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Skin health introduction (ages 8-10)

Good Skin Knowledge lesson plan

  Time: 45 min


Students will be able to:

  • Understand and identify the term “epidermis”

  • Learn the different functions of the skin

  • Learn how to take care of skin



  1. At the end of Opening, note whether students have understood that  epidermis is skin by noting whether they can answer the question, “What is your epidermis?”

  2. During Introduction to New Material, note if students are able to make connection between objects on Skin Functions handout and functions of the skin and whether you need to clarify, where necessary.

  3. During the Guided Practice, have students repeat and go through handout and make note of where you may need to clarify, where necessary.

  4. During Closing, ask questions to review material and see if students can answer correctly.


3-5 minutes

  • Look at students and says, “My epidermis is showing.”

  • Look at another and says, “Your epidermis is showing too!” “Harry Potter’s [or someone else they can relate to] epidermis even shows.”

  • Pause and look around and says, “All of our epidermises are showing.”

  • Ask, “Can you guess what epidermis is?”

    • Students should either raise hand or call out to guess what it is.

    • If students do not respond to question, ask pointed questions such as, “Do you think an epidermis is a pair of pants?” “Do you think it’s….?”

  • Explain, “Epidermis is just like your heart! And your lungs! And even your stomach, eyes, and teeth. It’s an organ. A part of your body with a specialized task. And you all actually know what epidermis is. It’s a fancy, scientific name for the top layer of your skin.”

  • Ask, “What is your epidermis?” to reinforce the material.

    • Students should respond, “Skin!”

    • If students do not understand that epidermis is skin, ask again and have the students repeat enthusiastically.

Introduction to new material

15-20 minutes

Materials: Skin Functions handout 

  • Distribute Skin Functions handout

  • Ask students to look over the images quickly (15 secs).

  • Go through each item and asks what the purpose of each of these items are:

    • Umbrella: Keep us dry.

    • Shield: Protect us from harm.

    • Fan: Keep us cool when it’s hot.

    • Stoplight: Tell us when to stop, go, and wait.

    • Coat: Keep us warm when it’s cold.

    • Tape: To keep things closed, like boxes.

  • Explain that there are three layers to our skin, and they all do different things.

  • Ask students how our skin acts like each item on the sheet, then provides answers/explanations:

    • Umbrella: Skin makes oil (sebum) which helps keep our skin waterproof!

    • Shield: It protects germs from getting in our body and from getting banged up (e.g. falling in mud during soccer).

    • Fan: Our skin keeps us cool through sweating. In fact, we have 650 sweat glands on one square inch of skin!

    • Stoplight: Nerve endings in our skin send signals to our brains about how things feel. Our skin lets us know if something is hot or cold/soft or hard.

      • For example, if we feel the heat of a fire, we know not to touch it because our skin will feel pain, “Stop! Like a red light.”

      • If we touch a glass and our skin tells us it’s not too hot or too cold, we pick it up “Go!”

    • Coat: It helps keep our body warm with the bottom layer of special fat.

    • Tape: Skin holds everything in; from our heart to our lungs and muscles, just like tape holds a box together to keep everything inside.

Guided practice

10-15 minutes

Materials: Taking Care of Your Skin handout 

  • Explain that now that we know how our skin works, we have to take  care of it. Just like our teeth, we have to take care of our skin.

  • Ask students to play True or False and makes the following statements:

    • It’s not important to brush our teeth? (False) Follow-up questions: Why do we brush? “To keep them clean.” How many times? “Twice a day.”

    • In some sports, we have to wear mouth guards. (True) Follow-up question: Why? “To protect our teeth.”

    • If we chip or break a tooth, we go to the store and use tape to fix it. (False) Follow-up question: What can we do? “Go to the dentist.”

  • Explain that they all already know how to take care of their skin.

    • Keep it clean! Just like our teeth, we wash once in the morning and once at night, only we use cleanser.

    • We protect it! Instead of a mouth guard, we use sunscreen and clothing to help protect it from the sun so we don’t burn.

    • We take care of it when we get hurt! If we need to, we can go to a  skin doctor, or dermatologist. But if it’s not banged up too badly, we just need to make sure we take care of it properly by cleaning it and protecting it.

  • Distribute Taking Care of Your Skin handout and goes through it while having students repeat, “Keep it clean! Protect it from the sun! Take care of it!”


5 minutes

  • Ask questions for review, and students can either raise hands or call out (calling out tends to be more inclusive and fun).:

    • What is epidermis? (Skin!)

    • Name three things the skin does! (Answers may vary.)

    • What are the three ways we take care of our skin? (Clean it! Protect it from the sun! Take care of it when we get hurt!)