Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mad Science - How Germs Spread!

So now that we're in the fourth week of school and I don't feel too much like a chicken with my head cut off, we are finally settling into a routine. I really hit the ground running with my kids this year. Our guided math and Daily 5 are in full swing, and with those both running smoothly I was finally able to start introducing science to our class.

Science has always been one of my favorite subjects to teach, particularly because of the experiments. My kids and I LOVE them! Our first unit in science is "What Makes Me Sick?" and we are learning all about germs.

Yes, germs can be disgusting and the kids love to share all of the gross background knowledge they have about them, but they can be really fun too! We started by talking about one of the number one ways that germs spread - by sneezing and coughing. 

I filled this spray bottle up with water, and we compared the germs that come out of our nose and mouth when we sneeze to the water in the bottle. After a quick discussion, we all practiced doing our best fake sneeze to talk about how the germs fly out of our mouths and onto something else. As the students practiced sneezing, I walked around and surprised them with a spray of water at the end of their ah-ah-achoo! Our room was filled with giggles and begs for "a little more sneeze please" because it was a hot day!

The next day, we talked about where those germs go that land on our hands after a sneeze. We used crushed up chalk/chalk dust to represent our germs.

Each table had a turn to come line up by our germs. 

I took out that same spray bottle from before, and sprayed everyone's hands with a little bit of water-just so our germs would stick!

Once their hands were wet, one student from the table pressed their hand down onto our pile of chalk dust. When they pulled their hand back and looked at it, it was covered in germs!

Once we moved past the laughter from our germ covered hands, our friend who had just dipped their hand in the chalk turned and shook hands with the person standing next to them. 

To everyone's surprise, the germs had transferred to the new student's hand! The room filled with ohh's and ahh's and lots of giggles.

From there, the new student shook another student's hand, and so on. We continued shaking hands until everyone at their table had been in contact with the germs. They pointed out that the first person to shake hands with our germ covered student had the most germs, while our last friend had very few, if any.

This was a fun and exciting way to get the kids talking about how germs can spread from one person to another. I was so happy with the conversations I heard happening at each table! It also lead to a nice discussion about how we can stay clean and healthy to protect ourselves from germs. I'll keep you posted as we learn more about what makes us sick!

Happy *almost* Friday!

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