Skip Navigation

Viral Life

Main Core Tie

Health Education - 6th Grade

Time Frame

1 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups

Life Skills



Gig McGuire


Students will learn basic vocabulary related to viruses and participate in an activity to see how viruses spread


  • Visual example of a virus
  • one small cup per student
  • 3 o.z. hydrogen peroxide
  • water
  • bleach
  • medicine dropper

Background for Teachers

  • Facts about Bird Flu
  • Facts about 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will know the basic makeup of a virus.
  2. Students will know essential vocabulary related to viral disease.
  3. Students will describe how disease spreads.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Begin with questions about what is a virus.
  2. Define virus as well as other vocabulary throughout discussion.
  3. Short discussion about bird flu and 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.
  4. Discuss how a virus is spread.
  5. Classroom demonstration as follows:
    1. Each student is given a numbered cup w/ 3o.z. of water. One cup contains hydrogen peroxide (make mental note of cup #)
    2. Instruct students to pair up and pour entire contents of student A's cup into student B's cup then pour 1/2 of contents back into student A's cup. Repeat twice emphasizing not to exchange with same student twice. Instruct students to write down who they exchange with.
    3. Teacher goes to each student and puts 2-3 cups of bleach in each cup. If it fizzles the cup is infected.
    4. Through open discussion see if students can trace who had the original "infected cup".
  6. Discuss basic ways to avoid catching and spreading viruses.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

The lesson is a combination of oral and hands on with the entire class participating


A table chart can be set up to help the students trace the original infected cup.

Assessment Plan

  1. Students will complete a vocabulary mix and match word sheet.
  2. Students will trace infection to original cup.

Created: 12/14/2005
Updated: 01/28/2020