Birds, Mosquitoes, and Viruses

In this activity, students distinguish between directly 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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Teaching Tips

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.

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