Welcome homeschoolers, teachers, and science buffs! You may have realized by now that I love weaving fact with fiction. I did a ton of research before and during the writing of BREATHE so that I could understand what made this virus different from the virus that shows up every flu season. Then I asked the smartest high school science teacher I know, Nadia Smith, if she would create a lesson plan to go along with BREATHE. If you are studying viruses, bacteria, pandemics, influenza, or the Spanish flu specifically, here are some great resources and guidelines to help you understand not only this year's influenza season but why the Spanish flu was so deadly. These are resources that Ms. Smith uses in her high school classroom here in Phoenix. Some of the materials and resources would also be appropriate for younger students. The Glow-germ lesson plan below is my favorite and would be something that homeschoolers who have children of different ages could all do together.
ATTACK OF THE VIRUSES
Discover the anatomical structure and infection mechanisms of a virus in the human body and develop a detailed understanding of the life cycle of a virus and the human body’s reaction to a viral infection.
Essential Question(s): What is a virus and how does it infect humans?
VIRUS VS BACTERIA
Short Ted-Ed video comparing and contrasting bacteria and viruses
Students can diagram the structure and components of a bacterium and of a virus to visualize the differences. Look online for images.
INFLUENZA LIFE CYCLE [IMAGE]
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
“How Influenza Pandemics Occur”
“How Pandemics Spread”
INTERPRETING CHARTS, TABLES AND GRAPHS USING THE CDC'S WEEKLY U.S. INFLUENZA SURVEILLANCE REPORT
Real-time data from the CDC allows students to practice analyzing and interpreting charts, tables, and graphs.
HOW GERMS SPREAD
Glo-germ Lotion Kit Lesson, created by Cynthia B. House
Materials can be purchased from Educational Innovations: https://www.teachersource.com/
Proper Hand Washing Can Help Stop the Spread of Germs and Diseases
Cross-Contamination in the Kitchen (foodborne illnesses)
How Germs Spread (suitable for younger students)
Epidemic (suitable for older students) and vaccine variations
Diseases in American History Research Project
Bioethical case study on staying home if you have the flu (reading and discussion questions)
American Experience “1918 Flu Pandemic” Documentary
ONLINE PRIMARY RESOURCES:
Library of Congress, digital collections
Medical Heritage Library
Digital Public Library of America
Chronicling America (historic newspapers, “influenza” search)
There you go. The science fact behind the fiction. If you are interested in seeing how all this connects into BREATHE, you can buy the paperback HERE and the eBook HERE. If you try out the Glo-germ lotion lesson with your student(s), please let me know. My social media links are above. And a friendly reminder. It's flu season. Wash your hands often and sneeze into your elbow, please.