Lose a Million Bacteria The Game
Based on the popular TV game show, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, this activity allows students to put their food safety knowledge to the test. It reinforces safe food handling practices, promotes cooperative learning, encourages class participation, and reviews food safety in a fun, interactive way. On Day 1, students create their own evaluation questions based on what they’ve learned from the Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety video, activities, and labs. Then, on Day 2, they play the game, using the questions as an evaluation exercise.
Time to Complete
For Each Team of Students
- Lose a Million Bacteria game template
- Materials to make slides and/or signs
For the Class
- Overhead projector
- Raffle-style tickets with the same number on both ends
- Drawing bowl
- 2 chairs — one for the host and one for the contestant (placed at the front of the room like a game show set)
For Each Team
- Overhead transparencies or signs with food safety questions
- Signs to illustrate each bacterial level (1,000,000 / 750,000 / 500,000 / 250,000)
- “Winner” and “Applause” signs (optional)
Day 1: Introduction and Creating the Questions
- Introduce the game by saying, "You’ve heard of the popular TV game show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” Well, now it’s your turn to play! But in this game we don’t win a million, we lose a million. Don’t have a million to lose? Oh, yes you do! We’re not talking dollars here, we’re talking BACTERIA! Yes, it’s the Lose a Million Bacteria game. Today we’re going to prepare our questions for the game. Tomorrow you’ll have a chance to use your food safety knowledge and lose a million bacteria!"
- Divide students into 5 teams.
- Give each team 1 game template.
- Challenge each team to create 8 questions for their module based on what they learned from the food safety lesson(s) or unit. Create 2 very easy, 2 easy, 2 moderate, and 2 challenging questions.
- Teacher tip: Assign each group a specific and different area to formulate their questions based upon the curriculum you have taught.
- Have teams write their questions on the template in an order ranging from very easy to challenging.
- Write the correct and incorrect answers in the alphabetical spaces provided on the template.
- Review the questions and answers with each team and help them select 4 questions (very easy, easy, moderate, and challenging) to be used for the game. Then, write the correct answers for these questions in the Answer Key on the back of the template.
- On Day 2 of the game, each team will conduct the Lose a Million Bacteria game based on the questions they’ve created and selected for their module. Have the teams decide what roles their fellow teammates will play (e.g., asking questions, selecting contestants, displaying questions, holding up signs, etc.).
- Have each team prepare overhead slides or signs for each question, and signs for applause, winner, bacterial levels, etc.
- On Day 2, they’re ready to play the game!
Day 2: The Game
- The game is set up for 5 contestants with 5 sets (5 modules) of food safety questions.
- As students enter the classroom, give each one a numbered ticket. Have them tear the ticket in half, place one half in the drawing bowl, and keep the other half.
- The team for Module 1 will moderate the first round of the game.
- Read the following rules to the students, then have the Module 1 team draw a numbered ticket from the drawing bowl. The student with the matching number is the first contestant!
- Note: Students from the hosting team can’t answer questions from their module. If a ticket from a host team member is selected, draw another ticket.
- Each contestant has the opportunity to answer four food safety questions. Before the host reads each question, the level of bacteria to be reached should be displayed. The host reads the question and four possible answers. For every correct answer, hold up the signs indicating the level of bacteria that has been decreased. The amount of bacteria decreases by 250,000 — from 1,000,000 to 750,000 to 500,000 to 250,000 to “Winner.” Optional: Hold up an “Applause” sign for each correct answer. If the contestant gives an incorrect answer, their round is finished. Then, the host should draw another ticket. Continue until all the module questions are answered.
- Each contestant can choose two lifelines during their round:
- Ask a Friend — Students in the class who believe they know the correct answer should raise their hands. The contestant selects one student to give his or her answer. If there are no volunteers, the contestant draws a ticket and the student with the matching ticket has a chance to respond.
- 50/50 and Try the Audience — Cover up 2 of the incorrect answers. The host will ask the class if the first remaining answer is correct. Those who think it’s correct will stand. Those who think it’s incorrect will remain seated. Repeat for the last remaining answer. The contestant then selects his or her answer.
- After all the Module 1 questions are answered, continue the game with teams for Module 2, 3, 4, and 5.
File, Map, or Graphic
The Science and Our Food Supply Curriculum was brought to you by the Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and the National Science Teachers Association.
- FDA Education Team Leader Food Safety Initiative: Marjorie L. Davidson
- FDA Science and Our Food Supply Project Director: Louise H. Dickerson
- FDA/NSTA Associate Executive Director and Science and Our Food Supply Program Director: Christina Gorski
- FDA/NSTA Science and Our Food Supply Program Assistant: Jill Heywood
Lessons Associated with this Resource
- Blue's the Clue: Souring Milk for Science (Grades 6-8)
- Chain of Food (Grades 6-8)
- Cooking Right: The Science of Cooking a Hamburger (Grades 6-8)
- Crossed Up!
- Hands Off, Bacteria!
- Supermarket Smarts
- Ultra High Pressure Treatment (Grades 6-8)
- Understanding Bacteria (Grades 6-8)
- Chain of Food (Grades 9-12)
- Ultra High Pressure Treatment (Grades 9-12)
- Outbreak Alert - Shigella
- Blue's the Clue: Souring Milk for Science (Grades 9-12)
- Mystery Juice (Grades 9-12)
- Understanding Bacteria (Grades 9-12)
- A Chilling Investigation