Bacteria Lesson Plan

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has a master's degree in cancer biology and has taught high school and college biology.

Your students probably just think all bacteria are small, bad bugs. You can introduce your students to bacteria by watching and discussing a video lesson, having them research and present a bacteria, and giving them a quiz.

Lesson Objectives

By the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define bacteria
  • identify major bacterial structures and characteristics
  • describe how bacteria are classified


1.5 - 2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.


Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.


  • Computer with projector
  • Copies of the lesson quiz
  • Poster board
  • Colored pencils, markers, glue, scissors
  • Student computers
  • Index cards with a species of bacteria on each one


  • Start the lesson by asking your students what comes to mind when they think of bacteria. Allow some students to answer. Most responses will likely be negative.
  • Next, ask your students if they have had any good experiences with bacteria. A few may know some of the advantages of bacteria, but if no one answers, then tell them that they all depend on bacteria every time they eat since they help to digest foods in the intestines.
  • Let your students know that not all bacteria are alike and they are going to learn more about bacteria while watching the What is Bacteria? - Definition & Types video lesson.
  • Play the video pausing at the following time stamps to ask questions.
  • Pause at 2:09, ask:
    • What does prokaryote mean?
    • What is the meaning of virulent?
    • Where in a bacterial cell do we find peptidoglycan?
    • What do ribosomes do?
    • How do flagella help bacteria?
  • Pause at 3:20, ask these questions:
    • What is another word for classification?
    • How many domains exist?
    • What are the names of the domains?
  • Pause at 5:10, ask and discuss:
    • What are the different bacterial shapes?
    • What are the two classifications for Gram stain?
    • What bacterial characteristic is key in determining antibiotic resistance?
    • What do aerobe and anaerobe mean?
  • Play the remainder of the lesson and then ask any other questions to emphasize other points made during the video.

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