Lesson Plan Title : Getting Rid of Germs

Age Range:

Grade 3 through Grade 5 (Elementary School)

Overview and Purpose:

This is a good activity to do in the winter when students spend a lot of time indoors. It shows how easily viruses like the common cold can be passed. Be prepared though because getting rid of all the glitter afterward will take awhile!


The student will be able to

*identify how germs are spread.

*show how to correctly wash your hands to eliminate many germs.



Buckets of water (one for each group of three students)

Teacher created worksheet


Start the lesson by showing students pictures of germs. Talk about what they do and how your body fights them. Explain that if someone has a cold and touches their nose or mouth they spread those germs to their hands. Then the germs are easily spread to other surfaces and people.

Divide the class into groups of three. Explain that the glitter represents germs and one student in each group should sprinkle it on his hands and dump the excess off. He should then follow the directions on the worksheet for touching various surfaces and people. The group should track the results on the worksheet. The students should then try to wash the glitter from their hands and record their progress on the worksheet.

Come back together and discuss the activity.

Sample section of the worksheet:

1. After spreading the glitter on your hands touch your desk and record your observations.

2. Have another student in your group touch the desk where your hands were. Look at his hands and record your observations.

3. Shake hands with the third student. Look at his hands and record your observations.


Students might think that one or two pieces of glitter are too small to worry about. Explain that it does not take a lot of germs to make you sick, even one little organism can do the job. Students can expand this activity by researching and drawing a virus or doing a report on preventing the common cold.