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Birds, Mosquitoes, and Viruses
http://www.ecohealth101.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=181%3Ateachers-lp-birds-article&catid=130&Itemid=272

Ecohealth

In this activity, students distinguish between direct and indirectly transmitted diseases and participate in a group game to simulate the spread of vector-borne diseases. They then research a particular pathogenic disease to learn how global warming and biodiversity loss can affect disease transmission.

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Topics

Public Health
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Grade Level

Middle (6-8)
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May be appropriate for high school students with some modifications.

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Human health and mortality rates will be affected to different degrees in specific regions of the world as a result of climate change. Although cold-related deaths are predicted to decrease, other risks are predicted to rise. The incidence and geographical range of climate-sensitive infectious diseases—such as malaria, dengue fever, and tick-borne diseases—will increase. Drought-reduced crop yields, degraded air and water quality, and increased hazards in coastal and low-lying areas will contribute to unhealthy conditions, particularly for the most vulnerable populations.
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7f

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:A) Human/environment interactions
Other materials addressing:
A) Human/environment interactions.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:E) Environmental Issues
Other materials addressing:
E) Environmental Issues.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Start with a test game and make sure the anticipated learning actually takes place before launching into the game.
  • Continue reminding the students of the implications of the game sequences.
  • Have students read current articles on the spread of Malaria, Dengue Fever, Hantavirus, and West Nile virus in conjunction with this activity so they understand how the different diseases are spread.
  • Clarify the role of bacteria in our environment and our bodies. The "How Diseases Get Spread" article makes it sound like all bacteria are bad. Be sure to give examples of how many bacteria are essential in creating healthy soil, healthy digestion, and the processing of waste in ecological systems.

About the Science

  • Activity is based on a game to understand vector based diseases but explores the science behind the spread of three different diseases as a result of global warming.
  • Science behind the spread of the example diseases needs to be supported by more background material and an introduction to effects of global warming.
  • Climate change is only one of many factors that come into play with the spread of disease and potential pandemics, which should be stressed.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • The teacher needs to provide additional, up-to-date background materials and actively guide students through the research component of this activity.
  • Scaffolding for the game is well done, but the guiding questions for the research part need more substance.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Game directions need to be clarified very explicitly - otherwise this could end in chaos.

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