Skin health introduction (ages 8 - 10)

             Good Skin Knowledge

Skin health

Subtopic: Skin health introduction
Age group: 8-10
Time: 45 min


  • Understand and identify the term “epidermis”
  • Explain the different functions of the skin
  • Identify the three ways to take care of skin



1.    At the end of Opening, Facilitator will 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, Facilitator will note if students are able to make connection between objects on Skin Functions handout and functions of the skin and whether s/he needs to clarify more.

3.    During the Guided Practice, Facilitator will have students repeat and go through handout and make note of where s/he may need to clarify.

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


3-5 minutes

1.    Facilitator looks at students and says, “My epidermis is showing.”

2.    S/he then looks at another and says, “Your epidermis is showing too!” “Harry Potter’s [or someone else they can relate to] epidermis even shows.”

3.    Then s/he pauses and looks around and says, “All of our epidermises are showing.”

4.    Facilitator then asks, “Can you guess what epidermis is?”
    a.    Students should either raise hand or call out to guess what it is.
    b.    If students do not respond to question, Facilitator can ask pointed questions such as, “Do you think an epidermis is a pair of pants?” “Do you think it’s….?”

5.    Facilitator then goes on to 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 skin.”

6.    Facilitator then asks, “What is your epidermis?” to reinforce the material.
    a.    Students should respond, “Skin!”
    b.    If students do not understand that epidermis is skin, s/he will say it again and have the students repeat enthusiastically.

Introduction to new material

15-20 minutes
Materials: Skin Functions handout

1.    Facilitator hands out Skin Functions handout

2.    Facilitator asks students to look over the images quickly (15 secs).

3.    Facilitator then goes through each item and asks what the purpose of each of these items are:
    a.    Umbrella: Keep us dry.
    b.    Shield: Protect us from harm.
    c.    Fan: Keep us cool when it’s hot.
    d.    Stoplight: Tell us when to stop, go, and wait.
    e.    Coat: Keep us warm when it’s cold.
    f.    Tape: To keep things closed, like boxes.

4.    Facilitator explains that there are three layers to our skin, and they all do different things.

5.    Facilitator asks students how our skin acts like each item on the sheet, then provides answers/explanations:
    a.    Umbrella: Skin makes oil (sebum) which helps keep our skin waterproof!
    b.    Shield: It protects germs from getting in our body and from getting banged up (e.g. falling in mud during soccer).
    c.    Fan: Our skin keeps us cool through sweating. In fact, we have 650 sweat glands on one square inch of skin!
    d.    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.
        i.     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.”
        ii.    If we touch a glass and our skin tells us it’s not too hot or too cold, we pick it up “Go!”
    e.    Coat: It helps keep our body warm with the bottom layer of special fat.
    f.    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

1.    Facilitator explains that now that we know how our skin works, we have to take care of it. Just like our teeth, skin is an organ. And just like our teeth, we have to take care of it.

2.    Facilitator asks students to play True or False and makes the following statements:
    a.    It’s not important to brush our teeth? (False)
        i.    Follow-up questions: Why do we brush? “To keep them clean.” How many times? “Twice a day.”
    b.    In some sports, we have to wear mouth guards. (True)
        i.    Follow-up question: Why? “To protect our teeth.”
    c.    If we chip or break a tooth, we go to the store and use tape to fix it. (False)
        i.    Follow-up question: What can we do? “Go to the dentist.”

3.    Then Facilitator explains that they all already know how to take care of their skin.
    a.    Keep it clean! Just like our teeth, we wash once in the morning and once at night, only we use face wash.
    b.    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.
    c.    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.

4.    Facilitator hands out 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

1.    Facilitator asks questions for review, and students can either raise hands or call out (calling out tends to be more inclusive and fun).:
    a.    What is epidermis? (Skin!)
    b.    Name three things the skin does! (Answers may vary.)
    c.    What are the three ways we take care of our skin?
           i. (Clean it! Protect it from the sun! Take care of it when we get hurt!)

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Program made possible
through a grant from Stiefel, a GSK company.