Immune System Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

During this lesson, students learn about the different parts of the immune system. The lesson utilizes an extended metaphor to help students understand their own body's defense system. They create a media representation of the immune system, using the extended metaphor as a guide.

Learning Objectives:

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the immune system, its purpose, and its constituent parts
  • model the immune system in an abstract way


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards:


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

Key Vocabulary:

  • innate immune system
  • adaptive immune system


  • Start with an introductory discussion of the immune system. Use the following questions to frame the discussion:
    • What is the immune system?
    • What does it do for us?
    • What happens if you have a weak immune system?
  • Watch the video lesson: What Is the Immune System? - Our Body's Defense Against Pathogens (Note: The lesson also contains a text transcript that can be used for diverse learners.)
  • Pause the video at 2:38 and ask students to recap the definition of the immune system. Compare this with the definition the group came up with at the beginning of the lesson.
  • Resume the video, asking students to take notes on the remainder of the video.
  • When the video finishes, hold a short whole-class discussion centered around the questions posed at the beginning of the lesson, writing common student responses on the board.

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