Classroom Presentation

Our presentation is a 15 -20 minute demonstration of the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness. A goal is to help children understand that clean hands are important to good health. Children at this age are able to protect their own bodies, and we want them to develop a greater awareness of the role our hands play in the spread of infectious disease. The children will mimic your behavior, and repetition of the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness will teach children the correct behavior to mimic. Yes this program targets adults as well and we encourage students to discuss what they learned with family and friends.


A brief outline of the presentation: 

Discuss with children: Why do we wash our hands?
-Germs, bacteria or virus, cause illness. (See addendum titled Definitions for Germs, Viruses, and Bacteria.)
-Germs are tiny microorganisms that spread disease.
-The common cold is a virus.
-We don’t see bacteria or viruses like we see dirt, but they are there. (Show the poster "Germs on Your Hands".
-Streptococcus bacteria (round clumps of bacteria) cause nasty sore throats. We have to go to the doctor and will need to take an antibiotic to kill the bacteria in our throat.
-Staphylococcus bacteria are on our skin, which causes pimples or cysts to form.
-Germs are EVERYWHERE (point out where they may be: counter tops, hand rails, floors, desktops, doorknobs, pencils, etc.).
-A sneeze is a blast of air that goes approximately 200 mph (Demonstrate Respiratory Atomizer simulating a sneeze). It carries tiny bacteria or virus in a mist and spreads everywhere.


Discuss with children: When should we wash our hands?

  1. Before eating.
  2. After using the toilet.
  3. After blowing or wiping your nose.
  4. After you cough or sneeze into a tissue.
  5. Upon arriving home from school (mall or church) to prevent bringing germs from school (mall or church) into your home. Your home is a "safe zone" from outside germs.
  6. Upon arriving at school to prevent bringing germs from home to school. This helps to protect the school by not introducing new germs picked up on the way to school or from home.
  7. After petting animals. Petting zoos are a haven for new germs. Simply wash your hands and you are safe.


Discuss with children: Respiratory etiquette
-Whenever you cough or sneeze, lots of micro-droplets that contain germs are released into the air directly in front of you; so "cover up" that cough or sneeze!
-Use the atomizer (spritzer bottle) to demonstrate the droplets from a cough or sneeze showing how these  "respiratory droplets" propelled into the air.
-When you feel a tiny tickle in your throat, it is a clue that you are going to sneeze and you can prepare for that sneeze.
-Sneeze into a handkerchief, tissue or the crook of your elbow so germs don’t float into the air or in your hand. Otherwise, hands can touch something and then spread the infection to others. You hands become soiled even when using a tissue or handkerchief, so it is necessary to wash immediately.


Demonstrate with children:Action” and “Result”
Please demonstrate the “Action” and then have the students explain the “Result.” Very effective for retention, knowing that for every action there is a reaction. Using visual aides and repetition is key to retention, as well.

Sneeze into your handHand now has the germ
Open the doorDoorknob now has the germ
Someone else touches the doorknobThe germ is now on that person's hand
Person touches their eyes, nose, or mouthThey have now contaminated themselves with the germ
The germ is in their own systemThey become sick

You may repeat this activity using the Germ Potion Experiment (see addendum).


Demonstrate with children: How do we properly wash our hands?

  2. Rub your hands vigorously for AT LEAST 20 SECONDS.
  3. Wash all surfaces including back of hands, wrists, between fingers, and under fingernails. (Use nail brush as prop.)
  4. Rinse well - leaving soap on your hands will lead to drying and cracking.
  5. Dry hands well with paper towel. Paper towels have been shown to remove an additional 20% loosely attached germs.
  6. TURN OFF THE FAUCET WITH THE PAPER TOWEL you used to dry your hands. This prevents picking up the germs that are on the faucet, before you touched it or what you placed on the faucet when turning on.

Discuss with children:
Henry the Hand's 4 Principles of Hand Awareness

  1. WASH your hands when they are dirty and BEFORE eating.
  2. DO NOT cough into your hands.
  3. DO NOT sneeze into your hands.
  4. Above all, DO NOT put your fingers into your eyes, nose, or mouth.


Discuss with children: Do not touch the T-Zone

-The T-Zone is the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth. It is the ONLY portal of entry for ALL respiratory and gastro-intestinal diseases. If we have germs on our hands, we can put those germs into our bodies when we touch our eyes, nose, and mouth "unconsciously".
-Imagine since this is how the majority of disease enters our bodies for respiratory and gastro-intestinal diseases; we may NEVER be sick again!
-Keeping our hands and fingers away from the T-Zone will stop that spread of germs into our bodies.
-Use Henry's Health Shield (T Zone protector) to demonstrate how to keep fingers away from the T-Zone. Wear it during science class or history. You can then talk about the history of germ discovery (Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ignaz Semmelweis, John Snow or Louis Pasteur)



-You may reward the students daily or weekly with a Champion Handwasher sticker or tattoo.
Germ Potion

Respiratory Etiquette

Sniff Test

Bacterial Growth Experiment


Henry the Hand Activity Book:

-When available we leave with the students an Activity/Coloring Book.

Each page is its own lesson plan to be used daily or weekly.
-Every student should take Henry the Hand’s Home Weekly Handwashing Chart and you should be using the Henry the Hand Classroom Weekly Handwashing Chart simultaneously or sequentially.

Teachers, the hand awareness message needs to be reinforced. Repetition is the most effective method for retention!

**For more information, e-mail

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