Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan which is adaptable for grades 3-12, students will use BrainPOP resources to explore the truth about the Ebola epidemic. They will explain why Ebola has recently become a worldwide concern, and identify ways it is (and is not) transmitted. Students will then create an informational guide with the most important information community members need to know about Ebola.

Students will:

  1. Explain why Ebola has recently become a worldwide concern.
  2. Identify ways that Ebola is (and is not) transmitted.
  3. Compare and contrast Ebola and the flu.
  4. Create and share an informational guide containing the most important information community members need to know about Ebola.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard (or just an LCD projector)

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Invite students to share with a partner the information they know (or think they know) about Ebola.
  2. Ask volunteers to share some of the facts they discussed with their partners. Record students' thoughts in the "K" (What I Know) section of a KWL chart. When students ask questions or raise disagreements about the legitimacy of the facts being shared, record their thoughts in the "W" (What We Wonder/Want to Learn) section of the chart so you can be sure to address those questions during the lesson.
  3. What would students like to learn about Ebola? Are there any rumors they'd like to investigate? Record these in the "W" section of the chart, as well.
  4. Play the Ebola movie for the class. We recommend turning on closed captioning to help students comprehend what they see and hear.
  5. Return to the KWL chart and have students share key facts they learned during the activities. Record their understandings in the "L" section of the chart (What I Learned). Guide students to draw conclusions from the movie that answer their previous questions and clarify any misunderstandings about how Ebola is spread.
  6. Draw students' attention to some of the misinformation the general public has about Ebola, perhaps including some information from the KWL chart. Why is it so important for people to have accurate information about how the disease is spread? Do students think that people in their school and community have correctly assessed their risk? Are they protecting themselves appropriately--or are they being overly cautious/not cautious enough?
  7. Have students work in groups to identify the most important facts and precautions that other students and community members need to know about Ebola in order to stay safe and keep from panicking. Encourage students to research the topic further using primary sources.
  8. Each group of students should then create a way to share those facts with others. They may want to write a blog post, share information on the school website, design a digital (or paper) poster to display in the school hallway, write a newsletter article to send home to students/parents, make and disseminate a video, and so on.
  9. Challenge students to stay informed on the latest news about Ebola, and share what they've learned with the class. They may want to update the resources they created to reflect new information as they learn it.
Filed as:  3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Ebola, Health, Science