Learn about microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi with this short podcast

Produced by FunKids Radio and the RSC, this short snippet uses Kareena and her superhero friend K-Mistry to introduce children to microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi.

This podcasts can be used as a ’hook’ when introducing the topic to your students, or at the end of a lesson to stimulate discussion about what they have learnt.

If you teach primary science, see the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
    • Observing changes over different periods of time
    • Carrying out comparative and fair tests
  • Drawing conclusions and raising further questions that could be investigated, based on their data and observations.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their methods and findings.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Describe how living things are classified into broad groups according to common observable characteristics and based on similarities and differences, including micro-organisms, plants and animals.

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • That bacteria and fungi, including yeast, are examples of micro-organisms and are alive.
  • That bacteria play many roles in our everyday lives; children will be able to give examples, including bread and cheese making.

Suggested activity use

This activity provides a useful hook into children looking into micro-organisms, and how they can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on the scenario. Children can explore yeast, and its role in bread making, as well as carrying out a fair test to look at variables that affect the activity of yeast.

Children could also look at the role of bacteria in the decomposition of food, by safely observing how different foods decompose over a period of a few weeks. These activities could be carried out as a whole class, with children working in groups.

Practical considerations

You will need yeast and other materials to carry out the investigation into variables affecting yeast’s activity.

You will need different foods and transparent, sealable containers when looking at the rate of decomposition of the foods.

Please take into account any health and safety considerations, particularly with the decomposition of food.