Skip to main

KS4: Introduction to Microbes

Students are introduced to the exciting world of microbes. In this lesson they will learn about bacteria, viruses, and fungi, their different shapes, and the fact that they are found everywhere.

Scroll down for more information and to download resources.

Download the complete lessonDownload DOCXDownload PPTDownload PDF
Learning objectives
All students will:
  • Understand that useful bacteria are found in our body
  • Understand that microbes come in different sizes
  • Understand the key differences between the three main types of microbes
Most students will:
  • Understand using a variety of concepts and models to develop scientific explanations
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, students will explore the characteristics of different microbes and become familiar with some of the most common and well known microbes through a game.

Main activity:
  • Microbe mayhem card game
Extension activities:
  • Peer education
  • Microbe poster
  • History of microbes timeline
Curriculum links


  • Scientific thinking
  • Analysis and evaluation
  • Experimental skills and strategies


  • Cells
  • Development of medicines
  • Health and disease


  • Health and prevention


  • Reading
  • Writing

Art & Design:

  • Graphic communication

Supporting Materials
Teacher sheets
KS4 Introduction to microbes teacher guidance
Student handouts
SH1 How big is a microbe?
SH2 Microbe mayhem