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Hygiene Potato Graphs

Main Core Tie

Health Education - 3rd Grade

Time Frame

6 class periods of 15 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Social & Civic Responsibility




Students will discuss the importance of hygiene. They will conduct a science experiment with potatoes. Students will graph the results of their study.



  • Sample_Worksheet.pdf
    This is the pdf of the sample Hygiene Potato Graph worksheet.
  • Worksheet.pdf
    Here is the pdf version of the Hygiene Potato Graph Worksheet. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this worksheet. You can download the free software by visiting the Adobe Acrobat Web Site.

  • Hygiene Potato Graph worksheet (attached)
  • 1 pair rubber gloves (wear while peeling the potatoes so that no germs touch the potato during the peeling process)
  • 3 potatoes peeled
  • 3 zip shut baggies

Background for Teachers


Teachers should be aware of the Scientific Method. The following web sites are excellent resources:

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will understand the importance of washing hands, how easily germs can spread, and the importance of not touching another person's body fluids/blood.

Instructional Procedures

The teacher may choose to lead the Hygiene Discussion before or after the experiment depending on the classroom environment.


Students will watch as the teacher peels 3 potatoes. The teacher will explain that rubber gloves are being worn so that no germs will touch the potatoes.

The first potato will go into a baggie as is. (control group)

The second potato will be passed around the class. Have students look at it closely to see if they can see any germs. They can look for dirty spots or other identifying marks. The purpose is for the potato to be exposed to many hands and many germs. This detail should not be brought up to students at this point however.

The second potato will be put into a baggie after all students have handled it sufficiently.

The students should all wash their hands AFTER they have touched the 2nd potato, but BEFORE they touch the 3rd potato. After students have washed their hands, they will pass around the 3rd potato in the same manner.

The third potato will finally be put into a baggie.

Students will fill out the "Hypothesis - Make A Guess" section of the worksheet. The teacher could choose to have students work independently or in cooperative groups.

Next, students fill out the DAY ONE section for "Observations -Take a look;  Data - Write it down; and Graphs - Make it a picture.

For Days 2-6 students will observe and fill out the appropriate days on their worksheets. At the end of the last day students will discuss and fill out the "Conclusions - Decide what it means" section of the worksheet.


The teacher should decide at which point in the lesson the Hygiene Discussion should take place. As a whole group, students should be led in a discussion about proper hand washing, how germs are spread (body fluids i.e.. saliva, mucus, blood), and why it is important not to touch other people's body fluid. They should be led to the conclusion that washing hands is the best way to stay germ-free.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Cooperative learning groups and peer buddies would help meet the needs of students with different abilities in this activity.

Assessment Plan

During discussion students will be observed for participation and for appropriate responses. The discussion should continue until the teacher can observe that students understand the concepts being taught.

The Hygiene Potato Graph rubric can be used for the experiment.


Created: 07/22/2002
Updated: 01/15/2020