The 'germ' and other household pests
Knowledge of a germ and those items and pests that carry them can help the germ (also commonly known among others, as bacteria, pests, and parasites) from spreading.
A germ is living matter than can grow and develop. There are specific germs that are beneficial to man such as mold and penicillin but the ones that make man sick are the ones that for the most part are preventable with proper/clean maintenance.
- Have student volunteers help with a demonstration. Have one student dip his/her fingertips in a greasy substance such as butter, oil, peanut butter or zinc oxide which shows up better. Have the student touch a variety of things -- a cup, chair, countertop, utensils and a piece of paper. Have a second student try washing off the surface with just a water-moistened rag. Discuss the results and then have the student wipe off the objects with a rag moistened with soapy water. Discuss these results--especially with paper.
Note: Germs are spread by the three Fs: food, fingers, and feces.
Discuss with the students:
- What is a germ?
- How do they spread?
- Do we always see or feel them?
- Does plain water get rid of them?
- Can we always get rid of them? (paper)
- Where germs are and why we need to worry about them.
- Ask students to recall the last time they washed their hands. Discuss.
Note: Hospital studies show that more disease is spread by unwashed hands than by breathing, coughing, or even sneezing on others.
- Ask students what are some other carriers of germs besides the fingers? If available, show overheads of household pests. Discuss their characteristics plus control measures. Encourage sharing of students' personal experiences.