This activity is part of the Menacing Microbes unit.

Unit Driving Question: How does a community get ready for an outbreak?

Lesson Driving Question: How can we plan to stay healthy in the future?

1. Learn about Global Handwashing Day and National Immunization Awareness Month.

Inform students that, while it is important to have plans in place for outbreaks of infectious diseases, there are proactive measures that can happen in every community year-round. Two of the most effective measures are vaccination and hand washing.

  • In pairs, have students read the National Geographic resource about Global Handwashing Day. As students read, have them discuss the following questions with their partner:
      • What is it?
      • Who should do it?
      • Where do I do this?
      • Why is it important?
      • Why might people avoid it?
      • How often should I do this?
      • How can people participate in Global Handwashing Day? 
  • While still in pairs, have students read the Health and Human Services article, Honor National Immunization Awareness Month by Taking Your Best Shot. As students read, have students discuss the same questions that they answered for the previous article.
      • What is it?
      • Who should do it?
      • Where do I do this?
      • Why is it important?
      • Why might people avoid it?
      • How often should I do this?
      • How can people participate in National Vaccine Awareness Month?


2: Create an informational infographic to raise awareness about vaccines or handwashing

  • To create their infographic, students can use a school-approved design program or they can create their infographic by hand. The infographic should answer the same questions that students discussed when reading the articles on the two practices.
      • What is it?
      • Who should do it?
      • Where do I do this?
      • Why is it important?
      • Why might people avoid it?
      • How often should I do this?
      • How can people participate?


3. Debrief and Share.

  • Have each pair of students share their infographics with the class. As part of their presentation, students should include:
      • What their topic is (vaccines or handwashing).
      • How they plan to participate in the awareness day or month related to their topic.

Informal Assessment

Use students’ infographics to assess students understanding and ability to communicate the importance of vaccines or handwashing and how they work to prevent the spread of disease.

Subjects & Disciplines

  • Biology
    • Health
  • Social Studies

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Create an infographic that raises awareness about vaccinations or hand washing.

Teaching Approach

  • Project-based learning

Teaching Methods

  • Cooperative learning
  • Discussions
  • Hands-on learning

Skills Summary

This activity targets the following skills:

Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2:  Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7:  Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

The College, Career & Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards

  • D4.8.6-8:  Apply a range of deliberative and democratic procedures to make decisions and take action in their classrooms and schools, and in out-of-school civic contexts.

What You’ll Need

Materials You Provide

  • Colored markers
  • Butcher paper or poster board

Required Technology

  • Internet Access: Required
  • Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, 1 computer per pair, Projector, Speakers

Physical Space

  • Classroom


  • Heterogeneous grouping
  • Homogeneous grouping
  • Small-group learning
  • Small-group work

Background Information

Public health education about disease prevention can be a strong first line of defense against outbreaks of infectious diseases. Education programs can effectively improve the health of many in the community by building knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes about health. People learn how to maintain health, prevent disease, and reduce risky behavior. Health education can help community economy by reducing healthcare spending. It also helps overcome racial, gender, geographic, and socioeconomic health disparities. In addition to education about communicable disease, public health education can include topics such as chronic disease, violence prevention, substance abuse, nutrition, obesity, and mental health.



social group whose members share common heritage, interests, or culture.


disease-producing agent, like a virus or bacteria; can also refer to the disease itself or the transmission of the disease.


harmful condition of a body part or organ.


process of becoming immune to a disease.


sudden occurrence or rapid increase.


when disease-causing germs pass from an infected person to a healthy person.

preparation of a weakened or killed pathogen, or of a portion of the pathogen's structure that upon administration stimulates antibody production against the pathogen but is incapable of causing severe infection itself.