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Found in: health & PE; science; preK-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

Determining whether our bodies harbor and transport 10 times or 3 times as many microbes as human cells may not be as important as understanding that not all microbes are bad and that many are essential to maintaining good health. The following website, lessons, and resources reveal the good and the bad.

The Microbiology Society’s Microbiology Online supports the teaching and learning of microbiology with sections of free resources for teachers and students. Another section, Microbe Passports simulates a look down a microscope to explore the world of microbes.

For Teachers has sections covering microbes and basic principles, preparation of media and cultures, safety information, practical advice, activities, and resources. Activities include PDF teacher guides, worksheets and other materials, and videos on diseases and super bugs, as well as stimulus statements and what if questions. One activity, A Bag of Diseases pairs students to find information on a microbe and then present it. Resources include PDF booklets, comics, and fact files and videos and podcasts.

For Students links to Microbe Passports, presents a STI quiz, facts, microbial recipes, microbiology study questions (with answers), and resources: booklet, poster, comics, fact files, videos and podcasts, and more.

Microbe Passports is a virtual microscope. Students click to explore the good and bad microbes on the slide. They use their cursor to move around the slide, and when they click on an animated cartoon image of a species, a photo of the microbe and an information sheet appear.

Lesson Plans

  • Which Food Does Yeast Like Best? Students (K-4) design and conduct experiments to measure yeast fermentation with different foods.
  • Microbes A set of 12 lessons in which students (6-8) learn how microbes play key roles our lives. Includes pre- and post-assessment. Standards listed.
  • Killer Microbe Students (9-12) model how horizontal gene transfer contributes to the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in bacteria. Standards listed.

Lesson and Activity Collections:

Print Resources:

Visual Resources:


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