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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Bacteria are one-celled microscopic organisms that live almost
Protists are microscopic, one-celled organisms that are much larger than bacteria. They cause diseases including malaria and sleeping sickness and are often carried by mosquitos.
Fungi are groups of tiny living organisms like yeast, mushrooms, and molds. They cannot make their own food and feed off other organisms. Disease-producing fungi can cause athletes foot or ringworm.
Viruses are tiny, non-living microscopic particles that can cause disease. They can not grow, respond, or eat like living organisms. Yet, they can reproduce inside a living cell or host. Viruses cause diseases including the common cold, cold sores, mumps, measles, chicken pox, polio, smallpox, the flu, and HIV.
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a deadly disease caused by the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) virus. The HIV virus is transmitted through certain body fluids or from infected mothers to their newborns. Once the HIV virus is inside the body, it attacks the white blood cells (T-cells). The attack on the white blood cells can result in damage to the immune system and destruction to the body's capability to ward off other microbes. When HIV enters the blood stream, antibodies are produced by the body. However, they are ineffective in slowing the progression of the disease. Once the blood has been infected with HIV, the virus replicates wildly inside the cells, mutating often and destroying many cells of the immune system. From this point, one of two things may occur:
1. The defense system will no longer keep up with the virus, and the person may develop the AIDS disease. In this case, the persons's immune system is destroyed. The virus can then attack the nervous system causing brain damage. When the immune system is compromised, a person can contract an opportunistic disease like pneumonia, tuberculosis, or Kaposi's sarcoma which rarely affect healthy individuals. All of these can eventually result in death.
2. The patient will stay relatively well, but can infect others with the HIV virus. In this case, the virus is "latent". Latent viruses may appear to "hide" inside host cells for many years. At any time the virus can become active. A person can be infected with HIV without knowing it. In fact, an infected person may have no symptoms for several years. During this time a person can look and feel healthy. The only way to find out if someone is infected with HIV is through a blood or saliva test. For a period of 2 weeks to 6 months after a person becomes infected with HIV, there aren't enough antibodies for the test to find, so the test can come out negative when in fact, the person is carrying the virus and can infect others.
Student Prior Knowledge:
1. Review what the class has already learned about the positive effects of microorganisms. Check for students' background knowledge on the negative aspects of microbes with a class discussion. This discussion usually leads to the comment, "Microorganisms cause disease." (If this is not the case, ask students, "What causes diseases?")
2. Based on their prior knowledge, decide what new information is needed to accomplish the objectives. Have the students create a type of notebook or journal using colored copy paper on which to take notes. Title the booklet "Diseases". Each page of the booklet should correspond to a section of the notes. For example:
Page 1 - Kinds of Diseases (Communicable and Non-Communicable with definitions and examples)
Have the students color and decorate as you go through the notes, encouraging them to add a personal touch the their booklet. Try to get through all of the information except HIV/AIDS on Day 1.
1. Give the rest of the notes on HIV and AIDS. There are usually a lot of questions on this topic. Be sensitive to student questions. Following the state guidelines, give factual answers and refer the student to a trusted adult for further questions.
2. To demonstrate how a healthy looking, symptom-free person who is carrying the HIV virus can infect others, do the following activity:
Distribute the prepared cups of liquid to each member of the class. Prior to class time, add 1/8 tsp of sodium hydroxide or the ammonia solution to two of the cups of water.
After the fluid exchange, indicate that two of the cups contained the HIV virus (the ammonia or sodium hydroxide). Discuss the ways
Add a few drops of phenolphthalein to each glass. If the HIV virus (ammonia or sodium hydroxide) is present, the water will change color. Those with colored water will have become infected.
Allow students time to ask questions about the unit. Give 10-15 minutes to partner practice and review their notes. Play a review game or have students quiz each other. Assess knowledge gained by creating your own assessment tool or use the rubric provided.
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