Some microbes can be harmful to humans and can cause disease: the Influenza virus causes the flu (short for Influenza), Campylobacter bacteria can cause food poisoning and dermatophyte fungi, such as Trichophyton, can cause diseases such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. Microbes like these are known as pathogens.

Each microbe can make us ill in different ways. Many harmful microbes can pass from one person to another by a number of different routes – air, touch, water, food, aerosols (such as sneezes and water vapour), animals, etc. This is why hygiene is so important to protect from infection and illness.

This lesson plan supports students to understand that microbes can be harmful to humans, how these harmful microbes can grow, and what actions we can take to reduce the growth and spread of harmful microbes.

Learning Outcomes:

  • All students will:
  • Understand that sometimes microbes can make us ill
  • Understand that harmful microbes can pass from person to person
  • Understand that not all illnesses are caused by harmful microbes

Activities Include:

  • Starter Activity:
  • Class Discussion
  • Main Activity:
  • Mouldy Bread
  • Extension Activities:
  • Most Wanted Poster
  • Bad Bugs Challenge
  • True or False Flashcards
  • Harmful Microbes Quiz

Curriculum Links:

  • Science:
    • Working scientifically
    • Health and prevention
  • English:
    • Reading and comprehension