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Microbes are Different

In this worksheet, students will be looking at what micro-organisms are all about, what they do and what makes them so different from much of the rest of the living world and how they are involved in diseases.

'Microbes are Different' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Animals, including Humans

Curriculum subtopic:   Healthy Bodies: Lifestyle

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Micro-organisms (or microbes, or even germs) are just that ... micro-sized.

 

Bacteria

 

For a long time in human history, their existence was never even suspected: for example, the great typhoid and cholera epidemics in cities like London in Victorian times were put down to "something in the nasty smells in the air".  So people would walk around with sweet smelling things under their noses to avoid becoming ill.

 

Now we know a lot more about them and this worksheet acts as a simple introduction to the world of microbes.

Most micro-organisms cannot be seen except with a...

magnifying glass

microscope

telescope

Which of the following statements is true of all micro-organisms?

they are all harmful

they can all be killed by washing your hands

they reproduce

Which of the following is NOT caused by a micro-organism?

mould on jam

tooth decay

indigestion

Which of the following micro-organisms are NOT useful?

bacteria in yoghurt

salmonella

yeast

Which type of microbe causes infections such as measles, flu and the common cold?

 

Sneezing

viruses

bacteria

fungi

Which type of micro-organism causes diseases such as sore throats, food poisoning and tetanus?

viruses

bacteria

fungi

Which type of micro-organism causes athlete's foot?

viruses

bacteria

fungi

Which type of 'good' micro-organism is found in our intestines and helps us to digest our food?

viruses

bacteria

fungi

Which type of micro-organism causes mould to grow on decaying food, like jam and cheese?

viruses

bacteria

fungi

Why is it likely that, if someone in your class has a 'cold', quite a few of their classmates will get the 'cold' too?

They had the same thing to eat at lunch

The cold virus passed to them through the air

Those classmates all shared their sweets

  • Question 1

Most micro-organisms cannot be seen except with a...

CORRECT ANSWER
microscope
EDDIE SAYS
It's a microscope, but even good laboratory ones struggle to see any microbes clearly at their maximum magnification of over 1000 times. The best instrument for viewing them is an electron microscope which can magnify in the millions (and that's about what they cost too!).
  • Question 2

Which of the following statements is true of all micro-organisms?

CORRECT ANSWER
they reproduce
EDDIE SAYS
The fact that they can reproduce alarmingly quickly makes some of the more harmful microbes very difficult to combat. On the other hand where they are useful it's a good thing that they multiply quickly.
  • Question 3

Which of the following is NOT caused by a micro-organism?

CORRECT ANSWER
indigestion
EDDIE SAYS
Indigestion is caused by eating too much too fast - your stomach makes too much acid, to help food digestion, and it affects your stomach wall and hurts!
  • Question 4

Which of the following micro-organisms are NOT useful?

CORRECT ANSWER
salmonella
EDDIE SAYS
Salmonella is the micro-organism that causes food poisoning and you often hear about it when an area of the UK has a 'salmonella scare'.
  • Question 5

Which type of microbe causes infections such as measles, flu and the common cold?

 

Sneezing

CORRECT ANSWER
viruses
EDDIE SAYS
Viruses are incredibly small and very difficult to treat. That's why we keep getting colds - it's a different sort of cold virus we haven't had before.
  • Question 6

Which type of micro-organism causes diseases such as sore throats, food poisoning and tetanus?

CORRECT ANSWER
bacteria
EDDIE SAYS
Bacterial diseases are usually treated with medicines called antibiotics, like penicillin, which attack the bacteria and kill them.
  • Question 7

Which type of micro-organism causes athlete's foot?

CORRECT ANSWER
fungi
EDDIE SAYS
Athlete's foot is a fungal growth, attacking damp areas of the feet, which can become very itchy.
  • Question 8

Which type of 'good' micro-organism is found in our intestines and helps us to digest our food?

CORRECT ANSWER
bacteria
EDDIE SAYS
You might not believe it but there are masses of microscopic bacteria living in our guts doing a great job helping us to break down our food and get the nutrients out of it.
  • Question 9

Which type of micro-organism causes mould to grow on decaying food, like jam and cheese?

CORRECT ANSWER
fungi
EDDIE SAYS
Mould is a type of fungus that grows on food - it's doing its natural 'thing', breaking down dead substances into simple chemicals which can be re-used by plants.
  • Question 10

Why is it likely that, if someone in your class has a 'cold', quite a few of their classmates will get the 'cold' too?

CORRECT ANSWER
The cold virus passed to them through the air
EDDIE SAYS
When people with 'colds' cough and sneeze the cold virus is spread out into the air - even breathing will do that. It's hard not to get 'colds'!
---- OR ----

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