A Science-based Curriculum for the 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.
What is COVID-19? Where did it come from? What do I need to know to protect my family?
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.
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
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.
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
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.
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
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.
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
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.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
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.
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).View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
K-2 3-5 6-8
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.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
K-2 3-5 6-8
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.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
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.View this lesson Download PDF
Students discuss the importance of wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic and learn best practices for wearing and removing a face covering.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
The More the Merrier?
Students use powdered drink mix in plastic cups to simulate disease transmission in different size crowds.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
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?View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
K-2 3-5 6-8
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.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
3-5 6-8 9-12
Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Students conduct research using online text resources and media to explore how the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads from person to person. Students apply what they learn to day-to-day decision-making and demonstrate their understanding by redesigning a family restaurant to provide a safer environment for customers and staff.
View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
Students will determine whether six myths about face coverings or masks are true or false, based on evidence. They also will examine the date from an experiment demonstrating the value of paper surgical masks in preventing the wearer from airborne viral infections.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
COVID-19 is not the first worldwide pandemic. Learn about historic pandemics and how the transmission of disease caused by microbes impacts humans.
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.View this lesson Download PDF
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.View this lesson Download PDF
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.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
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.View this lesson Download PDF
3-5 6-8 9-12
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.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
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.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
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.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
What is a vaccine? How do they work to eradicate disease among populations?
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.” They relate this knowledge to the COVID-19 vaccination efforts.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
Defending Against Microbes
Students investigate the human immune system and solve a crossword puzzle featuring vocabulary related to the immune system and microbes.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
Vaccines and Health
Students learn about the impact of vaccines on human health by exploring one of the 16 diseases for which they have (or should have) received a vaccine. Student teams will share what they learned with the class. Informational text for students will provide them with additional information about new vaccines being developed for non-communicable diseases.View this lesson Download PDF Digital Slide Set
COVID-19 has created periods of isolation and social interruptions. How can we help students cope with personal social and emotional needs?
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.View this lesson Download PDF
K-2 3-5 6-8 9-12
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
COVID 19 Safety, We All Play a Part
Learn healthy tips to protect against COVID-19 infection from students at the Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions, Houston Independent School District (HISD).
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.