Another One Bites the Dust: Combating Flu Season in the Classroom

By Stacey Burt on September 23, 2009

If anyone would have asked me a week ago if I was worried about the flu, I would have responded with, “Are you kidding, I have been teaching so long I don’t get sick.” As I watched my classroom attendance get smaller and smaller last week, I realized that this year’s flu was early and not taking any prisoners. To quote my students as fellow classmates became victims, “another one bites the dust.”

Just like everyone else, I heard the warnings and thought I was doing my part to combat the spread of flu germs in my house and classroom. Apparently this year’s strain is a little tougher than I anticipated. Falling victim to this illness is miserable. For me it is the constant coughing and aches that have lasted far too long. I miss my students and can’t wait to get back to a normal routine. So what can teachers do to make sure that they don’t become another flu statistic? Of course, wash your hands, a lot. On the day that I had 7 out of 18 students home sick with the flu, I knew it was my responsibility to make sure the others knew just how serious this year’s outbreak was. Here are some activities that the 6th grade teachers at my school did with our students to get them up-to-speed on flu specific strategies:

 1. We watched the Brainpop video on swine flu,

 2. Watched the YouTube video on how to sneeze,

3. Read the article, “Preventing the Spread of Swine Flu - Tips for Parents Students and Schools.”

Also check out the article that Scholastic has posted about the H1N1 flu:

swine flu article

We also discussed the value of washing hands and keeping desk surfaces clean. When I return to school later this week, I plan on having the students create some Public Service Announcements for the school focused on flu prevention strategies. My wish for all of you is that no one in you class, including you, has the misfortune of contracting the flu. I would love to hear about any classroom strategies that you have used to educate your students about influenza.

Happy Fall-



I came across this site for parents that may need materials for their sick students:


Thanks so much for posting this information. It's sure to help many parents out there helping their children prevent/battle the flu.

Cheers- Stacey

Wow! Thanks for sharing the great websites with us!

You're welcome Amy. Hope the information helps your class out.



Thanks for the video and article links. We have not had the flu as of yet here in school, but we are all taking extra precautions this year with cleaning desks, doorknobs, and computer keyboards. We have hand sanitizer available for all as well as disinfecting wipes in classrooms.

Hi Catherine-

I hope that you guys don't fall victim to the flu the way our school has. We are on fall break right now and hoping that all those nasty germs die. It's great that you all have hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available for your students. Way to be proactive!

Thanks for posting-


Hi Stacy! Oh is my school nurse going to LOVE this!! That YouTube video is hysterical!!! I can’t wait to share it with EVERYONE!!! Thanks sooo much!!!! Good luck with staying healthy this year!!! =)


Thanks for posting and here's to a healthy rest of the year!

Warm Regards-


Wow! We are working on keeping the germs away, but we haven't been hit like you have! Good luck with the rest of the year! Laura

Thanks Laura! Hopefully, you guys will not have the battle we've had with the flu. Thanks for taking the time to post.



Thanks for posting Gayle. Hope the information helps and you're able to stay "flu free" this season.

All the best-


Hi Stacey,

We start our school day by hanging up our coats and washing our hands. Hopefully it will help to cut down on illness in the classroom.

Hope you have a super school year.

Best, Jeremy

Excellent article and resources. Perfect timing. Thanks for sharing.

Post a Comment
(Please sign in to leave a comment. Privacy Policy)
RSS Subscribe ButtonSign up to get these great teaching ideas delivered automatically.Subscribe now >