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KS2: Introduction to Microbes

Students learn about the different types of microbes – bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They learn that microbes have different shapes and that they are found everywhere.

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Learning objectives
All students will:
  • Understand that bacteria, viruses, and fungi are three main types of microbes
  • Understand that microbes are found everywhere
Most students will:
  • Understand that microbes come in different shapes and sizes and are too small to be seen by the naked eye
  • Understand that microbes can be beneficial, harmful, or both
Background Information

Micro-organisms, more commonly known as ‘germs’, ‘bugs’ or ‘microbes’, are tiny living things too small to be seen with the naked eye. They are found almost everywhere on Earth. It is important to clarify that microbes are not innately ‘useful’ or ‘harmful’.

Although extremely small, microbes come in many different shapes and sizes. The three groups of microbes covered in this resource are viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

This lesson plan will encourage students to consider the different types of microbes, become familiar with some of the most well known microbes, and design their own.

Main activities:
  • Design-a-bug
Extension activities:
  • What are microbes? worksheet
  • What microbe am I? worksheet
Curriculum links


  • Health and prevention


  • Working scientifically
  • Living things and their habitats


  • Reading and comprehension

Art & Design:

  • Painting
  • Recording observations
Supporting Materials
Teacher Guidance
KS2 Intro to microbes teacher guidance
Student Worksheets
SW1 Design-a-bug worksheet
SW2 What microbe am I?
SW3 What are microbes?
Student Handouts
SH1 Designabug microbe types and shape outlines
SH2 Design-a-bug examples
SH3 What are microbes?
SH4 How big is a microbe?