Ch 18: Introduction to Viruses: Homeschool Curriculum

About This Chapter

The Introduction to Viruses unit of this High School Biology Homeschool course is designed to help homeschooled students learn about the classification of viruses. Parents can use the short videos to introduce topics, break up lessons and keep students engaged.

Who's it for?

This unit of our High School Biology Homeschool course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about the structure of viruses. There is no faster or easier way to learn about viruses. Among those who would benefit are:

  • Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about the life cycle of a virus and they ways in which viruses replicate.
  • Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
  • Homeschool parents who need a biology curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
  • Gifted students and students with learning differences.

How it works:

  • Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
  • Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
  • Short quizzes and an Introduction to Viruses unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.

Introduction to Viruses Unit Objectives:

  • Learn about the prolate, complex, enveloped and icosahedral shapes of viruses.
  • Study flu viruses, HIV and the immune system.
  • Explain antigenic drift and antigenic shift.
  • Read about bacteriophage lysogenic cycles.
  • Study the viral genome and replication scheme.

9 Lessons in Chapter 18: Introduction to Viruses: Homeschool Curriculum
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What Are Viruses? - Definition, Structure & Function

1. What Are Viruses? - Definition, Structure & Function

In this lesson, you'll learn some historical facts about viruses and the material they are composed of. Find out more as we review the capsid, nucleic acids, the viral envelope, viruses, virions, bacteriophages and virology.

Shapes of a Virus: Helical, Icosahedral, Prolate, Complex & Enveloped

2. Shapes of a Virus: Helical, Icosahedral, Prolate, Complex & Enveloped

Learn about the different shapes viruses can have, such as helical, icosahedral, prolate, complex and enveloped. Find out why one shape is particularly useful from an energetic standpoint.

The Life Cycle of a Virus: How Viruses Live, Attack & Replicate

3. The Life Cycle of a Virus: How Viruses Live, Attack & Replicate

Find out how viruses infect and replicate as we explore the important steps of the virus life cycle, including attachment, uncoating, penetration, replication, and release, as well as the lysogenic and lytic cycles.

Classification of Viruses: Viral Genome and Replication Scheme

4. Classification of Viruses: Viral Genome and Replication Scheme

Find out how viruses are classified based on their being double-stranded, single-stranded, positive-sense, negative-sense, or by having something called reverse transcriptase.

Replication of DNA Viruses

5. Replication of DNA Viruses

This lesson will give you a basic overview of how DNA viruses replicate inside of a host cell. We will cover the entry, integration, replication and release of DNA viruses.

Replication of RNA Viruses

6. Replication of RNA Viruses

This lesson will give you a basic overview of how different types of RNA viruses replicate inside of an animal cell. We will cover the essence of being double-stranded and retroviruses, as well as positive-and negative-sense RNA viruses.

How Viruses Mutate: Antigenic Drift and Antigenic Shift

7. How Viruses Mutate: Antigenic Drift and Antigenic Shift

This lesson will discuss the major ways by which viruses, notably the flu virus, mutates. We will talk about recombination, reassortment, antigenic drift, antigenic shift, and more!

Viruses: Bacteriophage Lytic and Lysogenic Cycles

8. Viruses: Bacteriophage Lytic and Lysogenic Cycles

Viruses are generally not only our enemy but also the enemy of many other organisms. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect specific bacteria. In this lesson, we'll discuss their basic structure and infection cycle.

Flu Viruses, HIV and Immune System Evasion

9. Flu Viruses, HIV and Immune System Evasion

Why is it that our immune systems can protect us from some viruses but not others? We've eradicated smallpox by using vaccines, so why do influenza and HIV remain such dangerous health risks? In this lesson about viruses, we'll explore these questions and learn how influenza and HIV continue to evade the human immune system.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Other Chapters

Other chapters within the High School Biology: Homeschool Curriculum course

Support