In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about allergies and allergic reactions. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Allergies topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Allergies
Divide students up into groups and have them write skits or public service announcements about allergies. You can assign specific allergies to each group or have them draw one out of a box. Students can use the library or the internet to research their allergy and inform viewers about how to control and treat the allergy. Groups can perform their skits in front of the class.
To extend the activity, students can create informative posters about controlling allergies and put them up around the classroom or school. Students can decorate their posters with pictures and diagrams.
Dinner is Served
Have students imagine that they run a restaurant. Working in small groups or as a class, have students create menus that describe what is in their dishes. Several students can “wait tables” and others can be “diners” who should mention if they are allergic to any of the ingredients on the menu. Diners should explain what happens to their bodies during an allergic reaction and how to treat it. Students can work together to choose an alternative ingredient or create a different dish that doesn’t contain harmful foods.
To extend the activity, students can research at the library or on the internet to find out more about food allergies. How many people have food allergies? How many people are admitted to the hospital each year because of harmful foods? What is the most common food allergy?
Allergic to Math
As a class, have student volunteers explain their allergies and discuss what happens to them during an allergic reaction. Then as a class activity, make a bar graph to show the kinds of allergies students have and ask students questions about the graph. How many students are allergic to pets? What fraction of students have allergies?
Have students look around the classroom and think about what things might cause allergic reactions in some people. Do you have a class pet with fur? Is there dust or flowering plants? Discuss how you could allergy-proof your classroom with your students. Together with students, work out an emergency plan in case a student experiences an allergic reaction.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Allergies
With your child, brainstorm ways to keep allergies in check. For example, allergies to pollen can be controlled by closing the windows and by limiting time outdoors. Allergies to foods can be controlled by avoiding those foods and by telling family members, teachers, and wait staff at restaurants so people know to avoid serving potentially harmful foods. Have your child create a guide about allergies and ways to control them.
Check pollen counts in your area on the internet or in the newspaper (many weather reports also include pollen counts). This can be a long-term activity so your child can see when the allergy season begins and ends. Your child can research plants in your area to find out which are active during allergy season.
Have your child ask family members and friends about their allergies. Your child can keep a list and make warning signs for their homes or offices. For example, if a family member is allergic to peanuts, your child can create a warning sign that explains what symptoms can occur and how to treat them.