Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Preventing Childhood Diseases Project

Christy Clanton
Bay District Schools


The students become informed advocates in the prevention of childhood diseases during the Preventing Childhood Diseases Project.


The student knows the most common health problems of children.

The student knows how childhood injuries and illnesses can be prevented and treated.

The student knows various methods for communicating health information and ideas (eg., through oral or written reports).

The student uses a variety of strategies to prepare for writing (for example, brainstorming, making lists, mapping ideas, grouping related ideas, keeping a notebook of ideas, observing surroundings, answering questions posed by others).

The student establishes a purpose for writing (including but not limited to explaining, informing, telling a story, making a request).

The student writes for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, journals to reflect upon ideas, reports to describe scientific observations).

The student uses electronic technology to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information (including but not limited to word-processing software, electronic encyclopedias).


- Childhood Diseases List chart
- Chart paper and markers
- Large screen TV/Computer presentation model or signal converter connecting the computer to the television
- Individual computer stations
- The American Heritage Talking Dictionary software
- Microsoft’s Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition software
- The Learning Company’s Student Writing Center software
- Printer and paper


1. Gather materials.
2. Pre-load software on individual computer stations and large/screen TV/Computer presentation model. Be familiar with each piece of software and how to use each.
3. Create Childhood Diseases List chart using the list in the lesson.
4. Maintain printer and printing supplies.


1. The teacher introduces the Preventing Childhood Diseases Project by asking students to discuss their memories of shots or immunizations that they received prior to school entrance. Discussion takes place in teams of four, with each team reporting their results to the class during the class sharing session that immediately follows.

2. The teacher then asks the class to discuss “what they know” about why children are immunized.

3. Immediately following the discussion, the teacher announces that the class will create informative posters to encourage parents of students to keep their children’s shots up to date. Copies of these posters will be posted around the school and given to the school’s health nurse for use in other places of her choice.

4. Students choose one of the following diseases to investigate from the Childhood Diseases List chart: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, Rubella (German Measles), hepatitis B, chicken pox, Hemophilus influenza B, pneumococcus (pneumococcal pneumonia), and hepatitis A. Students can work in teams of 2-3 to conduct their research, yet each student will be responsible to create their own poster.

5. The teacher models the investigative process by investigating the word “immunize.” First, the teacher uses the software, The American Heritage Talking Dictionary, to locate the description of the term; the teacher also models the use of the voiced pronunciation feature of the software, which will pronounce the word for the user. The teacher models recording the definition on chart paper, rephrasing it in her own words. Next, the teacher models the use of the software, Microsoft’s Encarta 98 Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition in locating more information which specifically tells the “why” of immunizations. The teacher then records that information on the chart paper. This information will become the convincing persuasion to use in the poster for “immunize.”

6. Student teams then access the two software programs on a rotating basis with the other teams, at the individual computer stations. While there, they collect the description of the disease and the “whys” for receiving an immunization for the disease. The notes are kept to refer to when the students make their posters.

7. The teacher models the creation of her “immunize” poster by utilizing the sign-making feature of The Learning Company’s Student Writing Center. The teacher asks the students to give her feedback on her poster based upon: clarity of term description, thorough persuasive language, which convinces someone to “immunize,” and correct use of published print.

8. Students then rotate individually to the computer stations to use Student Writing Center to create their disease posters and print them.

9. Students evaluate each other’s posters based upon the criteria (see Assessment).


Students evaluate each other’s posters by the following criteria:

- Clear description of the disease

- Persuasive language and details of the childhood diseases that convince someone to immunize their children and how the disease can be prevented

- Correct use of published print

Additionally, the teacher observes students in the process of collecting data and creating their posters.
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