As the weather gets colder and cold and flu season approaches, you might begin to hear some frightening sounds in the classroom: sniffles and sneezes and coughing. Oh no! What should you do when everyone starts to get sick? Sit tight, remember to wash your hands, and educate yourself with these 7 videos about viruses and healthy habits.
Video Playlist: Cold & Flu Season
Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.
- Please Cover Your Mouth (1:30)
The worst thing about colds? They're contagious! As this cheery song from Yo Gabba Gabba reminds us, it's important to watch out for others when you're sick, so cover your mouth to protect your friends and family from germs.
- Flu Attack! How a Virus Invades Your Body (3:39)
So how exactly does the flu work? This animated video from NPR explains how microscopic viruses enter a host (that's you!) to infect its cells and multiply. This process causes inflammation, a runny nose, and fever: a cold.
- Awkward Moments When You're Sick (2:09)
We've all been there: carrying boxes of tissues from classroom to classroom, sniffling during a test, or trying in vain to swallow absurdly large cold medicine pills. As this funny video from BuzzFeed Violet shows, you're not alone in your virus-induced misery.
- Nothing to Sneeze At (5:03)
Dr. Lydia Bourouiba uses applied mathematics to analyze coughs and sneezes. She hopes that her research will reveal more about the environmental conditions that help viruses spread, and how to keep germs at bay in crowded situations.
- The Simple Science of Colds and Flu (9:43)
Surprisingly, our understanding of viruses hasn't evolved much since the 50s. As this vintage educational video by McGraw-Hill shows, much of the common-sense advice for treating and preventing colds is as true today as it was in your parents' time.
- Google Science Fair: Meet Eric Chen (2:17)
Unfortunately, there's no true cure for the common cold once you've caught it (besides rest). However, you can get a yearly vaccine that protects against many common influenza strains. Superstar student Eric Chen noticed some similarities between many the viruses and invented a more effective flu vaccine.
- 8 Sick Remedies That Actually Work (3:07)
Although there's no cure for the common cold, everyone has their preferred methods for dealing with one. The guys at AsapSCIENCE break down which common remedies are most likely to get you back to full health faster.
More Resources on How to Cope with Cold and Flu Season
Flu season can be rough on students, parents, and teachers alike, but there are plenty of opportunities to turn it into a learning experience. Check out the links below for more information about how to talk about staying healthy, courtesy and respect, and biology with your students.
- "What's the difference between cold and flu?" by Jordan Lite via Scientific American
- "Information for Schools and Childcare Providers" on influenza via the Centers for Disease Control
- Influenza Virus Classroom Activities via University of Nebraska Lincoln's World of Viruses
- "Tips from School Nurses on Keeping Students Healthy" via KidsHealth
- Edutopia's Health and Wellness Topic Page
- Lesson Ideas: Colds and Flu via BrainPOP Educators
- Cold and Flu Intermediate English Language Lesson via Developing Teachers
- KidsHealth Colds and Flu Activities for: PreK to Grade 2; Grades 3 to 5; Grades 6 to 8; Grades 9 to 12