• Vision: A Healthy Texas

    Mission: To improve the health, safety, and well-being of Texans through good stewardship of public resources, and a focus on core public health functions.
  • Texas 211

Illness and Prevention Grade Level: Kindergarten

Subject: Health Education


TEKS Correlation: This lesson will help children recognize that personal health decisions and behaviors affect health throughout life. Following this lesson students will be able to identify and practice personal health habits that help individuals stay healthy.

This lesson will also identify the influencing factors that would cause a person to be sick or healthy. (TEKS for Health Education: K.1.A, K.6.A-D and K.7.A)

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Overview: The purpose of this lesson is to help students understand what makes them sick and keeps them healthy, and how they can keep themselves healthy.

Rational: The student will benefit from this activity because it will help them understand the importance of good personal health habits in preventing illness. They will also learn the causes of illness, and our bodies defense mechanisms in preventing illness.

Duration: 30 minutes

Instructional Objectives:

  • Students will be able to discuss what germs are and how they can cause illness and disease in people of all ages.
  • Students will be able to identify the symptoms of common illnesses and disease.
    Students will be able to identify basic parts of the body's defense system against germs.
  • Students will identify ways to help their body fight germs.


Books: Achoo! All About Colds, by Partricia Brennan Demuth

Procedure: Use the following questions to guide your discussion with your students.

What does it feel like when you get sick?

Have students give out examples.

  • Sore throat Body Aches Fever
  • Headache

What makes us sick?

Again, ask for examples from students.

  • Germs are what makes us sick.

What are Germs?

Germs are very small organisms that we cannot see with the naked eye. In order to see them we need a very powerful microscope. Germs are everywhere. They can cause sickness in people at any age.

Where do germs live?

Germs are everywhere, they can be found in the air, on our desks, and in our bodies.

Do germs always make us sick?

No. Our body has special defenses to prevent us from getting sick. These defenses are: our skin, our nose, mouth and throat, and special cells in our body.

Skin- provides a natural barrier to prevent germs from entering into our body. The only time our skin doesn't protect us from us from germs is when we have cuts. When we have cuts in our skin, it is possible for germs to enter our bodies. That is why it is important for us to clean out our cuts or abrasions when they occur.

Nose- helps fight germs because it is lined with tiny hairs. When we breath in the germs get caught in the hairs and when we breath out the germs are forced out.

Mouth- and throat also help fight germs. They are wet and sticky. Germs get stuck in our throat and mouth and don't go any further.

Fighting Cells- If the germ passes through our skin, nose, or throat and mouth and gets into our blood stream, there are special cells in our blood that fight germs. When germs come into our blood stream, these cells attack the germ and try to get rid of if it.

What can we do to help our body fight germs?

  1. We can get plenty of sleep.

    By getting the proper amount of sleep, we give our fighting cells a chance to get energized. If we don't get enough sleep, our fighting cells get tired and won't be able attack germs as well as if we had enough sleep.

    We can dress appropriately for certain weather conditions. When it is cold we need to wear warm clothing, and when it is warm we need to wear loose clothing. It is also important that we protect our skin from the sun by putting sun screen on. It is also important to keep our houses and classrooms at the appropriate temperature.
  2. The most important thing we can do is wash our hands.

Why do we need to wash our hands?

  • Hand washing is important because it reduces the spread of germs from one person to the next. By washing our hands, we prevent germs from getting into our bodies as well as passing them onto other people.
  • Because germs are everywhere it is important that we wash our hands so we don't ingest them when we eat or pass them on to someone else.

When is it important to wash our hands?

We need to wash our hands before we do the following things:

  • prepare or eat food treat a cut or wound
  • tend to someone who is sick

We need to wash our hands after we:

  • go to the bathroom handle uncooked food (particularly raw meat, poultry or fish) change a diaper blow your nose cough or sneeze play with or touch a pet handle garbage
  • tend to someone who is sick


What is the correct way to wash our hands?

  • Use warm or hot running water Use soap (preferably antibiotic) Wash all surfaces thoroughly, including wrists, palms, back of hands, fingers and under fingernails (if possible with a nail brush) Rub hands together for at least 10 to 15 seconds When drying, begin with your forearms and work toward your hands and finger tips, and pat your skin rather then rubbing to avoid chapping and cracking Apply hand lotion after washing to help prevent and soothe dry skin
  • Have your students show you the correct way to wash their hands. Make sure they count out loud for 15 seconds. It seems like a lot longer than you would think!

Assessment: Have students demonstrate correct hand washing and have them tell you when and why it is important. Also have them describe what our bodies do to fight germs.

Modifications: Click here for activities to use with this lesson.

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Last updated July 17, 2013