It's the Pits: Lesson Plan

Antiperspirants and deodorants change the microbial life on your body.

UNC-TV Media

Alignment to NC Essential Standards

  • 8.L.1.1 — Summarize the basic characteristics of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites relating to the spread, treatment and prevention of disease.

Learning Outcomes

Students will summarize the basic characteristics of bacteria including the spread, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Essential Vocabulary

  • Bacteria
  • Microbes
  • Bubonic plague
  • Salmonella
  • Cholera
  • Typhus
  • Staph infection


Classroom Discussion: How does a bacterium invade a cell and cause infection?  

  1. Students will watch the animation for Intracellular Infection by Salmonella from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute — 
  2. Lead the class through the two steps (parts) of bacterial invasion on the HHMI website, focusing on the following discussion questions:
    1. What are bacteria?
    2. Do most bacteria cause disease? 
    3. What are the two steps (parts) of Salmonella invasion?
    4. Once inside the human body, where do Salmonella bacteria live?


Three Infectious Diseases

Students will work independently to research the spread, treatment and prevention of one of the following bacteria infectious diseases.  


Three Infectious Diseases

Students will gather in small groups to answer the following questions:

  1. How is bubonic plague transmitted and spread?
  2. How is cholera transmitted and spread?
  3. How is typhus transmitted and spread?
  4. How is bubonic plague treated and prevented?
  5. How is cholera treated and prevented?
  6. How is typhus treated and prevented?


Students will view the NC Science Now video It’s the Pits and answer the questions below.

Discussion Questions:  

  1. How do antiperspirants block odors?
  2. List two ways in which extended use of antiperspirants affect armpit microbes. 
  3. What do you think are the benefits and dangers of erasing microbes from the skin? 
  4. What is staphylococcus, and why do you think it is mentioned in the segment?


Students will present their findings on Three Infectious Diseases, through a video, trifold or group paper.