Unit Study On Germs Inspired By Kids Discover

Unit Study On Germs Inspired By Kids Discover

One day we have a child who is rightfully concerned for the future of the ocean, then the next, she’s worried about her health and well being. 

It seems as though COVID-19 came in like a thief in the night and stripped every one of us from living our day to day life. It doesn’t seem to matter if you’re from Europe, Asia, North America, or whether you’re 2 or 102, this virus isn’t biased, and chances are, big or small, it’s impacted your life in some way.


With the world in an uproar and people suddenly wearing facemasks everywhere you turn, it doesn’t surprise me that Mackenzie had a sudden change of interest. She wanted to learn about germs. Those nasty little things, everyone is avoiding like the plague, literally. 

As I’m sure you know, most things are, or we’re closed for some time, including the libraries. So, I am especially thankful for Kid’s Discover Online’s Discover Map right now. It’s been a lifesaver lately, and the source I used to develop this unit study.



Our Unit Study On The Future Of The Ocean

In case you missed my last post on Inquiry-based learning with Kid’s Discover or aren’t familiar with this map, it’s a visual concept map that helps kids make cross-curricular connections by allowing them to connect the dots between different subjects like Science and Social Studies. 

To give you an example, Mackenzie has an interest in The Human Body, when she clicks on the Human Body bubble, it will open up all of Kids Discover’s Human Body content. Since she wants to learn about the Germs, she clicks the Germs bubble, which narrows the material down even further, and starts to show connections to non-Human body articles!

The thing I love best about the map is it allows Mackenzie to begin her study on her own, and me to build off of what she’s learned and any questions she still needs to be answered.

Our Unit Study On Germs

To begin this unit study, I peeled and sliced a potato into eight pieces. I then labeled two ziplock bags with the title “dirty hands” and wrote Mackenzie’s name of one and Xavier’s on the second and had them place their potato pieces into the bag.

Afterward, I asked them to go and wash their hands with soap and water and repeated the same process with clean hands.

I then asked them what they thought was the dirtiest part of the house. If I remember right, Xavier said floor, and Mackenzie said the toilet. I then proceeded to have them rub a potato piece onto those items along with the bathtub and hand towel. We then, once again, placed the pieces into a labeled ziplock bag.

We placed all of the bags onto the dresser and waited a week to see what happened. You can see the results HERE if you would like.

Our next activity was to put together a short video of a silly story explaining how our immune system worked. The project turned out to be a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. To avoid overwhelming Mackenzie, I only had her help with the crafts and a few acting parts. Xavier and I handled the rest.

The video didn’t turn out exactly as I had imagined it, but it did help both of the kids to understand how their immune system worked, which is all that mattered in the end. 

You can watch the video HERE.

While we were working on this video, Mackenzie watched a few videos on Youtube. 


I decided to have Xavier craft a bacteria cell out of construction paper while I created a viral cell out of a balloon. We put the two side by side and compared them to one another, discussing the similarities and differences between the two. 

To finish up the unit study, we completed a couple more experiments. 

In the first experiment, I had both of the kids break up and cover their hands in chalk and asked them to keep their hands away from their face. The idea of this was to show them how much we touch our faces. It did get the idea across, but I think it would have worked better to have glow germ and a flashlight.

The final experiment was a pepper and soap experiment. I filled a bowl with water and sprinkled pepper evenly over the surface of the water. I then asked Mackenzie to dip her finger into the water to see how much pepper got onto her finger (a lot). Afterward, I dropped a tiny dot of dish soap into the bowl, and we watched the paper scatter. Next, I asked Xavier to dip his finger into the water to see how much pepper he got onto his finger (none).

We enjoyed doing this unit study together. You will have to let us know what you think of it and share your additional ideas below.

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