Students learn that diseases are caused by different kinds of germs. The lesson focuses on how viruses and bacteria differ. Unique resources include computer animations and an illustrated story about Martinus Beijerinck, the scientist who figured out how to separate viruses and bacteria in the lab. Student activities include small group research to distinguish the structures of viruses and bacteria and class assessment of context cues to align Beijerinck’s work with the steps of the scientific method.
Grades: 3 to 5
DOK: 1 to 3
Time: Up to two 45-minute sessions
- What is a virus?
- Who discovered viruses?
- How did the scientific method lead to the discovery of viruses?
- What are the differences between viruses and bacteria?
Here you will find your lesson plan, which outlines standards, describes activities, and provides answer key.
This document can be reproduced in whole or in part to guide students through the lesson.
The Story of
Learn more about the man who went from a struggling student to a hero scientist.
Meet the Germs
Learn more about some of the germs including their location in people, type, and other information.
When a Virus Attacks a Cell
View a brief animated video which shows how a virus attacks a healthy cell in the body.
How Do Viruses Reproduce?
View a brief animated video which details how viruses reproduce in the human body.