Health and Medicine
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Media Object
Preschool, Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary
Hygiene, Lesson Plan
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Media Formats:

Education Standards

Wash Your Hands!

Wash Your Hands!


This is a lesson plan that contains ideas for teaching and practicing handwashing in the small group classroom. 


This lessons teaches about basic handwashing, the reasons why and best practices. It involves viewing videos, a class discussion, a worksheet and an opportunity to practice handwashing. 

  • 30-40 minutes
  • Face-to-Face (can be adapted to distance)
  • Author: Annie Funk

Soup Clipart from:


Background for Teachers

Before beginning this lesson:

  • Understand the basics of proper handwashing
  • Have access to a sink, soap and paper towels. 
  • Make sure that the video links are accessible on your device and in your district.


Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

Goals and Outcomes

This lesson:

Teaches how handwashing can prevent germs from spreading.
Teaches how handwashing is one technique to keep our bodies healthy.
Teaches thorough handwashing techniques. 


At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

Explain why handwashing is important

Explain how to properly wash their hands

Demonstrate how to properly wash their hands


This aligns with the Utah Core: 

Health Education - 3rd GradeBack to Previous Screen Back
Lesson Plans

Students will learn basic anatomy, universal precautions, and skills to report abuse. Utah Code requires parental notification for instruction on child sexual abuse prevention.
Standard 3.HD.1:

Define hygiene and discuss its importance for health and well-being.

This lesson can also be used to support IEP goals relating to independent living and personal hygiene. It would be useful to teach before cooking lessons and in preparation for job shadowing or training. 


Step 2 - Planning Instruction

Planning Instruction

Student Background Knowledge

There is no prior knowledge needed for this lesson. 

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Instruction and signage for bathrooms can be offered in multiple languages if necessary. Picture instructions could also be provided for students that do not read. 

Step 3 - Instruction


Introduce topic/discussion/see what they know:

Ask students what they know about germs. What do they know about handwashing?

Watch video: Hand Hygiene: The dirt on germs

(Additional videos available at:

(An additional video that is humorous and more appropriate for older students is this clip from Teen Titans Go. Please preview this before showing to your students to see if it is appropriate for them.  Though it doesn't contain many facts about germs or handwashing, it is extremely memorable and emphasizes the need for frequent handwashing:  )

Ask questions: Why is it important to wash our hands? What did you learn from this video? What are germs?

Use this link to learn more about different types of germs (bacteria, virus, fungi) and to teach and answer questions:,they%20can%20make%20us%20sick.

Students complete handout as groups: 

Demonstrate handwashing: Display handwashing steps page and follow the instructions.

Students practice handwashing: Have students wash their hands following the instructions on the steps page. 


Step 4 - Assessments

Additional handwashing videos from Sesame Street/Youtube:



 Remember that assessment of student learning and mastery can be conducted in a variety of ways, including:

Check for understanding by checking handwashing technique and offer correction if needed. 

Display handwashing rubric near sink and remind students to check their technique frequently.