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COVID-19 Pandemic

A Science-based Curriculum for the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Pandemic

The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 created the unprecedented need for education about viruses, infectious diseases, disease prevention and public health in general. The COVID HACKS (Healthy Actions, Community Knowledge and Science) project offers lessons and other teaching resources to address these needs.

In this section, you will find informational materials, such as a Guide to Healthy Schools and an overview of COVID-12. You also will find classroom lessons for different grade bands (K–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12) suitable for use in science, social studies and even reading classes.

Help your students become more informed about viruses, infectious diseases and how they can protect themselves, their friends and their families.

 

COVID-19 Basic Information

What is COVID-19? Where did it come from? What do I need to know to protect my family?

Thumbnail Image for Tips for a Healthy Holiday Slide Set

Tips for a Healthy Holiday

Use this short slide presentation to provide students and staff with strategies to reduce risks from COVID-19 during holiday gatherings.

Grade(s)
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
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Information for Educators on COVID-19

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus that first appeared in Wuhan, China in December, 2019. BioEd provides teaching resources and links to science and health information to help you and your students prevent disease.

Grade(s)
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
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Planning for Healthy Schools: A Guide to Reopening and Safe Operations

Planning for Healthy Schools provides an overview of health guidelines and strategies to maintain healthy buildings and protect people. It also contains decision-making tools about when to stay home, what to do if someone is ill or tests positive for COVID-19 and provides links to resources.

Grade(s)
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
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Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

In late 2019 a new respiratory illness appeared in Wuhan, China caused by SARS-CoV-2, a betacoronavirus, like MERS and SARS, both of which originated in bats. The respiratory illness, coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) expanded rapidly and now represents an evolving public health emergency with new information published daily.

Grade(s)
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
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What Is Coronavirus?

Students gather information online to explore differences between viruses and cells, and to learn about the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. This information is both recent and developing, and it helps illustrate to students that science involves ongoing discovery of new information. Note that the objectives meet two of the TEKS objectives for high school biology.

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Grade(s)
9-12

COVID-19 Prevention

How do we know if we have the coronavirus, and what can we do about it? Engage students in active learning about important health practices effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

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It Starts @Home

Students will learn about common symptoms of COVID-19, as listed in health communications, and discuss similarities and differences of COVID-19 with other illnesses, such as colds or flu (influenza).

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Grade(s)
K-2 3-5 6-8
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Clean Hands Knock Out Germs!

Washing hands correctly kills germs that cause disease. This lesson explains why washing hands is important and how to clean hands correctly.

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Grade(s)
K-2 3-5 6-8
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Transmission by Droplets

Student teams will use water in a spray bottle to observe 1) the importance of physical distancing by at least six feet and 2) why masks are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

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Grade(s)
3-5 6-8
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Which Fabrics Make the Most Effective Covid-19 Face Covering?

Not all fabrics make equally protective face coverings or masks. The selection of material should not be left to chance. In this activity, students construct a mask tester to evaluate the filtering effectiveness of different fabrics.

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Grade(s)
3-5 6-8
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Masking Up!

Students discuss the importance of wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic and learn best practices for wearing and removing a face covering.

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Grade(s)
K-2 3-5
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The More the Merrier?

Students use powdered drink mix in plastic cups to simulate disease transmission in different size crowds.

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Grade(s)
3-5 6-8
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How Close is Too close?

The COVID-19 infection has made “social distancing” a common phrase. It means that we should keep a “physical distance” of at least six feet from other people. Why six feet?

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Grade(s)
K-2 3-5 6-8
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Spacing Out

Students are challenged to design an art room that will afford the social distancing required during the pandemic. Working through the challenge will raise awareness about the complexity of arranging the physical environment to reduce disease transmission in a traditional classroom.

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Grade(s)
3-5 6-8 9-12

Microbes and the Science of Infectious Diseases

COVID-19 is not the first worldwide pandemic. Learn about historic pandemics and how the transmission of disease caused by microbes impacts humans.

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Eradicating COVID-19—Not Likely

Students read an essay about the history of smallpox, the first case of human vaccination, and the eradication of smallpox as a naturally occurring viral disease in humans.

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Grade(s)
6-8 9-12
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Pandemics Through History

Students are challenged to make a timeline of historical pandemics to demonstrate that the current COVID-19 pandemic is not a one-of-a kind event. Students will reflect upon the ways in which pandemics have shaped the development of scientific and public health knowledge, and the treatments that have resulted.

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Grade(s)
3-5 6-8
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Microbes and Disease

Students investigate a sample of microbes and the diseases associated with them, learn how diseases are transmitted and impact society, and create art projects representing the diseases they have studied.

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Grade(s)
6-8
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Pandemic Puzzle

This word search puzzle focuses on terminology and vocabulary associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be used as a stand-alone activity or to extend any other curriculum lessons.

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Grade(s)
3-5 6-8 9-12
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Rewind, Reflect, Fast-Forward

Students will compile key events in the COVID-19 pandemic timeline, learn where to find accurate national and state COVID-19 statistics, and reflect on how the pandemic has affected their lives.

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Grade(s)
9-12
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Modeling the Virus that Causes COVID-19

A particle (virion) of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is approximately 100 nanometers across. How big is that? In this activity, students learn about the shape and relative size of the virus by constructing a paper model of a single virus particle.

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Grade(s)
6-8 9-12
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What are Infectious Diseases?

Students will conduct research using online text resources and media related to infectious and non-infectious diseases and compare the prevalence of different diseases across countries with different income levels.

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Grade(s)
9-12
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Can Drops Travel in Air?

Students will investigate the number of water droplets that make "contact" with a wall from different distances when propelled in a manner that stimulates a sneeze or cough.

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Grade(s)
K-2 3-5

Vaccines and the Immune System

What is a vaccine? How do they work to eradicate disease among populations?

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Reducing Disease Threats through Vaccination

Students learn how vaccination can protect populations against disease by working through three simulations of the spread of an imaginary infectious disease, called “yuckyitis.”

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Grade(s)
3-5 6-8
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Defending Against Microbes

Students investigate the human immune system and solve a crossword puzzle featuring vocabulary related to the immune system and microbes.

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Grade(s)
6-8

Social and Emotional Wellness

COVID-19 has created periods of isolation and social interruptions. How can we help students cope with personal social and emotional needs?

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Life is Different Now

This school year is different in so many ways for everyone, whether students are learning at home “virtually,” or in a face-to-face classroom. In this activity, students will reflect on how life has changed for them during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Grade(s)
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
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The Eyes Have It

Students identify the emotions projected by the eyes in a series of photographs, then try their hand at creating their own face images, in the style of emojis.

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Grade(s)
K-2 3-5 6-8

STEM @Home Activities

In these unprecedented times of school closures and Stay-at-Home notices, Baylor College of Medicine is offering a set of hands-on K-12 activities, grouped by grade level, that will enable parents and children to remain engaged in STEM learning until school operations return to normal. We call this collection STEM@Home. The lessons were selected specifically because they are easy to use at home, and provide high-quality STEM content without the need for specialized training, equipment or materials. We welcome you to investigate our STEM@Home activities, and to explore the entire BioEd Online website for accurate, free STEM educational materials.

 

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Grades K-2

Explore fun activities and resources that connect science content to health and wellness. Learning about the environment and the world around us supports students’ school-based studies and introduces them to basic concepts and scientific understanding.

Grade(s)
K-2
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Grades 3-5

The scale and size of microorganisms is intriguing; their role in nature and human health is sometimes confusing. These activities allow you and your child to explore the world of the unseen!

Grade(s)
3-5
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Grades 6-8

These exciting, interdisciplinary resources are easy to do at home with everyday materials. Keep your middle schooler’s science skills sharp and have a little fun along the way!

Grade(s)
6-8
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Grades 9-12

High school students are beginning to investigate many topics in depth online and through their courses. Explore engaging learning experiences such as; easy reading reading materials that break down difficult complex concepts, career explorations and more.

Grade(s)
9-12

Funding

The COVID HACKS curriculum project is made possible thanks to the support from Laura & John Arnold and Baylor College of Medicine. Scientists, educators and physicians from Baylor College of Medicine provided content, feedback and technical reviews.