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Elementary Science

Probing Questions

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Jordin Wilkins Jordin Wilkins 60 Points


Coming up soon, I will be doing a lesson on the importance of washing our hands. I am currently teaching kindergarten so this is a super important topic for their health and MINE. I was wondering what questions I should ask that will help the students understand the importance of washing their hands and challenge the students thinking during our fun topic? I know its kind of a stretch because it is such a basic topic, but I would really like for my students to think hard. 

Thank you! 

Katie Hodge Katie Hodge 946 Points

Hello Jordin:

Here are some resources I thought you might like to look at for your lesson. 



I think if you question them about germs and getting sick, it could promote critically thinking that leads to your washing hands lesson. Good luck! 

Katlyn Alexander Katlyn Alexander 3080 Points

Hi Jordin!

I am a student at the University of Northern Iowa and currently in a Science Methods course. We talked about probing questions in class and what they might include in order to be quality questions. The most thought provoking questions are those that are open ended and students can think critically about it. So, questions like where do germs come from, or how do they spread ccan leave the answers to be open ended. Then you could go into a fun activity to show how germs are 'sticky' and need to be washed away very well. Thre is a product that can be used on childrens hands and can be seen under the UV light. You could have the children see how long they need to wash their hands to get all of the 'germs' off. Then after this activity you could ask more open ended questions like, what else can we do to prevent spreading germs other than just washing hands? I hope this helps!

Mallary Erbes Mallary Erbes 90 Points

Hi Jordin!

My name is Mallary Erbes and I am a pre-service teacher at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA. In my health class for educators, we talked about this exact topic. Asking students to understand germs when they can't see them is a tough topic. I suggest that you ask questions utilizing HOTS (higher order thinking skills). I have learned that asking open-ended questions helps students think critically. One activity we did in our class was to place lotion on our hands and then put glitter on them. Use different colors of glitter so when students high-five each other they get different colors, or 'germs', on their hands. This will demonstrate how quickly and easily germs can spread in an engaging way. Inviting students to sing a song for the amount of time they should wash their hands is engaging as well. Below is another link to a lesson I found:


Here are some questions I thought of:

  • How do people get sick?
  • Are there good germs and bad germs?
  • Why do restaurants always have signs that tell their employees must wash their hands?


Mallary Erbes

Pre-Service Teacher

Wartburg College '19


Kimberly Torres Kimberly Torres 428 Points

I agree with Katie, a really good way to start the conversation about staying healthy is to question them about germs and getting sick. I also think a way to approach it is to have them visually see how germs spread. I found this activity online and thought it would be a fun way to start a discussion. http://www.scholastic.com/browse/lessonplan.jsp?id=258

I hope this helps you out! Good luck! :)

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