Lesson Plan

4th Grade Germs

In this lesson students will learn about how germs spread.
Whitney K.
Classroom teacher
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My Grades 4
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • Students will identify ways that germs can enter their body
  • Students will recognize how their bodies defend themselves from germs.
  • Students will be able to explain the difference between infectious diseases and noninfectious diseases.
Grades 4
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Engage

Day 1

  • ENGAGE: Nearpod activity
    • Introduction (five minutes)
      • Today we are going to start talking about germs.
      • Can anyone tell me what germs are?
      • What do they do?
      • Where do they exist?
  • ENGAGE- 10-15 Minutes

2 Explore

Activity: Exploring

Day 1 (After Engage)

  • EXPLORE: The students will investigate germs by viewing bread under various sanitary conditions. (25 minutes)
    • Introduction:
      • Last time we talked about the germiest places. One way to help protect ourselves from germs that can enter our body is by washing our hands or using hand sanitizer. Today we are going to start an experiment to see how effective washing your hands really is.
      • We are going to explore how effective or ineffective hand washing is with bread that we will leave here over spring break.
      • Each group will be given three pieces of bread.
      • Each group member will have a chance to touch each piece of the bread for 20 seconds while someone in the group uses their iPad to time each member.
        • For the first piece, each member will touch the bread without washing your hands.
        • For the second piece each group will wash their hands in the back sink with soap and water.
        • For the final piece, each member will use one squirt of hand sanitizer to clean their hands
      • When each member has touched the piece of bread you will put it in your baggy and label which piece it is. For instance this one I touched without washing my hands so on the baggy I will put each group members initials and then without washing
      • Then as a group, you will have to decide where you are going to place your baggies, and whether or not you would like to get your bread a little damp to see if this makes your experiment vary from other groups.
    • Body:
      • As a class we will talk about what might be important or affect their experiment.
      • Students will then be given time to complete the experiment
    • Conclusion:

3 Explain

Day 2:

  • EXPLAIN: The students will be asked to take right-brain, left-brain notes throughout the lecture on Notability.
    • 20 Minutes
    • Introduction:
      • Our bodies have many ways to protect ourselves from harmful bacteria. Remember last week when we did our experiment with the bread?
      • Let’s check on it to see if anything has happened yet. When you get your baggies. I want you to only look through the bag, do not open the baggies
      • The students and teacher will then discuss how some groups grew more mold than others and what questions they have because of it.
    • Body:
      • There are some diseases that can be spread from living thing to living thing these are called infectious diseases. They are caused by pathogens. Pathogens can be a microorganism, virus, or a protein that causes disease.We tend to give a more general name to pathogens and bacteria, germs.  
      • Your body has several self defense systems in place to help protect you from harmful pathogens. These defenses make up your immune system.  Can you think of any?
      • Your skin is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your body. You can compare your skin to the plastic baggy, saran wrap, or the container you put your lunch in to bring it to school. You use that to protect your lunch from getting dirty and your skin protects you from harmful bacteria in the same way. Your skin has anti-bacterial chemicals in it that work to kill all of the harmful bacteria.  
      • One way that you body protects itself is through tears. Did you know there are different types of tears?
        • The first are Basal tears. These help protect your eyes from harmful bacteria. Basal tears are the tears that are always in your eyes. This is the thin layer of liquid that is always covering your eyes and makes it so that bacteria can’t stick to the surface of your eye. There is a special protein in basal tears that then helps kill the bad bacteria.
        • The next is Reflex tears. These are very similar to basal tears. Your body produces reflex tears when something foreign enters your eyes such as dust, onion vapors, or even an eyelash. The reason is your eye wants to get rid of whatever is irritating it!
        • The final type of tears are emotional tears. These tears have a different chemical makeup because they serve a different purpose. They aren’t made to protect your eyes, but instead release hormones which will help you to feel calmer. So crying can be a good thing!
        • http://lookafteryoureyes.org/how-your-eyes-work/about-your-eyes/tears/
      • Another is your saliva
        • Saliva, like tears have a chemical that also break down bacteria and other pathogens before they can make you sick.
      • Even the little hairs in your nose and ears are a way that your body protects itself from harmful pathogens.
      • The mucous in your nose  also help to protect you. Pathogens and even dust get trapped in the mucous so then when you blow your nose or sneeze your body will get rid of the pathogens that will make you sick. That is why it is important to cover your sneezes and coughs as well as blow your nose when it is runny. This will help prevent others from getting sick!
      • Finally your blood has white blood cells to help protect you from getting sick. The white blood cells are your body’s last defense mechanism. They come in to help after the pathogen enters your body.
    • There is also another type of disease that isn’t spread from one person to another which is called a noninfectious disease. Examples of noninfectious diseases include: most cancers and heart disease.
      • noninfectious diseases can be caused by genetic disorders, smoking, lack of activity, or a high-fat diet. By avoiding habits that might be harmful to your body, you can sometime prevent noninfectious diseases.

4 Extend

Activity: Conversing

Day 2 (after explain)

    • Lesson/Activities:Discuss professions where people are at high risk for coming in contact with diseases (15 minutes)
    • Introduction:
      • There are some jobs where someone might come into contact with disease more often than other jobs.
        • What might some of those jobs be?
        • What do people who work in those jobs do to help keep disease from spreading?
        • What might they wear?
        • Are any of your parents in a position where they need to take extra precautions not to get sick? Are you considering doing something where you might have to be careful not to get a disease?

5 Evaluate

Activity: Creating

Day 3

    • Conclusion/Assessment:  
    • ( 30 minutes)
      • Introduction:
        •  Last time we met, we discussed how our body protects itself from pathogens and bacteria that is harmful to our bodies.
        • Your name
        • A title
        • I would like you to include at least four of the defense mechanisms that our body has and explain how they protect our body.
        • Let’s list all of them again to make sure that everyone has at least four listed:
          • skin
          • tears
          • saliva
          • hair inside your nose and ears
          • mucous
          • blood
      • An appropriate drawing that illustrates the parts of the immune system that you have chosen.
      • At least one way that you can help prevent the spread of disease.
      • You will be assessed based on your posters so make sure that you follow the criteria and do your best work.