Storytime - Washing Your Hands

Read "My Hero is You" and learn about germs and the importance of washing your hands.

This workshop consists of two parts: a reading of the book "My Hero is You" by Helen Patuck followed by fun germ related activities! In this activity, students will learn about germs, how they spread and the importance of washing our hands as an effective way to prevent the spread of infections.

This virtual outreach activity is split into a pre-activity document - i.e., workshop overview and list of materials with preparation instructions for both the volunteer and educator and a PowerPoint presentation with presenter notes to help lead the workshop virtually.
 

What You Need

For the reading:

  • a copy of the book "My Hero is You" by Helen Patuck. You can find this book online in different languages here.

For the activities:

For Activity 1:

  • Bowl with water
  • Black pepper
  • Liquid soap
  • Paper towel, tissue or a regular towel

For Activity 2:

  • Bowl with water
  • Glitter
  • Soap
  • Paper towel, tissue or a regular towel

For Activity 3:

  • Pom poms - can be substituted with glitter, small pieces of paper or flour

Pre-Activity Document:

PowerPoint:

 

Safety Notes

Ensure you are familiar with Let's Talk Science's precautions with respect to safe delivery of virtual outreach to youth.

What To Do

Part A: "My Hero is You" by Helen Patuck

Part B: Doing the Activity

Activity 1:

  1. Fill the bowl ¾ of the way full with water and add a couple sprinkles of black pepper. The black pepper represents germs.
  2. Ask the students to put their finger in the bowl and note how the pepper sticks to their finger, then wipe the pepper off their finger.
  3. Ask the students to dip their finger in liquid soap and then put their finger in the bowl.
  4. Watch as the germs "run away" from the soap and cling to the side of the bowl!

Activity 2:

  1. Fill the bowl ¾ of the way full with water and add some glitter to a bowl of water.
  2. Ask the students to play with the water, and then tell them to imagine the pieces of glitter that are stuck to their hands when they are finished playing are germs.
  3. Ask them to wash their hands only with water to see if the glitter comes off.
  4. When it doesn't, ask them to wash their hands a second time using soap and ask them to count to 20 while they lather their hands before rinsing and drying off.
  5. Alternatively, instead of counting to 20 ask them to sing part of their favourite song.

Activity 3: 

  1. Have the students place a handful of pom poms in their hand and pretend to cough/sneeze, sending the pom poms flying in front of them.
  2. Tell the students to imagine that the pom poms represent germs, and ask them not to move them for the rest of the day so they can see not only how easily they spread, but also how long they can linger.

Discovery

Investigate Further

Discuss how to stay healthy.

  • Get your flu shot every year - vaccination is like putting up wanted posters in your body. This way your body knows what its soldiers have to look for.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Keep your immune system strong through exercise, healthy foods and plenty of sleep.
  • Although you can be contagious with flu before your symptoms develop, stay home when you're sick to avoid spreading it to even more people.
  • And most importantly, wash your hands!

Investigate Further

Discuss how to stay healthy.

  • Get your flu shot every year - vaccination is like putting up wanted posters in your body. This way your body knows what its soldiers have to look for.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Keep your immune system strong through exercise, healthy foods and plenty of sleep.
  • Although you can be contagious with flu before your symptoms develop, stay home when you're sick to avoid spreading it to even more people.
  • And most importantly, wash your hands!

Resources

Pre-Activity Document:

PowerPoint:

 

Resources

Pre-Activity Document:

PowerPoint:

 

Check out additional resources (articles, career profiles and more) on these topics from Let’s Talk Science: