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And Now, What Do You Know About Microbes? (post-assessment)

And Now, What Do You Know About Microbes? (post-assessment)
  • Grades:
  • Length: Variable


Students complete a post-assessment and share what they have learned about microbes by presenting their completed concept maps to the class.

This activity is from The Science of Microbes Teacher's Guide, and is most appropriate for use with students in grades 6-8. Lessons from the guide may be used with other grade levels as deemed appropriate.

The guide is available in print format.

This work was developed in partnership with the Baylor-UT Houston Center for AIDS Research, an NIH-funded program.

Teacher Background

This activity is matched to The Science of Microbes Teacher's Guide pre-assessment. It provides an opportunity for you, the teacher, to gauge students’ learning about microbes once they have completed all activities from the guide. It also allows students to evaluate their own learning by examining their concept maps and responses to the pre-assessment.

Objectives and Standards


  • Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations.

  • Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.

  • Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions.

  • Communicate scientific procedures and explanations.

Life Science

  • Living systems at all levels of organization demonstrate the complementary nature of structure and function.

  • Disease is a breakdown in structures or functions of an organism. Some diseases are the result of intrinsic systems failures. Others are the result of damage from infection by other organisms.

  • Millions of species of animals, plants and microorganisms are alive today. Although different species might look dissimilar, the unity among organisms becomes apparent from an analysis of internal structures, the similarity of chemical processes, and the evidence of common ancestry.

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

  • Students should understand the risks associated with natural hazards (fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions), with chemical hazards (pollutants in air, water, soil and food), with biological hazards (pollen, viruses, bacteria and parasites), with social hazards (occupational safety and transportation), and with personal hazards (smoking, dieting and drinking).

Materials and Setup

Materials per Group of Students

  • Group concept map

  • Markers and writing materials

Materials per Student

  • Completed pre-assessment (hold for distribution, see Session 2, item 2)

  • Copy of student sheet (see Lesson pdf)


  1. Make 24 copies of the "What About Microbes?" student page. Hold for distribution during Session 2.

  2. For Session 1, have students work in groups of four.

  3. For Session 2, have students work individually to complete the post-assessment.

Procedure and Extensions

Time: 60 minutes per session

Session 1

  1. If you recorded questions from the pre-assessment activity (“What Do You Know About Microbes?), review each question with the class. Ask, Can you answer any of the questions now? Discuss students’ responses.

  2. Next, have students work in their original groups to review the concept maps (started with the pre-assessment). Each group should discuss the additions made to its concept map and decide which findings were most important.

  3. Ask each group to appoint a spokesperson. Call on each group and ask the spokesperson to explain one concept on the group’s map. Do this two or more times, in round-robin fashion among the groups, until most major concepts have been covered.

  4. Create a class concept map using the information presented.

Session 2

  1. On the following day, give each student a copy of the post-assessment. Students should complete it individually.

  2. After students have completed the post-assessment, distribute their completed pre-assessments. Have students compare their answers on both assessments so they can see how much they have learned during the unit. Discuss any remaining student questions and collect the assessments, which can become part of students’ portfolios or can be placed in their science notebooks.

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Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Science Education Partnership Award, NIH

Grant Number: 5R25RR018605