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KS1: Introduction to Microbes

This lesson is designed to introduce students to viruses, bacteria and fungi. The introductory activity allows students to combine their observational and creative skills to make a microbe of their own choice, exploring various microbial types and shapes.

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Learning objectives
All students will:
  • Understand there are three different types of microbes: viruses, bacteria and fungi
  • Understand microbes are all different shapes and sizes
  • Understand some microbes can be useful and some can be harmful
Most students will:
  • Understand that microbes are found everywhere
  • Understand most microbes are too small to be seen with the naked eye
Background Information

Micro-organisms, more commonly known as germs, bugs or microbes, are tiny living things too small to be seen with the naked eye. They are found almost everywhere on Earth. Some microbes are useful, and others can be harmful to humans.

Microbes come in many shapes and sizes. The three groups of microbes covered in the resource are viruses, bacteria and fungi.

This lesson plan supports you to introduce to students what microbes are develop an understanding that they can be useful and harmful. This forms the basis of future discussions on hygiene and infection.

Main activity:
  • Modelling Microbes
Main Activity video
Extension activities:
  • Yes or No Cards
  • Microbe Flashcards
  • Fill in the Blanks
Curriculum links


  • Health and prevention


  • Working scientifically
  • Living things and their habitats


  • Reading and comprehension
  • Writing
Supporting Materials
Teacher sheets
Introduction to Microbes Teacher Guidance
Student worksheets
SW1 Yes and No Cards
SW2 Microbes Flashcards
SW3 Microbe Mania Fill in the Blanks Worksheet
Student handouts
SH1 Make Your Own Microbes
SH2 Microbe Mania Fact Sheet
SH3 Microbe Example Fact Sheet