Chronic Disease Lesson Plan

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

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

Your students will become familiar with chronic diseases through this lesson. They will read and discuss a text lesson with you and then complete a short research project on a chronic disease that they will present to the class.

Lesson Objectives

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

  • Define and give examples of chronic diseases
  • Explain the impact of chronic diseases on the human population


2 - 2.5 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.



  • Begin by asking your students to explain what 'chronic' means. Once you get an accurate answer, ask them what they think is meant by 'chronic disease.'
  • Next, pass out the copies of the Impact of Chronic Diseases on Human Populations text lesson.
  • Read this lesson as a class and discuss its contents section by section.
  • Have a student start off by reading the 'What Are Chronic Diseases?' section. Afterwards, ask your students:
    • What are chronic diseases?
    • What are some examples of chronic diseases?
  • Get a few students to read the first 3 paragraphs in the 'Cancer' section and then ask:
    • What is a mutation?
    • What is cancer?
    • What is the relationship between mutations and cancer?
  • Have a few more students read the remaining paragraphs of the 'Cancer' section and then ask:
    • How did cancer get its name?
    • What habit can cause lung cancer?
    • What is prophylactic surgery?
  • A few different students should now read the 'Diabetes' section. Ask these questions after the reading:
    • What is type 1 diabetes?
    • What is type 2 diabetes?
    • How much does diabetes cost the health care system?
  • Read the 'Lesson Summary' section to your students and be sure they understand the vocabulary words in bold.

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