Flu Prevention Lesson Plan: Create a Poster

Submitted by: Rachel Zindler

Grade Levels: 3-5, K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-5, students use BrainPOP Jr. and/or BrainPOP resources to explore ways to prevent flu. Students will brainstorm their own ideas and interview experts to extend their understanding. They will then raise awareness of prevention measures by creating posters and sharing them with other classes and/or the community.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Explore ways to prevent flu by brainstorming and interviewing experts
  2. Raise awareness of prevention measures by creating posters


  • Poster paper
  • Markers
  • Any related picture books (Suggestions here)
  • BrainPOP projected on an interactive whiteboard or screen
  • Glitter
  • Access to a sink (for students to wash hands after the activity)
  • Flour
  • Chart paper


germs, wash, hands, warm, soap, illness, virus, flu


You might want to start this lesson by reading one of the picture books. Preview the Washing Hands movie to plan out key points where you’ll want to pause and facilitate student discussions. You might also want to preview the other BrainPOP and BrainPOP Jr. movies listed above and determine how they might be used in follow-up lessons.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. You can use the Talk About It Graphic Organizer as a homework assignment to reinforce learning, and the additional interactive and hands-on activities on BrainPOP Jr. to reinforce this topic throughout the week.
  2. Ask students if anyone has heard of viruses and the flu. Let students share what they have heard, and jot down comments on chart paper for later reference.
  3. Read Belly Up comic with students. You can print these in advance so students can follow along.
  4. Have students turn and talk to the person next to them (or in small groups) about things people can do to prevent getting sick. Share out responses and jot them down on chart paper.
  5. Note any misconceptions and fears to address. Be sure to alleviate any extreme fears and concerns. You can use "cooties" as an example and role play a few scenarios associated with "the cooties," ("Ew! Jason has the cooties! Stay away!") to try and emphasize how students who don’t know better might act. Propose that students think about ways people can prevent getting Swine Flu, or any type of virus. Go back to the Belly Up comic and see if they "get it" more now, and have a few students explain it in their own words.
  6. Preview the Washing Hands with closed captioning. You can print Annie’s Notebook questions in advance to scaffold student learning. Pause as each notebook question appears to have students discuss, make predictions, etc.
  7. After the watches are stopped, the data collector should record the runner’s time at the 5, 10, and 15 meter mark in their notebook.
  8. After viewing the movie, explain that you’ll do an experiment to see how germs spread. Put a little glitter or flour on some students’ hands. Have those students shake hands with other students, who should then shake hands with other students, and so on. After everyone has shaken hands with at least two people, ask your students if they have glitter or flour on them. Discuss how shaking hands can spread germs and brainstorm ways to avoid germs and the spread of germs.
  9. Repeat the activity, only this time have the students whose hands have flour or glitter wash their hands before they shake hands with other students. Does your class notice a difference?

Extension Activity:

You can tie this lesson into an exploration of digital literacy. Use BrainPOP’s free Digital Citizenship Spotlight to examine the role the media can have on current events and how to be critical evaluators of the media.

There are also many suggestions of fantastic extension activities for teachers and for families. I always liked to send the Family Activities home as a menu and invite students to choose 1 to do over a week or weekend. You can create a summary sheet for students to write up the details of what they chose and how it went, and share them with the class the following week as part of your Morning Meeting.

The hands-on science suggested activities could be a great way to collaborate with your Science teacher!

Explore the other movies listed at the top of this page, such as Colds and Flus, Vaccines, etc.