Bacteria Unit for Students with Multiple Disabilities

This overview of bacteria includes an introduction, an experiment, and a candy-matching activity designed for students with visual impairments and additional disabilities.

By Helen Benton, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI)


In my high school class at TSBVI, I served two students with CVI (one print user, and one who uses pictures and videos for instructional purposes), one DeafBlind student who uses print and intervener services, and one student with no vision who uses tactile symbols and auditory information. We were also a hybrid classroom due to COVID-19, so some of the students had access to school over Zoom, and some were in my classroom. 

In this unit we started with an overview of bacteria, then did an experiment, and followed by a candy-matching activity.

Overview of Bacteria

I created a PowerPoint presentation to introduce the students to the topic of bacteria. The information shared was as follows.

What we wanted to learn:

  1. What are the different shapes and sizes of bacteria?
  1. How small is bacteria?
  2. Is bacteria in our body like bones are?

Bacteria and Viruses

For more information, see

What is bacteria?

The BAD Bacteria

Questions about BAD Bacteria:

  1. Name 1 type of harmful bacteria: _________________________
  2. What are 2 things a bad bacteria could do inside your body?
    • Give your energy and strength
    • Help your bones and hair grow
    • Make you sick and give you cavities

The GOOD Bacteria

Food with helpful bacteria:

Video– Bacteria: Energy Producers of the Future?

Watch this video to see the way bacteria in dirty water can actually help us produce electricity!

Questions about GOOD bacteria:


Unicellular = made of only one single cell

Bacterial cell
Bacterial cell image from Wikipedia

Shape and Structure

  1. What does unicellular mean? How many cells does a bacteria have?
  1. Some bacteria have a little tail structure that helps them move. This is called _________________.
    • Arms
    • Wheels
    • Flagellum



4 images of bacteria locations:  elevator button, bottom of shoe, toilet, and palm of hand
4 images of bacteria locations: elevator button, bottom of shoe, toilet, and palm of hand

Hypothesis: ______________________ will have the most bacteria on it, because ___________________________________.

Invite each student to create a hypothesis.

Experiment Procedure

  1. Collect samples
  2. Spread on “agar” special bacteria growing jelly
  3. Wait for bacteria to grow!
  4. See which grows most!

Candy-Matching Activity

Learn the shapes and names of different bacteria by exploring candies- with touch and tongue. Students sort and label the different types of bacteria forms before eating. Identifying bacteria by their shape helps doctors and scientists understand what different kinds of bacteria do, and whether they might help or harm our bodies.

Bacteria Shape Learning Candy Activity
Download the Bacteria Shape Learning Candy Activity in PDF or Word format below.

Download Bacteria Shape Learning Candy Activity (PDF)

Download Bacteria Shape Learning Candy Activity (Word document)

Feature image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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