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Germs! We’re here, there, everywhere!

My K-1 class dove into learning about germs in the past couple of weeks in order to become “experts” and present their learning at Chicago Friends School community health day.  Community health day is where each class teaches the others about some aspects of how to stay healthy. 

We began with an activity where, unbeknownst to the students, I fake sneezed into my hand and put sparkles on it.  I shook each students hand to welcome them onto the carpet.  “Eww, what is that?” said one student.  “There’s sparkles all over me!” gasped another.  I let the students know these sparkles represented “germs” and we began our investigation.  The class noticed how most of the students had sparkles on both hands and even on their clothing, although I only touched one of their hands.  This was a good concrete example to see how fast germs spread.  They walked around the classroom to look at other objects I had touched, a doorknob, marker etc. and they were surprised to find “germs” on them too!  We learned about they places that germs especially like to live and how to help prevent spreading germs.  The Buttons have been extra diligent about washing hands since this activity. 

Next, we did a science experiment with whole wheat bread.  We coughed on one piece, touched one with unwashed hands, touched one with freshly cleaned hands and left one untouched as the control.  After learning what we did about germs, we made a prediction that the “cough bread” would mold the fastest and the control would mold the slowest.  We are still awaiting results, but I am sure if you know a kindergartener or first grader, this child will keep you posted!

At community health day my students did an excellent job presenting and demonstrating all their findings to the rest of the school!  If your child has been concerned with washing their hands more, you can blame the K-1 students!

Meghan Brtnik

is a classroom teacher on the K-2 team. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Meghan was a substitute teacher at an international baccalaureate school in Toronto and at the Latin School of Chicago. She graduated from York University, Toronto, with a M.Ed. at the primary/junior level and completed an additional qualification course in special education. Meghan earned a B.A. from the University of Western Ontario in honors psychology, focusing on the psychological and social foundations in human behavior. In addition, Meghan has worked in a Montessori school, tutored students individually, and lived and worked at an all-girls boarding school.
For fun, Meghan loves traveling, trying out new restaurants, exploring new neighborhoods, swimming, reading, and walking.

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