Okay, so I admit it. I’m almost a germaphobe! I became that way when my daughter was out of school for 3 months with whooping cough and at the same time my teenage son got mono.
I also know that music is a powerful teaching tool. As often is the case, my songwriting partner and I took this real-life experience and turned it into a song, Germ Attack. The song teaches children to cover their mouths with their arm or sleeve when they cough or sneeze. It’s great for children with special needs as well as the typical child.
Teaching ideas: When introducing the song into the classroom, tell the children: “Batman is a friend of mine. In fact, we had dinner the other night and Batman had a cold. He shared with me his secret of covering his mouth by pulling his cape across his mouth.” Next show the children how to cough into their elbow. Everyone practices this “super hero” technique before the song is played.
- When singing the chorus, add a little “practical movement” as well as your own groovy sixties’ choreography.
- When singing "Germ Attack," and "I must fight back," instead of singing the echo, everyone covers their mouths and coughs 3 times.
Art center: Encourage the children to draw posters to “Stop the Germ Attack."
Language Arts Center: Encourage the children to create their own comic strip based on the lyrics of the song.
Science: While on the playground, let the children cover their hands with flour. Watch how the flour spreads from surface to surface like germs do after someone coughs into his/her own hand.