Our hands are naturally covered by useful bacteria. However, we can pick up harmful microbes from the things we touch. Hand hygiene is possibly the single most effective way of reducing and preventing the spread of these microbes and any associated infection.

Schools and community groups are a relatively crowded and closed environment where microbes can spread easily and rapidly from child to child via direct contact or via surfaces. Effective hand washing has been shown to reduce absenteeism rates in schools.

This lesson plan supports students to see how microbes can spread from hand to hand, why thorough hand washing with soap is so important for infection prevention, and how to wash hands effectively.

Learning Outcomes:

  • All students will:
  • Understand that infection can be spread through unclean hands
  • Understand that handwashing can prevent the spread of infection
  • Understand when and how to wash hands
  • Most students will:
  • Understand why we should use soap to wash our hands
  • Understand that washing hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of microbes

Activities Include:

  • Main Activities:
  • Healthy Hands
  • What Have We Missed?
  • Extension Activities:
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • Hand Hygiene Quiz
  • Hand Washing Sequencing

Curriculum Links:

    • Health and prevention
  • Science:
    • Working scientifically
    • Living things and their habitats
    • Animals, including humans
  • English:
    • Reading and comprehension
    • Writing
  • Design & Technology:
    • Cooking and nutrition
  • Art & Design:
    • Painting
    • Recording observations