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Healthy, Happy Me


Students will learn about germs and how they spread. They will learn the proper steps to hand washing and preventing the spreading of germs.


Germ Detective Activity

  • Glogerm gel
  • UV light

Slim Goodbody Activity

Germ Busters Activity

Nutrition Part I Activity

Nutrition Part II Activity

Additional Resources


  • I Know How We Fight Germs (Sam's Science), by Kate Rowan and Katharine McEwen; ISBN 0-439-20710-X
  • Germs Make Me Sick!, by Melvin Berger; ISBN 0-06-445154-2
  • Germs! Germs! Germs!, by Bobbi Katz; ISBN 0-590-67295-9
  • Eating Healthy Foods, by Anne G. Jones; ISBN 0-8136-2882-2
  • Gregory,the Terrible Eater, by Mitchell Sharmat; ISBN 0-590-43350-4
  • Bread and Cereal, by C. Klingel and R. B. Noyed; ISBN 0-8368-3055-5
  • Fats and Sweets, by C. Klingel and R. B. Noyed; ISBN 0-8368-3056-3
  • Fruit, by C. Klingel and R. B. Noyed; ISBN 0-8368-3057-1
  • Meat, by C. Klingel and R. B. Noyed; ISBN 0-8368-3058-X
  • Milk and Cheese, by C. Klingel and R. B. Noyed; ISBN 0-8368-3059-8
  • Vegetables, by C. Klingel and R. B. Noyed; ISBN 0-8368-3060-1
  • The Edible Pyramid, by Loreen Leedy; ISBN 0153143487


Background for Teachers

Germs spread very easily. The spreading of germs can be reduced through proper hand washing habits. The steps for proper hand washing are:

  1. wet hands with warm running water;
  2. use soap;
  3. wash vigorously for 10-20 seconds;
  4. rinse;
  5. dry with a single use towel or hot air dryer; and
  6. turn off faucet with paper towel.

Hands should always be washed before preparing food and eating meals and snacks, after using the toilet, playing with animals, coughing, sneezing, wiping your nose, and handling money.

The best way to get complete nutrition is to eat a wide variety of foods. The food we eat is fuel for our bodies and gives us energy to work and play. Recommended daily servings for children are milk group: 2-4 servings; meat group: 2 servings; vegetable group: 3 servings; fruit group: 2 servings; bread group: 6 servings; and fats and sweets: use sparingly.

Intended Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a positive learning attitude.
4. Develop physical skills and personal hygiene.

Instructional Procedures

Invitation to Learn

Germ Detective Activity
To peak students’ interest in being a germ detective, apply a small circle of glogerm gel to hands. Have the students rub in the gel. Let them hold their hands under the UV light to show them where the germs are on their hands. Have students wash their hands with soap and water and challenge them to wash all the germs away. Check their hands under the UV light again to see if there are areas that are not washed properly, paying close attention to nails and in between fingers. Ask the students, “Do you still have germs on your hands? Let’s learn how to be germ busters. Last week we learned how to attack plaque. This week we will learn how to be germ busters.”

Instructional Procedures

Germs are everywhere—not just on hands.

  1. Preview and then show the Slim Goodbody’s Germ Invaders—Beat the Cold War video. Create a purpose for learning by asking the children to look for the following things in the movie:
    • What makes the boy sick? (germs)
    • How do most germs get into your body? (your hands)
  2. After the movie, discuss these points and any other observations or “favorite parts” they may have.
    • What parts of your body do your hands touch to let the germs in? (mouth, nose, eyes)
    • What does the school nurse say is a good way to fight germs? (wash your hands)
  3. Students practice drawing the picture clues for the proper hand washing steps in their Healthy Habits Journal. Begin by having students trace one of their hands. On the thumb, draw a stream of running water. On the pointer finger, draw soap. On the middle finger, draw a clock to remind them how much time they need to take to wash their hands. They can count to 20 or sing their ABC’s. On the ring finger, draw water to represent rinsing. On the pinkie finger, draw a paper towel. This provides student practice before the assessment centers.
  4. Ask the students think about if they remembered to brush their teeth twice a day over the weekend. Have them respond in their Healthy Habits Journal. Tell students that tonight they need to work on brushing their teeth properly and washing their hands properly. Explain that we are learning good habits that we need to be healthy people. We will write about these two things in our Healthy Habits Journal tomorrow.

Germ Busters

  1. Students will make reflections and self assessment in their Healthy Habits Journal about brushing their teeth and washing their hands.
  2. Students practice sneezing and coughing into a sleeve and a tissue like they saw in the “Invaders” movie. The students will make a “germ catcher.” Cut a 12” x 18” piece of construction paper in half horizontally to create a 6” x 18” piece of paper. Fold the sides in to make three sections. These will be the arms. The children will trace their hands and cut them out and glue them one on each end (sleeve). Cut out a circle and glue it on the top center section for the head. The square space in the middle is the body. A paper will be glued there for the students to write/draw on for the assessment at the end of the activity.
  3. Tell the students that tonight they are going to continue their challenge of creating healthy habits—brushing their teeth, washing their hands, and catching germs in a sleeve or tissue. We will write about all of these things tomorrow in our journal.

Nutrition—Part I

  1. The students reflect/write in the Healthy Habits Journal.
  2. Do a shared reading with The Edible Pyramid. Prepare a large food pyramid with different colors to block out each of the six parts of the pyramid. Pass out food picture cards to each of the children. As you read the book, stop and build the pyramid. Add the color block as you talk about each food group and have the children come up and add their food cards to the appropriate group at the appropriate time.
  3. Explain that we have smart bodies. If we fall and skin our knee, our body will heal itself if we have practiced good habits to keep it healthy. Ask, “What things can we do to keep our body healthy?” List student responses on chart paper. They should include:
    • Brush your teeth.
    • Wash your hands to keep germs out of your body.
    • Eat healthy foods.
    • Sneeze or cough in a sleeve.
    • Get enough sleep.
    • Exercise your body.
    • Drink plenty of water.
  4. Tear a piece of paper in half. Tell the students this paper is not smart like our bodies are. Set a piece of fruit on it. “Even though I am giving it good food, it cannot heal or fix itself like our bodies can. The food cannot heal the paper. That is why it is so important for us eat healthy food and practice healthy habits.”
  5. Remind students to work on all the healthy habits we have learned about tonight to add to their journal tomorrow.

Nutrition—Part II

  1. Review the information learned from the previous shared reading lesson through the following shared writing activity. The children toss a bean bag onto a food pyramid chart to select a food group to work with. Then give examples of things they ate yesterday or that they like to eat that belong in that specific food group.
  2. Use a food pyramid pocket chart or a pyramid previously drawn on chart paper for the following poem.

____________, _____________,
_____________ too.
Smart kids know
these are good for you.

  1. Allow students to help you write and/or sound spell the words to complete the poem.
  2. Repeat as time allows until they have created at least one poem from each food group. If time allows, create additional poems starting with the food groups that require the most servings. Students use these food words to help them spell words in their own journal.
  3. Students reflect/write in their Healthy Habits Journal.
  4. Play the Healthy, Happy Me game as a class to review for the assessment centers tomorrow. Use the big game board and foam die. Roll a number and move along the board, reviewing the concepts in the game.
  5. Remind students about the healthy habits they are going to be working on tonight (see above).


  • Physical Education: Food Group Relay Game
    Divide the students into teams. The goal of each team is to make a "plate" of a variety of healthy foods that a child would eat in a day. Emphasize the importance of food being fuel for the body. We need a variety of healthy foods to work and play everyday. Start by having teams stand on one end of the gym behind their team's food plate. A large amount of food cards will be spread out on the floor or taped to the wall on the opposite end of the gym. Each team member takes a turn running to the opposite end of the gym and taking a food card to bring back to their team "plate." Every team is a winner when their food serving "plate" is complete with the suggested amount of servings from each food group.

    Another way to play this game is to have a large food pyramid (paper poster or pocket chart) posted at one end of the gym and have teams fill it with the proper number of servings from each group with food picture cards.
  • Make a class book modeled after the Be Happy Be Healthy book published by the United Health Foundation. Have each student draw and/or write something s/he can do to be healthy and happy. Bind the book and add it to your class library.
  • Students practice math skills by using food picture cards to create patterns.
  • Make a math connection with the food pyramid as an extension of the shared writing activity using tally marks to equal the number of suggested servings for each group. You can also practice symbols and equations with the same activity (1+1+1+1, etcÂ…)
  • Ask the school nutritionist to visit your class and explain how s/he plans school lunches and discuss a career in this field.
  • Trace around each child on a big sheet of paper or use an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet with a body traced on it. Have each child color his/her face. Cut out and glue pictures of food items from each food group onto their paper figure.

Family Connections

  • Students share their knowledge of the five basic food groups to their family by explaining what they have learned as they put their food pyramid puzzle together.
  • Students take home a Healthy, Happy Me Game Board to play with their family.

Assessment Plan


  • Self-assessment check-off list for the week in their journal (see instructional procedure for details)
  • Assessment centers set up on the last day of the unit where students demonstrate knowledge of
    1. proper teeth brushing,
    2. food groups,
    3. proper hand washing, and
    4. catching germs.

Healthy Habits Assessment Centers

Brushing Teeth

  • 6 plastic teeth molds or large teeth model
  • Toothbrushes

Students demonstrate proper brushing techniques by modeling for the teacher or a parent volunteer on a model of teeth.

Food Group Pyramid Puzzle

Students have a blank food pyramid. They draw in foods from each group and write the number of servings they should eat from each group each day. Cut the pyramid on the thick, dark lines to turn it into a puzzle. Put it in an envelope to take home.

Hand Washing

  • Water/sink
  • Paper

Students demonstrate washing their hands to an adult using the five steps they have learned. Then trace their hand on a blank white piece of paper and draw the five steps.

“Germ Catcher/Healthy Me” Writing Assessment

Students draw and/or write ways they can “catch” their own germs, not spread germs, and keep their body healthy enough to fight off germs. Students should include some or all of the following: washing hands often, sneezing and coughing into a sleeve, drinking plenty of water, exercising their body, brushing their teeth, eating a variety of good foods.


Research Basis

Ukrainetz, T.A., Cooney, M.H., Dyer, S.K., Kysar, A.J., Harris, T.J. (2000). An Investigation into Teaching Phonemic Awareness through Shared Reading and Writing. Early
Childhood Research Quarterly
, 15(3), p331-55.

This article examined the impact of teaching phonemic awareness by embedding sound talk within meaningful literacy experiences of shared reading and writing in small groups of 5 and 6 year olds. It found that this instruction led to gains in phonemic awareness compared to no treatment.

Button, K., Johnson, M. (1997). The Role of Shared Reading in Developing Effective Early Reading Strategies. Reading Horizons, 37(4), p262-73.

This article explains that shared reading uses a familiar text to help children engage in the act of reading even before they can independently decode words. It describes how it works in a kindergarten classroom within a balanced literacy curriculum and the teacher’s role in its effective use.

Taberski, S. (1998). Motivating Readers, Give Shared Reading the Attention it Deserves. Instructor, 107(7), 32-35.

Shared reading lets elementary teachers show children what reading is about. Teachers read the text aloud and encourage students to read along. All levels of readers can participate.

Created: 09/06/2005
Updated: 02/05/2018