Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Invisible Neighbors

Cathy Burgess
Bay District Schools


Students understand how keeping the body clean is important for maintaining good health. They demonstrate the importance of washing hands and identify everyday good health and hygiene habits.


The student knows and practices good personal health habits.

The student recognizes that decisions about personal behavior may be healthy or unhealthy (eg., obeying pedestrian rules).


-Wet wipes
-Paper towel
-Water from a sink
-Happy, Healthy Me science journal
-[Germs Make Me Sick!], Berger, Harper-Collins, 1995
-Spray bottle with water
-Chart paper
-Songs "When You Have to Sneeze" and "Scrub-a-Dub", [Busy Kids: Song And Rhyme Preschool-Kindergarten], The Education Center, 1999 (see Associated File)
-Chalkboard or black bulletin board paper


1. Gather wet wipes (2 per child), soap, and paper towels.
2. Chart paper and markers (1 package any color)
3. Spray bottle with water
4. Class needs access to a sink or water if one is not available in the classroom.
5. Have the book [Germs Make Me Sick]! ready to read.
6. Happy, Healthy Me science journal and pencil
7. Write songs on chart paper (see Associated File)
8. Duplicate songs (1 per student)
9. Chalkboard or black bulletin board paper


*This is lesson number 9, Day 11 in the Happy, Healthy Me unit.

1. Ask students to look at their hands. They are to predict whether their hands are clean or dirty. Have them write their predictions in their science journals on page seven. I think my hands are __________.

2. Have students wipe their hands with a wet wipe and check to see what materials collected on it. Have them record their observations in their science journals. My hands are actually______________. Have them keep the wet wipe on their desks for further observation.

3. Ask what are germs? Allow for student responses, then relate to them that germs are very small organisms that can make us sick. They are so tiny we canít see them. There are good germs and bad germs. Bacteria and viruses are two kinds of germs that can make us sick.

4. Read [Germs Make Me Sick]! Discuss how bacteria and viruses affect the human body and how the body fights them.

5. To help students understand how germs spread, spray water on the chalkboard (or spray water on a piece of black bulletin board paper) and explain that when we sneeze or cough, germs travel out of our noses and mouths just as water from the spray bottle traveled onto the chalkboard (black paper). Then somebody comes along and touches the same place and now the germ is on their hands. Letís say that personís eye itches and they rub their eye. Germs enter the body through the eye or the person could put his hands in his mouth. See how easy it is to spread germs?

6. Since germs are everywhere, it is important to practice cleanliness and make healthy decisions to reduce studentsí risk of experiencing germ-related sickness and diseases. One of the best ways to prevent germs from getting into our bodies is to wash our hands for two minutes with warm water, soap, and dry them with paper towels. Have students discuss all the ways we can prevent the spread of germs and record them on chart paper. (Taking a bath, drinking from the water fountain properly, flushing toilet, washing dishes and clothes, emptying the garbage can, throwing trash away, brushing teeth, sneezing etcÖ) Introduce and sing "When You Have to Sneeze" and "Scrub-a Dub." Talk about what they mean.

7. Remember earlier when students looked at their hands and predicted whether their hands were clean or dirty? What did they see on their wet wipes?

8. Now send (a few kids at a time) to wash their hands with soap and warm water and wipe them dry. Then wipe their hands again with a second wet wipe and have them record their findings. After I washed my hands, I found out__________________________.

9. Ask which wet wipe was cleaner? Why? Now ask students to make a journal entry to respond to this question. Why is it important to wash their hands regularly? Help students conclude that washing your hands regularly is a good health habit.


Assess the students' ability to know and practice good personal health habits and recognize that decisions about personal behavior may be healthy or unhealthy. Specifically the teacher is looking for a statement in the Happy, Healthy Me journal on good hygiene (hand washing), how it affects the body, and whether it is healthy or unhealthy.


1. Art center: Students can find pictures of items that can be used for good hygiene. Suggest they find pictures of different kinds of soap, bath items, shampoo, detergent for clothes and dishes. They can cut them out and glue them to a poster.

2. The teacher can also use a microscope to look at germs taken from the hands.

3. Have a stopwatch or clock with second hand. Have students pretend to wash their hands for the necessary two minutes. Then, they could discuss whether or not they usually wash their hands for that long.

4. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

Web Links

This website has information for teachers on germs and hygiene.
Health Smart

Attached Files

Attached are the two poems that go with this lesson.     File Extension: pdf

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