Magazine article Technology & Learning

Contagious! (Lesson)

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Contagious! (Lesson)

Article excerpt

Grade Level(s): 6-8

Subject Area: Science

Software: Cooties

Technology Needed: Palm handheld computers

Lesson Description: Students will participate in a simulation of how diseases can spread within a community.

Objectives: Students describe how diseases are transmitted. Students derive information about how infections are transmitted. Students discuss vaccinating against dangerous germs.

Vocabulary: immunity, incubation time, probability, initial carrier

Before the Lesson:

1. Divide the class into groups of 6-8 students.

2. Make sure that one handheld in each group is designated as an initial disease carrier.

3. Make one or two handhelds in each group immune to the disease.

4. Set the incubation time around 60-100 seconds. The shorter the incubation time, the easier it is for the students to grasp the concept.

5. Mark the handhelds in some way so that only you know which ones are immune, sick, etc. (Suggestions: Record serial numbers or use color' coded stickers.) Keep this information from the students.


1. Discuss: Who has had the flu this year? How many family members and friends got it at around the same time? What does that mean?

2. Take out your Palm handheld computers and open Cooties.

3. Everyone at the same time: Each student names his or her "Coodles" (character) and waits to tap "GO" until EVERYONE is ready at the same time. (You may wish to have your students give their Coodles "pet" names instead of their own. …

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