Students participate in kid-friendly activities to learn about pandemic guidelines
Soap vs. germs.
That was the battle during an activity in Amy Wilson’s second-grade class at Bellefonte Elementary School. She led a series of kid-friendly lessons that allowed her students to learn and understand why it’s important to do their part to keep healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. And with at least one experiment, soap won every time, which proved Wilson's point that washing hands with soap and water helps to deter the germs. They partook in a demonstration that included water, pepper and soap.
- Put some ground black pepper in a cup of water.
- Lather one hand with soap, while the other is without.
- Put a finger without soap into the pepper-water mix and watch the pepper attract to the finger.
- Then try it with a soap-lathered finger. The pepper will immediately move away from the finger.
“What does the soap do?” Wilson enthusiastically asked the class during the activity. They responded, “Make the germs go away!” One student even compared germs to “bad guys” and the soap to a “superhero.”
Throughout the first week of school, Wilson provided her class with age-appropriate lessons on what to expect during the school year under pandemic guidelines. That included encouraging students to wash their hands; regularly use hand sanitizer, which the class called “germ juice;” wear their face coverings and masks; and assured them that it’s OK to talk about emotions during a time that may come with some uneasiness.
She also read and shared books with them that stressed those same messages, such as “I’m Happy-Sad Today,” “Lucy’s Mask,” and “Billie and the Brilliant Bubble.” Wilson assured her class that it’s OK to have a variety of feeling such as “s-angry” (sad and angry) or “scar-cited” (scared and excited) – something “I’m Happy-Sad Today” was also about. One of her 7-year-old students said she was feeling excited to go back to school on the first day, but was a little scared about some of the changes she might face. By the end of the day, the little girl said she conquered the day and was “so happy!”
They also took the time to learn other guidelines with fun videos made by Wilson and school counselor Janelle Reese. These were a few:
- How to properly wear a mask
- How to greet someone when practicing distancing
- How to properly wash and sanitize hands
- Online and remote learning etiquette
*By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD