Stop the Germs!

Stop the Germs!

Learning about cross contamination of bacteria in schools, poisoning bacteria and where and how you can get them.

45 mins x 2/3 sessions

CfE Experiences and Outcomes

  • HWB 2-33a - Having learned about cleanliness, hygiene and safety, I can apply these principles to my everyday routines, understanding their importance to health and wellbeing.

  • HWB 2-15a - I am developing my understanding of the human body and can use this knowledge to maintain and improve my wellbeing and health.

  • HWB 2-16a - I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible.

Learning intentions / Success criteria

  • We are learning how cross contamination can happen.
  • We are learning how quickly this can happen.
  • We are learning how important it is to wash our hands.
  • We are learning about the impact that cross contamination can have.
  • I can name 3 places where bugs comes from.
  • I can explain why I need to wash my hands.
  • I can explain how to prevent the spread of bugs.


  • Teacher's notes on food safety
  • Chalk (or glitter or paint)
  • Worksheet 1 - task cards to perform with chalk on hands
  • Worksheet 2 - bugs and where you can pick them up
  • Worksheet 3 - drawing a line from bugs to foods where you can pick them up
  • Camera/iPad for filming
  • Teacher resource sheets on food poisoning bacteria
  • School floor plan
  • Watch our videos on handwashing

Setting up

  • Print out the worksheets.
  • Draw or print out a school floor plan.


Warm up:

  • chalk on children’s hands (different colours representing different bacteria)
  • without revealing the topic ask children to perform a number of set tasks on cards on sheet 1.

Discuss results of chalk experiment:

  • introduction to bacteria
  • names and types and where they are found
  • results of cross contamination and impact on health.

School floor plan:

  • show a range of typical places in a school
  • children need to guess which are likely to have the most / least amount of contamination
  • discuss results.

Develop characters for different bacteria using the sheet 2 worksheet:

  • e.g. Sally Salmonella
  • use characters to create posters or play or iMovie or advertisement or song or news report warning of risks of cross contamination
  • fill in sheet 3 – draw a line from the bug to the correct icons to show where you can get the illness from.

Assessment opportunities

DO – pupils fill in sheet 3 and show an understanding of bugs and which foods you can pick them up from

DO – Self/peer assessment

Photos of drama

Consider CfE Benchmarks, for example:

  • Identifies ways to reduce the risk of food poisoning, for example, reheating food until piping hot, safe food storage, different coloured chopping boards.

Cross-Curricular links

The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) offers secondary schools in Scotland the opportunity to become registered with the Institute to deliver some of the REHIS qualifications – see   For information on the REHIS Schools Food Hygiene Initiative contact REHIS



  • Children may have sensory issues and not wish to have chalk on hands,
    • use paper cut outs of hand prints to stick to touch points
    • provide gloves.
  • Use simple information cards for bacteria characters.


  • Co-operative learning:
    • research each bacterium in expert groups
    • present findings to the class
    • include the consequences of cross contamination.
  • Research global issues re: lack of water and sanitation in parts of the world and the risks of cross contamination.
  • Create bacteria Top Trumps.
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