Yellow Fever Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students will learn about Yellow Fever an the virus that causes it. They will expand upon their scientific learning through creative writing.


60-90 minutes

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define the symptoms and cause of Yellow Fever
  • Analyze the structure of the Yellow Fever virus and its role in the virus' function
  • Utilize creative writing to help expand scientific learning

Curriculum Standards

  • HS-LS1-1

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.


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.


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.


Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)



  • Begin with a discussion on disease.
    • What are some of the causes of disease? What is the difference between a bacterial and a viral infection, and how can each be transmitted?
    • Why do many tropical regions tend to have higher rates of certain diseases? How do climate and transmitters like mosquitoes impact the spread of disease?
  • Begin video lesson Yellow Fever Virus: Structure and Function. Pause the video at 2:49, and discuss this information as a class.
    • Where is Yellow Fever most prevalent? Why? How is it transmitted? What makes Yellow Fever so dangerous?
    • What are the components of the Yellow Fever virus structure? What are the nucleocapsid, genome, and envelope? How do they work together to help the virus perform its function? How do viruses work?
    • What are proteins? What roles do they play in the lifespan and function of the virus?
  • Resume video. Pause the video at 4:21 and discuss this information.
    • What part of the body does the Yellow Fever virus specifically target? What does this tell us about the risks of contracting this virus? What makes Yellow Fever so dangerous?
    • What is RNA? How is it different from DNA? How do viruses use RNA to infect healthy cells?
  • Resume and complete video. Discuss this information as a class.
    • What are the symptoms of Yellow Fever? Why is it called ''Yellow Fever''? If many symptoms are similar to the flu, how do you tell them apart? How does the specific focus of the Yellow Fever virus impact the symptoms that a person will display?
    • What is the best treatment for Yellow Fever? What role does prevention play in stopping the spread of Yellow Fever? What sorts of prevention methods might be effective against Yellow Fever?
  • You may test student understanding with Lesson Quiz.

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