Sometimes, a Calvert lesson is so timely that it has to cross grade level boundaries. My second grader and I have been arguing the virtues of hand-washing all summer. Today, Duncan, my seventh grader, had an activity that made those virtues so easy to understand for ALL of us. I wanted to share it with you all, because we are going into the “Season of Snot” as it has been referred to at Clan Roe.
This activity* was designed to illustrate why simply using cold water is not sufficient to remove bacteria from your hands. You will need to following materials: (1) cinnamon, (2) soap, (3) cooking oil and (4) water.
Here is what you do:
1. Rub one tablespoon of cooking oil all over your hands. Make sure they are completely coated.
2. Have your Learning Guide sprinkle a dash of cinnamon onto your hands and then rub it all over your hands. T he cinnamon is all over, just like bacteria.
3. Wash your hands with cold water and no soap. Observe your results.
4. If there is no cinnamon or oil left on your hands, add a bit more oil and sprinkle a bit more cinnamon on your hands. Wash your hands with warm water and no soap. Observe your results.
5. If there is no cinnamon left on your hands, add more oil and sprinkle a tiny bit more cinnamon on your hands. Wash your hands with warm water AND soap. Observe your results again.
The concluding discussion is “Which method of hand washing seemed to remove the most amount of “bacteria”?
For parents trying to teach your kids, especially your boys, the virtue of hand-washing, this was an invaluable exercise. Too good not to share. Yeah Calvert!! Thanks again for a memorable experience that translates to a life lesson.
*Calvert Education Services Grade 7 Core Lesson Manual. The lesson itself is using Prentice Hall’s From Bacteria to Plants textbook.