I believe if this quarantine has taught us anything, it’s the importance of small things. A handshake, grabbing coffee with friends, attending class, or even visiting the gym. Small actions and routines can have a huge impact on our daily lives, and it turns out, so can their absence. Add the losses up, and it’s safe to say everyone has had a difficult time adjusting to the new realities of social distancing. This is particularly true for teachers and students who saw their school year abruptly cut short.
Still, our new appreciation for small things has also created opportunities for encouragement. Teachers have supplied needy parents with countless free educational resources designed to keep curiosity alive. Entire communities have mobilized to help vulnerable or at-risk individuals get the food and medicine they need. Artists and content creators have started charity streams, calling on viewers to donate what they can to organizations like Feeding America, United Way, or their local businesses.
And you? You can do so much from the safety of your own home. Here a just a few small ways you can save lives and help prevent the spread!
Educate Yourself and Others
How does a virus like COVID-19 spread? We know we should wear masks and stay at least six feet apart, but we should also understand why this is important. Use these educational resources to teach students, friends, and yourself about the spread of germs. Learn how they pass from one person to the next and what unhealthy habits might contribute to their success. As any good educator will tell you, knowledge is power, and recognizing a mistake is the first step toward learning.
Help Children Sort Fact from Myth
There is a good chance you’ve seen posts on social media claiming COVID-19 was started because of people eating bat soup. This is, of course, ridiculous and completely false. However, young learners can have a difficult time differentiating between fact from fiction. Some myths can even be dangerous, such as claiming young people don’t have to worry about getting infected. Once your students understand how viruses like COVID-19 spread, help them determine which information sources are reliable and scientific and which ones are not.
Perform Some Science
Now that your students have their information, it’s time to perform some experiments. Soaps and hand sanitizers are useful for preventing the spread of COVID-19, but which ones work the best? What other disinfectants can help keep your community safe? The bread and bacteria investigation is one experiment that can allow students to determine the answers. Using the data collected from this experiment, have your children respond to the questions: “How do different disinfectants affect bacteria? Which one will best protect people from COVID-19? How are we preventing the spread?”
Promote the Spread…of Knowledge!
By now you’ve probably seen several videos sharing the proper method for washing your hands. This is a good place to start and an important step to staying healthy. What other healthy habits can your students cultivate, and how can they spread their newfound knowledge to the world? Consider having your students create a focused PSA to share with their friends and family. Are they artistic? Why not have them create an infographic with facts about COVID-19? Do they enjoy Tik Tok and YouTube? Challenge them to make a fun video using the information they gleaned from the Bread and Bacteria experiment. By sharing their learning with the wider world, your students can literally save lives!