This week we used the Cooties app to discuss the transfer of virus and bacteria. It's a cute app with graphics that appeal to young students.
I had each student log in to the game I started. Then I choose 1 student and "infected" them (without their knowledge). Students "bumped" iPads with each other to simulate daily interactions such as sharing pencils, shaking hands, touching the same door handle, etc. If an infected student bumped with a healthy student the infection was transferred. That newly infected student would then transfer the infection to other students they bumped iPads with. As a teacher I was able to change the incubation period duration. We played 3 times. First with no incubation, next with a 15 second incubation and finally with a 30 second incubation. As a teacher I see on my iPad all the interactions that are happening. Each time I stopped the activity after about 55 student bumps/interactions.
The students loved it and it helped us refresh the idea of keeping germs from spreading. We did a unit in September about this topic but now that it's allergy season and students are also going through another round of colds it provided a fun refresher.
I think next week we'll play again. This time I will let the infected student know they are infected (this is an option in the app) and we will discuss how this might change behavior.