K-5 Hand Hygiene Lesson Plans and Worksheets

Female hands using hand sanitizer gel pump dispenser

These lessons have been created for grades k-5 to teach proper hand hygiene and its importance. Smart and fun-loving character CLEAN GENE helps educators lead kids through memorable learning activities.

Lesson 1: CLEAN GENE’s Germ-a-palooza

Objective of the lesson: CLEAN GENE invites students to develop vocabulary words relating to germs.

Have students complete the crossword puzzle and a word hunt, alone or in groups.

Materials: CLEAN GENE crossword puzzle and CLEAN GENE Word Hunt”puzzle


Lesson 2: The CLEAN GENE Glitter Be Gone Wash Up

Objective of the lesson: CLEAN GENE will help children learn how germs are spread. They will also learn that they must wash their hands for a full 20 seconds to more thoroughly clean them of germs. All proper handwashing techniques will be reinforced.

  • Have children coat their hands with petroleum jelly. Sprinkle glitter on children’s hands.
  • Demonstrate how germs spread by letting children touch objects in the room, such as the desks, toys, doors, each other. Explain that germs are like the glitter
  • Next, explain that it takes scrubbing time to get rid of germs on hands. 20 seconds is the recommended amount of time…about the length of two choruses of Happy Birthday.
  • Let children wash their hands. Stop at 10, 30 and 60 seconds to demonstrate the cleaning improvement with added scrubbing time.
  • Review the rest of the handwashing poster available with this program

Materials: Glitter and petroleum jelly.

K-5 Hand hygiene lesson plans and worksheets lesson 2

Lesson 2


Lesson 3: Hands Up! CLEAN GENE lends a hand in fighting germs

Objective of the lesson: With help from CLEAN GENE’s project, children will learn to apply instant hand sanitizer over all the surfaces of the hand to kill germs. NOTE: Could be adapted to handwashing.

  • Have children fold the paper in half like a book and trace their hands with one edge on the fold.
  • Cut along the outline, except at the fold. Open the paper at the fold line so it makes a pair of hands.
  • Have children mark all the places germs hide on hands – fingertips, fingernails, backs of hands, palms of hands. Add the message: “Give me a hand with fighting germs. Wash well!”
  • Demonstrate how instant hand sanitizer has to cover all those surfaces to kill germs. Use the poster available with this lesson plan.
  • Pin the hands on a bulletin board or add yarn for a mobile. Or spread the word to parents and family about hand hygiene (instead of germs!). Send the project home with further information on hand hygiene available with this program.

Materials: 8.5 x 11 paper, markers or crayons, scissors

K-5 Hand hygiene lesson plans and worksheets lesson 3

Lesson 3


Lesson 4: CLEAN GENE’s Germfighters Hit Parade 

Objective of the lesson: Sing along with CLEAN GENE! Children will learn to wash hands for a full 20 seconds to more thoroughly clean them of germs. All proper handwashing techniques will be reinforced.

  • Children are reminded that handwashing requires 20 seconds of scrubbing. Use the poster available with this lesson plan to demonstrate proper hygiene.
  • Children write their own words to “Happy Birthday” that have to do with germ-fighting. For example: “Germy hands are no fun. Send the germs on the run. Wash for 20 full seconds. And the job will be done.”
  • Write new lyrics for other familiar songs about 20 seconds long, such as She’ll be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain (2X), Row, Row, Row Your Boat (2x), and My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean (1X). Here’s an example, using Row, Row, Row Your Boat:

Germs, germs on your hands.
Touch me and they spread.
From friends to toys to food it goes.
Let’s stop ‘em dead instead.
Wash, wash, wash your hands
Clean Gene shows you how.
Scrubbity, scrubbity, scrubbity, scrub.
Germs are history now.

Materials: Paper, markers or crayons

K-5 Hand hygiene lesson plans and worksheets lesson 4

Lesson 4

Lesson 5: CLEAN GENE’s Ultimate Cough Cover-Up

Objective of the lesson: “It’s good to share – just not germs,” says CLEAN GENE. In this lesson, he helps children learn how to cover a cough with a tissue and other steps for good cough etiquette.

  • Have children draw a full-size self portrait on the full sheet of paper.
  • Have children trace their hand on the half sheet of paper.
  • Glue the palm of the hand below the mouth on the self-portrait, leaving the fingers loose.
  • Glue a tissue onto the fingers so that they cover the cough.
  • Use the cough etiquette poster to explain proper cough and sneeze hygiene.

Materials: 1 1/2 sheets of paper, Markers or crayons, Scissors, Glue, Facial tissue

K-5 Hand hygiene lesson plans and worksheets lesson 5

Lesson 5

Lesson 6: CLEAN GENE’s Great Germ Zoom In

Objective of the lesson: With CLEAN GENE’s help, children will learn that there are many varieties of germs.

Show the “What Are Germs?” coloring sheet and explain that this is what germs look like when seen through a microscope.
Explain that germs are tiny living organisms that can’t be seen with our eyes and that cause disease. Mention that two of the most common types of germs that make us sick are viruses and certain bacteria.
Discuss the fact that germs can be found virtually everywhere.
Distribute coloring sheets and have children color them in. Invite children to also draw some germs based on what they have learned.

Materials: “What are germs?” Coloring Sheet, Crayons and Paper.

Lesson 7: CLEAN GENE Points a Finger at Germs

Objective of the lesson: By making germ finger puppets, students learn that there are germs on their hands that could cause sickness. CLEAN GENE reminds students that proper hand hygiene gets rid of germs.

  • Using the provided template, let children construct germ character finger puppets.
  • Let each child to show his or her puppet(s) to the class, describing its characteristics.
  • When students have finished, have them rub their hands together, as though they’re washing their hands or using instant hand sanitizer. The puppets will fall off, demonstrating how good hand hygiene cleans hands of germs.

Materials: Finger Germs puppet template, scissors, glue and stapler

Lesson 8: CLEAN GENE’s Germ Search 

Objective of the lesson: Where do germs live? And how do we get rid of them? This Clean Gene activity helps students understand that germs can be anywhere.

  • Use the CLEAN GENE’s Germ Search activity sheet with the class to discuss where germs can be found.
  • Note the products that help get rid of germs – antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. Review proper hand hygiene procedures.
  • Pass out the activity sheets. Tell children to circle things that may have germs on them and color the objects that help get rid of germs.

Materials: CLEAN GENE’s Germ Search Activity Sheet and pencils or crayons.

Lesson 9: CLEAN GENE’s Ten Little Germs

Objective of the lesson: With a fun craft activity and singing game, CLEAN GENE helps children learn how germs collect on hands and how proper hand hygiene can get rid of germs.

  • Have the children make “Germ Necklaces” by stringing 15-20 pieces of dried macaroni or plastic beads on to yarn, leaving 18 to 20 inches of yarn to slide the macaroni or beads along.
  • Once the necklaces are complete, use the Ten Little Germs Script and “Ten Little Germs” Song to remind children how sneezing puts germs on hands, and how proper hand hygiene eliminates germs. Reinforce proper sneezing/coughing etiquette and proper hand hygiene techniques.

Materials: Ten Little Germs Script, Yarn, Dried macaroni or plastic beads

Lesson 10: Once Upon a CLEAN GENE

Objective of the lesson: CLEAN GENE tells the rhyming tale to help children identify times when hand hygiene is a good habit to practice.

  • Read the poem.
  • Follow up with questions about where CLEAN GENE picked up germs.
  • Review proper hand hygiene.

Materials: CLEAN GENE poem

Lesson 11: CLEAN GENE’s Terrible Case of GermBug

Objective of the lesson: CLEAN GENE tells his own story of getting sick to help children understand where he could have picked up the germs that made him ill.

  • Tell students that they will hear a story about the day CLEAN GENE got a sickness called GermBug.
  • Explain that as the story is told, they should raise their hands whenever they hear about a time when CLEAN GENE could have picked up the germs that cause GermBug.
  • At the end, the story reviews where CLEAN GENE picked up germs and how he could have avoided the problem. The story also triggers a review of proper hand hygiene and sneeze/cough etiquette.

Materials: CLEAN GENE’s Terrible Case of GermBug story and Optional Sock puppet and other props to tell the story

 Important note: All these lessons plans were taken from gojo.com (Original post)

None found.