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KS3: Introduction to Microbes

In this lesson, 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 there are three different types of microbes
  • Understand that microbes are found everywhere
  • Understand that useful bacteria are found in our body
  • Understand that microbes come in different sizes
Most students will:
  • Understand the key differences between the three main types of microbes
Background Information

Micro-organisms are living organisms too small to be seen with the naked eye; they are microscopic. Micro-organisms are found almost everywhere on Earth and can be both useful and harmful to humans. 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.

In this lesson plan, students are introduced to a wide range of useful and harmful microbes through an interactive card game. They will investigate well known microbes and learn about antimicrobial resistance.

Main activity:
  • Microbe mayhem card game
Extension activities:
  • Research poster
  • Microbes quiz
Curriculum links


  • Health and prevention


  • Working scientifically
  • Scientific attitudes
  • Experimental skills and investigation


  • Structure and function of living organisms
  • Cells and organisation
  • Genetics and evolution
  • Inheritance
  • Chromosomes
  • DNA and genes


  • Reading
  • Writing

Supporting Materials
Teacher sheets
KS3 Introduction to microbes teacher guidance
Student worksheets
SW1 Intro to microbes quiz
Student handouts
SH1 How big is a microbe?
SH2 microbe mayhem