Idea for Use in the Classroom

Explore the Infectious Agents infographic with students to help them identify and discover how infectious agents invade the body and the types of treatments and preventions available for the illnesses they cause. Allow students to collaborate or work independently.

Have students make a KWL chart. Ask them to record what they already know about infectious agents in the “K” section of the chart. Next ask students what they want to know and have them fill out their questions in the “W” section. Then introduce the infographic to students and give them time to explore the information.

Ask students to focus on using the infographic to discover the different ways that infectious agents invade human bodies. Have them find and record specific examples of pathogens that enter the human body through air, water, food, and blood in the “L” chart section, citing specific evidence from the infographic.

Then have students invent their own pathogen—it must be either a bacterium, protozoa, virus, worm, or fungus. Instruct students to use the information they have learned from the infographic to describe what host their pathogen needs, how their pathogen would infect that host, the symptoms the pathogen would induce in the host, and explain how the infection could be prevented or treated. Tell students to reference the infographic to make sure that their fictional pathogen aligns with the information cited. Encourage students to make a model or a drawing to accompany their written descriptions of their fictional pathogen. Finish by having students present their work to the class.

Plural Noun

(singular: bacterium) single-celled organisms found in every ecosystem on Earth.

disease
Noun

harmful condition of a body part or organ.

fungi
Plural Noun

(singular: fungus) organisms that survive by decomposing and absorbing nutrients in organic material such as soil or dead organisms.

infection
Noun

disease caused by microscopic organisms, such as bacteria.

parasite
Noun

organism that lives and feeds on another organism.

protozoa
Noun

one-celled organisms in the kingdom protista, such as amoebas. (singular: protozoan)

virus
Noun

pathogenic agent that lives and multiplies in a living cell.

worm
Noun

animal with a long, limbless body.