Germ and Virus Prevention Lesson Plan: Create an Educational Poster

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-12, students use BrainPOP resources to explore prevention steps people can take to reduce the spread of germs. Students will then raise awareness of healthy habits by creating educational posters and displaying them for their school and/or community.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm prevention steps people can take to reduce the spread of germs
  2. Raise awareness of healthy habits by creating educational posters


  • Chart paper
  • Articles related to Swine Flu
  • BrainPOP with a projector or interactive whiteboard
  • Photocopies of BrainPOP Activity Page for Swine Flu for each student, and a few copies of each FYI tab
  • Websites related to Swine Flu
  • News clips related to Swine Flu


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


This lesson plan is geared toward information about the Swine Flu, but you can substitute the featured resources for any of the movies listed above.

Ask students to keep an eye out for articles, websites, and news reports about H1N1, or Swine Flu. Invite them to bring these in for an upcoming lesson, and do some collecting of your own. Preview the Swine Flu movie and plan out where you’ll want to pause for discussions.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Ask students what they know about Swine Flu, or H1N1 and as a class, complete the first two columns of the Swine Flu KWL Chart. You can photocopy this and have students complete the third column later in the study as an assessment tool.
  2. Review the vocabulary on the Swine Flu Vocabulary page. Hand out copies to your students for note-taking during the movie. Invite students to pencil in any definitions they already know (they can revise later, if needed).
  3. Watch the Swine Flu movie with closed captioning (cc). Pause as planned to give students the opportunity to discuss key concepts, ask questions, make predictions, activate prior knowledge, etc. Note: I’d often watch the same movie multiple times with my students!
  4. As a class, take the POP Quiz.
  5. Give students a chance to complete the Activity Page, independently or with partners. When they finish, they can explore the FYI tabs.
  6. Explain that now that your students are well informed of ways to prevent the spread of germs, they’ll be creating awareness posters, either on or off-line.
  7. As a class, decide on what each poster should contain (what public health message, related images, etc), and model or clearly communicate the quality level you expect (legible from a distance, includes at least 3 pieces of relevant info, etc).
  8. Have students work in pairs or small groups to design and create the posters. Encourage students to focus on a specific aspect of Swine Flu awareness (i.e. prevention, clarification of misconceptions, or public education about the disease). They can use the BrainPOP movie and FYI features as research tools, as well as the clippings from the news.
  9. When they are complete, have each group or partnership present their poster to the class and then hang it up in the school or other community area.

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.