Title: Achoo! I think I have the Flu! Grade level(S); 9 – 12 (can easily be adapted for 7 -8) time allotment: 2 45 minute classes or 1 – 80 minute block overview

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Media –Rich Lesson Plan Name: ________________________________

Teacher Training Institute

Prairie Public

June 2011

TITLE: Achoo! I Think I Have the Flu!
GRADE LEVEL(S); 9 – 12 (can easily be adapted for 7 -8)
TIME ALLOTMENT: 2 - 45 minute classes or 1 – 80 minute block
OVERVIEW: Using video clips and an interactive activity this lesson will teach content about viruses and connect the content to history and the present.
SUBJECT MATTER: Biology, World History, US History, Health

  1. Students will understand the structure of viruses, the mechanics of replication and the human body’s immune system.

  2. Students will understand the focus of disease development, transmission, treatment, and prevention.

  3. Students will understand the local and world-wide social implications of virally transmitted diseases such as the flu.


Minnesota 9 – 12 – Cells and cell structures have specific functions that allow an organism to grow, survive, and reproduce. (Explain the function and importance of cell organelles for prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic cells as related to the basic cell processes of respiration, photosynthesis, protein synthesis and cell reproduction.) – The interrelationship and interdependence of organisms generate dynamic biological communities in ecosystems. (Explain how ecosystems can change as a result of the introduction of one or more new species.) – Genetic information found in the cell provides information for assembling proteins, which dictate the expression of traits in an individual. (Explain the relationships among DNA, genes and chromosomes.) – Variation within a species is the natural result of new inheritable characteristics occurring from new combinations of existing genes or from mutations of genes in reproductive cells. (Explain how mutations like deletions, insertions, rearrangements or substitutions of DNA segments in gametes may have no effect, may harm, or rarely may be beneficial, and can result in genetic variation within a system. – Personal and community health can be affected by the environment, body functions and human behavior. (Explain how the body produces antibodies to fight disease and how vaccines assist this process).
North Dakota 9 - 12
9-10.1.4 – Explain the relationship between form and function.
9-10.4.1 – Relate cell function to cell structure.
9-10.4.3 – Explain the relationship between protein structure and functions.
9-10.4.5 – Explain the relationship between spontaneous changes in DNA and a source of genetic variation.
11-12.1.4 – Explain the relationship between form and function.
11-12.4.3 – Explain how change through time has ensured adaptation to changing environments.
11-12.7.4 – Explain how science and technology can influence personal, industrial, and cultural decision-making.

PBS WGBH American Experience – Influenza 1918 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/influenza/player/

Total Time: 52:30
PBS Secrets of the Dead – Killer Flu


Total Time: 54:53
Teacher’s Domain – Viruses and Our Immune System


Total Time: 1:39

Blank paper

Colored pencils (optional)

Lab Culminating Activity Source of Materials – Ward’s Science



  • Preview the American Experience – Influenza 1918 and Secrets of the Dead – Killer Flu to choose clips

  • Review WWI – This is not a prominent feature of the lesson so a general review in a high school History textbook is sufficient.

    • You may also align this lesson with WWI in Social Studies

  • Prep the Culminating Activity – see Instructor Prep Sheet


  1. Tell a story of how the Flu Epidemic of 1918 affected someone alive in 1918. This can be someone from your family, a person in the videos, or a family story from any of your students.


  1. Introduce the flu and the Flu Epidemic of 1918

    1. Quad Paper for Taking Notes

      1. Fold in 4ths and label each fourth as needed

      2. Flip over and describe and draw a single flu virion

      3. Guided discussion on ‘What is the flu?’ for general understanding.

    2. 1918 Flu Epidemic – Wave 1

      1. PBS WGBH American Experience – Influenza 1918 2:25 to 11:00

      2. Direct student focus to a specific task to complete during the video

      1. Use Descriptive Review Protocol (attached) for video review

        1. Descriptive Review Protocol (Example)

          1. What did you notice? What did you see/hear? Use your quad paper

          2. What questions did it raise? Use your quad paper

          3. Speculate

            1. Do you think this can happen again?

            2. How would you/could you protect yourself?

    1. 1918 Flu Epidemic – Wave 2

      1. PBS WGBH Secrets of the Dead – Killer Flu – 13:30 to 23:20

        1. Direct student focus to a specific task to complete during the video

        2. Descriptive Review – Additional Questions

          1. How was this wave different than Wave 1?

          2. How was the flu different?

          3. What do you know about the virus itself?

            1. Build virus content

      1. Teacher’s Domain – Viruses and Our Immune System

        1. Watch for additional content


(remember to number each step)
See Viral Disease Transmission Student Handout
Embedded into lesson

Additional Cross-Curricular Connections

  • US History – World War I

  • Art – Art Posters of WWI

  • Community – Prevalence of flu in the community and means of avoidance

  • Math – exponential growth

  • Health – epidemiology and world-wide health impacts


See above

Viral Disease Transmission Handout – attached
Supplemental Resources
Barry, John M. The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. Viking: New York. 2004.
Beveridge, W.I.B. Influenza: The Last Great Plague. Prodist: New York. 1977.
Friedlander, Mark P. Outbreak: Disease Detectives at Work. Learner Publications Company: Minneapolis. 2000.
Hart, Tony. Microterrors. The complete Guide to bacterial, viral and fungal infections that threaten our health. Firefly Books: Buffalo. 2004.
Kolata, Gina. The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It. Farrar, Straus and Giroux: New York. 1999.
Peters, Stephanie True. Epidemic! The 1918 Influenza Pandemic. Marshall Cavendish: New York. 2005

Video & Other Online Resources
Audio Nova Evolution in Your Life 10-26-2009
Video Nova Pandemic Flu 6:00 1-10-2006

Video Nova 1918 Flu 12:52 11-21-2006

Video Secrets of the Dead Killer Flu 54:53 5-4-2009

Video American Exp. - Influenza 1918 52:30
Interactive Nova Reviving the 1918 Virus 11-21-2006

Interactive Secrets of the Dead Caught the Flu 5-4-2009

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