bite or scratch from a pet, and have it examined
-The teacher can extend this approach to allergies by asking the children to research specific subjects in an encyclopedia or on the Internet (e.g. mites, anti-histamines, skin disorders, etc.).
-The teacher can increase the number of words to be included in the stories: the results could be more fun !
5- PEOPLE AT RISK
– Be aware of people at risk from pets.
– Find out protective hygiene practices against risk of contamination from pets.
Material: Hygiene and Pets Worksheets Number 2
Time: 30 minutes
– Hand out the sheet and do the exercise.
– With the children, make a list of people at risk:
Babies (not sufficiently immunized).
Pregnant women (care needed to avoid any illness dangerous to the unborn child, e.g. toxoplasmosis from cats, which is extremely dangerous for the baby)
Older people (weak immune system)
Sick people (weak immune system)
Allergic people (better to avoid repeated contact, with unpleasant reactions)
– All together, agree on hygiene practices to adopt with pets. Emphasize:
Wash hands after touching a pet ;
Wash hands after caring for a pet (feeding, bath, grooming, litter tray, etc.) ;
Don’t let a pet lick our face / mouth ;
Don’t feed a pet at table ;
Don’t let a pet sit at table ;
Don’t let a pet in the bedroom or let it sleep on our bed ;
Don’t let a pet up on kitchen work surfaces ;
Don’t let a pet into the bathroom ;
Regularly clean anything to do with a pet (change a cat’s litter, often clean pets’ baskets, food bowls, toys and blankets) ;
Be sure to disinfect a bite or scratch from a pet, and have it examined
– 2 400 000 mites
(20 x 10 000 x 12 = 2 400 000)
– The saying is: always have your cat vaccinated.
1. True. But not many. They are more likely to pass on the germs on their coat.
2. True. It is made from ingredients non-poisonous to humans.
3. False. But cases are rare.
4. False. Some animals are not permitted to be kept as pets.
6. False. Fear of an animal is phobia. An allergic reaction makes us ill.
8. True. We never know what on its coat.
6- WHEN I DON’T KNOW AN ANIMAL…
– Realize that a strange animal could be covered in germs, and it’s best not to touch it.
– Be aware of the need to wash hands thoroughly after touching an animal we don’t know.
Washable paint or chalk
Time: 30 minutes
– Take the pupils into the playground.
– Explain the rules of the game:
Two children are picked to be cats we don’t know.
The two cats try to touch the other pupils. When they touch a pupil, they say: “This strange cat has touched X!”
As soon as a pupil has been touched, he goes to the teacher who paints / chalks a mark on his hands. Then he goes to a place decided by the teacher and starts a chain.
The other pupils try to rescue the pupils who have been touched by breaking the chain without being caught.
– Continue until all the children have been caught.
– The teacher can personalize the activity by adding cats or replacing the first ones with other cats during the game.
– At the end, gather all the children together.
– Get them to count up the coloured marks on their hands.
– Question the children: What do these marks represent? (Germs.) How did they get there? (Touching the animal.)
– Establish that the marks are like the germs carried by a strange animal which are passed on to us when we stroke it.
– Take the children to wash their hands. (Optional link with hand washing sequence in Personal Hygiene)
– All together, conclude that even if a strange animal is very sweet, we don’t know it and it could be living anywhere, eating anything, and could have many germs and diseases.
– Insist on the need for thorough personal hygiene (especially hand washing) after any contact with a strange animal.
– Emphasize that we must disinfect any animal bite or scratch and have it checked.
7- ARE YOU AN EXPERT ON HYGIENE WITH PETS ?
Test hygiene behaviour with a pet.
Material: Hygiene and Pets Worksheets Number 3
Time: 15 minutes
– Give out the sheet and do the test.
– All together, answer the questions.
– Go over again those hygiene practices with pets which were not obvious.
8- MASKS ON !
Consolidate knowledge of hygiene with pets.
– Cardboard plates
– Newspaper, crepe paper
– Glue, adhesive tape
– Rubber bands
– Suggest that the children make masks of their favourite animal.
– First make a pattern, to be sure that the masks will fit:
Take a sheet of exercise paper. Fold in two.
Put the fold against the centerline of the face.
Mark position of nose, mouth and eyes.
Cut out the marks.
Check that the holes fit each child’s face.
– Place the pattern over the underside of the cardboard plate.
– Cut out eyes, nose and mouth.
– Soak the plate in water for one or two minutes.
– Drain the plate and mold it by placing it over the face for a short while.
– Bend the rim under the chin and shape it by pinching the cardboard at the sides. Take the mask off and staple the folds.
– Make eyebrows, cheeks and nose with rolled newspaper. Affix with adhesive tape or glue.
– The nose can be made in several ways e.g:
Ball of newspaper for a round one ;
Cutout from an egg box for a more pointed one, etc
– The children can cut out the shape of the ears from the cardboard plate used for the mask, or from another plate and glue or staple them to the mask.
– Paint first the background (water gouache works well) and then the coloured areas: nose, cheekbones, eyebrows, around the eyes, etc
– The children can also stick bits of wool on their mask for their animal’s fur.
– Leave the masks to dry.
– While they are drying, each child writes down the 10 golden hygiene rules for their pet (e.g. “You will bath me regularly”. “You won’t forget to clean my food bowl”. “You will wash your hands after stroking me”, etc).
– When the masks are dry, fix rubber bands for the best fit.
– When all the masks are ready, each child presents his mask and golden rules to the class.
– Using the masks, the teacher can expand the activity, together with the pupils, by putting on a short play or small scenes on the theme of hygiene and pets, to be shown to parents and other children in the school.
9- ON OUR WAY TO NETOON LAND
By playing, evaluate pet hygiene knowledge.
– Board or large piece of paper, on which the teacher has drawn a route.
– Two hats or containers.
– 6 counters
Draw the route on a board or large sheet of paper with 60 squares (like snakes and ladders), including a start, and a finish in Netoon Land that can be drawn by the children.
Time: 45 minutes
– Divide the class into 6 teams of around 5 pupils.
– Before playing, each team thinks up 10 questions on hygiene with pets and 10 forfeits.
– Collect all the questions and forfeits. Put the questions in one hat and the forfeits in another.
– Explain the game to the children.
– The goal is to get to Netoon Land first.
– Start: each team has its own counter, placed before the start line. To start, each team must throw a 6. Their counter is then placed on square 1 and the dice re-thrown.
– Rules: like snakes and ladders.
– Two counters cannot occupy the same square. The second counter is put on the preceding square.
– Each time a team’s counter lands on a square, they pick a hygiene question out of the hat:
If they answer correctly, they can throw again.
If their answer is wrong, they pick from the other hat and pay the forfeit.
– Some squares do not have hygiene questions:
Squares 1, 7, 21, 27, 33 and 45. A Buurki hideout: you can’t stay there!. The counter is placed on the preceding square.
Squares 3, 20, 31, 39, 46 and 51. Check-up at the vet’s: miss a turn. If the number thrown goes beyond one of these squares, come back to the check-up and miss two turns.
Square 9. A gush of purified water carries you away. Go straight to square 14.
Square 12. Your dog is hungry. Miss a turn while you feed him and clean his bowl.
Square 28. Is your cat healthy? You have forgotten to have it vaccinated! Do not advance more than two squares on your next turn.
Square 32. A naughty rabbit has slipped into your bed and left lots of fur. Miss a turn while you clean up the mess.
Square 39. Flea infestation risk. Remember to put a flea collar on your dog and move on to square 46.
Squares 47, 48 and 49. It’s a long time since you last changed Posy’s litter tray and washed Smokey’s cushion! Go back before the counter behind you and take time to learn a little hygiene lesson.
Square 43. Hector the Saint Bernard picked up a tick, playing on a mountain path. Move one square only on your next turn, to give you time to take it out while he is asleep.
Square 52. Your dog’s bath day! Miss a turn while you give him a good shampoo.
Squares 24, 34, 40 and 57. Netoons show you how to give your hands a good wash after any contact with an animal. You miss a turn, but since you are their friend they let you advance 5 squares on your next turn.
– Netoon Land: no border checks! You don’t have to throw an exact number to finish.
10- HYGIENE AND PETS EXHIBITION
– Consolidate knowledge of hygiene with pets.
– Make other pupils and parents aware of the importance of good hygiene with pets.
– Papier affiche de différentes couleurs, feuilles de dessin grand format
– Feutres, peintures…
– Magazines à découper…
– Suggest that the children put on a Hygiene and Pets exhibition.
– List the various exhibits (posters, captions, drawings, photos, etc).
– Share out the tasks among small groups.
– Each group should highlight one aspect of hygiene with pets:
Pets as germ carriers (its belongings, the pet itself)
Their pet and other people’s
How to behave with a pet (clean anything it uses and follow a specific hygiene routine)
Parts of the house to look out for (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom)
– L’eThe exhibition should demonstrate the need for good hygiene with pets, and how to achieve it.
– The teacher can personalize the exhibition by asking the children to invent an imaginary pet, and show how they would look after it.
– Show the exhibition to the school so other pupils and parents are made aware that hygiene with pets is important for health.
11- IF I WERE A PET…
Consolidate knowledge of hygiene with pets.
Time: 45 minutes
– Proposer aux enfants de rédiger une petite histoire (d’une dizaine de lignes) sur le thème suivant- ” Suggest that the children write a short story (about ten lines) on the theme “All of a sudden, I turned into a pet… “.
– Provide the children with a framework for the story:
Beginning, when the child is a human,
Trigger that leads the child to turn into a pet,
Description of the child’s life as a pet,
– The child’s life as a pet should include details of hygienic behaviour with animals, giving the pet a chance to put across its own point of view. At least 3 essential rules for hygiene with pets should be covered.