Mask Up

The importance of mask wearing in a COVID-19 world (60 min)

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Topic: Wearing a mask

Introduction: (~5 min)
Introduce the students to today’s topic: COVID-19 safety! Ask them what they know about COVID-19. How is it spread? How are we working to keep ourselves and our friends safe here at school? There is no need to go too in depth about masks/ hand washing protocol here as we will cover these topics later.

Activity 1: Sesame Street Video (~10 min)
Connect a computer to a projector (i.e SMART board), and play the following YouTube video: Bring their attention to the board. Let children know that they are going to watch a video that has a red friend in it. Ask them, “Can you guess who we will be watching today?” ELMO!

*If children have issues focusing on the video, feel free to pose some questions listed below during the video.

MAIN MESSAGE: Masks serve as a tool to protect others from their own germs. In addition to wearing a mask, social/physical distancing and hand-washing must be practiced to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus (germ). Despite all of these restrictions, children can continue to socialize with their friends and family through video chats (i.e. ZOOM, Google Meet, etc.).

Activity 2: Post-Video Discussion and Mask Worksheet (~20 min)
Open up a discussion about what the kids learned from the video. Some possible questions are:
Are masks good or bad? How can they help us?
When should we wear a mask?
Should YOU wear a mask in public?
What are some safe ways for you to hang out with your friends right now?
Why should we wash our hands?
After discussing the video, demonstrate how to properly wear a mask, emphasizing that it must cover both the nose and the mouth. Include commentary on how important it is to not touch your face throughout the day. Allow them to ask any questions about masks (they could ask about eating, drinking, talking, etc. while wearing one).
Once the mask explanation is complete, pass out the worksheets and allow the children to complete them by circling the characters who are correctly wearing masks (~5 min). Afterwards, give the correct answers (from left to right: yes no yes yes no no) along with explanations, again allowing for questions.

Activity 3: Hand Washing Song(s) (~15 min)

Introduce the students to the handwashing song, printed on their mask worksheets. Sing them a few times together as a class (3-5 times each) until you feel that the students have a good grasp of each song. Tell them that they should pick their favorite song and sing it two times during one hand washing session in order to get those hands clean!
“Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands” (Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Wash, wash, wash your hands
While you sing this song
Rub and scrub, rub and scrub
The germs swirl down the drain

Scrub, scrub, scrub your hands
While you sing this song
Rub and scrub, rub and scrub
The germs swirl down the drain

Repeat (x1)

“If You’re Happy and You Know It Wash Your Hands” (If You’re Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands)

If you’re happy and you know it,
Wash your hands!
If you’re happy and you know it,
Wash your hands!
If you’re happy and you know it,
Then you’re face will surely show it,
If you’re happy and you know it,
Wash your hands!

Repeat (x1)

(If time:) Activity 4: Real Hand Washing (~5 min)
If this can be done safely with your school’s set-up, guide the students to a sink. Have each student call out what song they want to sing and then wash their hands while everyone sings along with them. Do this for each student or maybe just for 2-3 volunteers, whatever time allows! Encourage students and celebrate what a great job they are doing!

Conclusion: What did you learn? (~5 min)
Reconvene with all students and open a final discussion. Ask them,
“What did we learn today?”
“Why are masks good for us?”
“What are germs?”
“How should we wear our masks? Like this? Or like this?”
“How about when we go outside? Should we wear our masks too?”
“Do you remember the songs we used for hand-washing?”
“What is social distancing?”
Awesome job! Not only are we learning about important routines, but we are keeping our classroom space clean and safe for everyone! Elmo would be really proud of you! :)

Materials needed:

Worksheet (can be printed front and back or in two pages)