Replication of RNA Viruses Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

Students will understand three types of replication RNA viruses in this lesson plan: double, negative and positive. They will watch a video, answer discussion questions, complete an activity and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson students will be able to:

  • describe the double strand RNA virus
  • explain the positive strand RNA virus
  • identify the characteristics of a negative strand RNA virus


60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.3

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.


  • Hard copies of the Replication of RNA Viruses lesson
  • two-three bags twizzlers candy
  • several bags of marshmallows
  • a box of toothpicks
  • bottles of fast drying glue
  • 6 poster boards
  • markers and crayons


  • Begin the lesson by asking students to discuss the difference between DNA and RNA.
  • Then explain that this lesson will explores the replication of RNA viruses.
  • Distribute the Replication of RNA Viruses lesson, play the video, pause at 3:34, then start the following discussion:
    • Explain a positive sense single stranded RNA virus.
    • What is the difference between the positive sense single stranded RNA and negative sense single stranded RNA virus?
    • Describe the double stranded RNA virus.
    • Explain the translation process.
    • What is RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and why is it important?
  • Now play the remainder of the lesson, then ask students to discuss reverse transcriptase and its purpose.
  • Afterwards, show the lesson quiz, pair students and ask them to answer each question.
  • Then review for accuracy.

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