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Germ Busters!

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Keywords: Peer, germs, diseases, podcasting, disease prevention
Subject(s): Health and PE, Podcasting
Grades P-K through 5
School: Cook Hill Elementary School, Wallingford, CT
Planned By: Kimberly Wartschow
Original Author: Kimberly Wartschow, Wallingford
Germ Busters!

Grade: 5

Number of students participating: 67

Number of students impacted: 337+

Subject: health education (This lesson will meet the National Health Education Standards)

The health component of our physical education curriculum provides valuable information for students in the school. One of the topics that the fifth grade discusses in depth is how germs are spread. We talk about viruses and bacteria, how people catch these, how to avoid catching diseases, and more. I believe that it would be extremely valuable to have this information taught to all grade levels!

What this lesson does is allows the fifth graders to apply their knowledge of what they learn about germs and spreading sicknesses and use it by teaching students from the rest of the school. The fifth grade students would create podcasts to share with the younger grades and would be able to present these to them. The fifth grade students would be able to bring their podcasts to other classrooms and do a presentation for the younger students to learn from. The fifth graders would play their podcasts and then be available for questions from some of the younger students. We would also put these podcasts on the web so that students and parents can access these together to review health concepts learned and so that parents know what their children are being taught and how to better reinforce this at home. This would also allow the community to see what students are learning and how they are putting their education into action.

Here is how the resources provided could make this come true:

Olympus digital voice recorders and microphones:
The digital voice recorders and microphones would be used to record the audio portion of the podcast. It would be extremely helpful to have the voice recorders so that students can bring the recorder somewhere quiet to record the audio so that background noise would be minimal. Students would record pieces on how germs are spread, how to keep from getting germs, and what you can do to protect others when you are sick. Students have the freedom to be creative with their approach (i.e. “talk show” recording, funny - appropriate, serious, etc.).

Clip art station:
The clip art station would provide us with valuable resources to add pictures to our podcasts. Adding visuals are very important for younger children and for people of all ages because some are visual learners. Having the audio and visual combined will allow for people of different learning styles to enjoy and learn from the podcasts. Having graphics will increase the value of our podcasts greatly.

The Tool Factory podcasting site - worksheet and web page stations:
These would prove invaluable as we need a place to post our podcasts! The web page station would also be wonderful because it would be an easy way for the community to access the podcasts and see what we are learning and teaching here in school. Without having a place to store and post our podcasts, we will only be able to reach a limited population. Having these available to us will allow us to expand our audience greatly! It is also my hope that with the webpage, students will be able to keep a blog going about health & fitness. We can add new blogs, answer questions from students/adults, and keep it updated with new information for people to learn from. This would be another very valuable aspect of the resources we would receive.

Books – Simple Guide to Podcasting & Adventures in Podcasting:
The books would be very useful in guiding me in using what I have received and in creating top-notch projects. After reading these books, I will better be able to assist my students in creating their podcasts and will be able to help them create a quality project. The books will also assist me in expanding my podcasts to other areas of health and fitness as well. It is my hope that these books would help me be so comfortable in using podcasting that I would be able to create ongoing projects throughout the year. I hope to have podcasts about other topics as well, such as drugs and how to say “no” to them, peer pressure, character education, promotion of health & fitness events, and so much more. The possibilities are truly endless!
This podcasting lesson can be used for so many other lessons as well. Podcasting can be used throughout the entire physical education & health curriculum to present material about drugs, character education, teamwork, diet, exercise, and healthy choices all around.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
There is a lot of room for cross-curricular with podcasting. First of all, it is cross-curricular with computers/technology. Secondly, we can incorporate teaching classroom safety (with germs, with bullying, etc.), healthy choices for lunch/snacks, math with heart rate calculations, and more. There are so many possibilities, it is so exciting!
I can have students go home and share with a parent, grandparent, or other adult. The student should get feedback from that adult and have a conversation with him/her. The student should write down the responses and bring it back in to discuss.
Materials: Digital Voice Recorders, Microphones, Podcasting, Web Page, Clip Art, Worksheets