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20 October 2014
Schools  >> All subjects for ages 4 - 11 years Science Clips
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Science topics ages 10 - 11

Curriculum relevance| Online lesson plan
Offline lesson plan | Worksheet | Activity

Offline lesson plan


Know that micro-organisms are living organisms that are often too small to be seen Understand that micro-organisms may be beneficial or harmful

National Curriculum

England: Key Stage 2, Sc2 5f

Wales: Key Stage 3, Life processes and living things, 5.7

Northern Ireland: Key Stage 2, Living things, Ourselves, c

Scotland: 5-14 Guidelines, Science, Variety and characteristic features, Level F

Resources required

Copies of the Micro-organisms worksheet printed from the Science Clips website

Picture examples: Bacteria, Fungi, Viruses, Beneficial microbes, Harmful microbes

Labels: Bacteria, Fungi, Viruses, Beneficial microbes, Harmful microbes

Reference books, CD-ROMs, magazines

Teaching activities

Show the labels and discuss the definition of the terms bacteria, virus and fungi. Can the children name examples of each? Display the pictures. Can the children identify which organism belongs to which category?

Discuss the harmful effects of micro-organisms (illness, disease, rot). How do they enter the body (breathing in, drinking water, eating food, cuts)? How can we help to prevent this? Discuss beneficial micro-organisms. Most micro-organisms are harmless and some are useful. They play an important role in recycling dead organic matter and break down waste products to be re-used in the environment. What materials can micro-organisms NOT break down? What happens to this material? Some bacteria help to make cheese, yogurt and medicine. Fungi help to produce antibiotics and yeast is used to make alcohol and bread. Add information to the display as it is mentioned.

Hand out a worksheet to each child. Ask the children to complete both sections (harmful and useful micro-organisms). Encourage the children to use the display for help and guidance.

Discuss each instance of micro-organism in the worksheet in more detail. Which are harmful, which are harmless, and which are beneficial?


Research examples of micro-organisms at work from magazines, newspapers, CD-ROMs, the internet and reference books to make a display.

Suggested homework

Look for examples of beneficial and harmful bacteria at home. Make a list to add to display in the class or to report back to the class.


Resources for teachers

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