Welcome teachers!

We invite you to explore our engaging educational materials aimed at elementary school students. Designed by professional educators, the lessons use the proven 5Es learning model. The content provides a pathway for students to understand topics related to diseases caused by viruses. Teaching resources include unique computer animations and grade-appropriate reading passages. This approach provides a powerful scaffolding for student learning about the scientific method and scientists’ roles in discovery.

Video: Educational Curriculum for Elementary Students

Most elementary school students know that germs cause diseases. So that was a good starting point for lessons developed by the Vaccine Education Center. Learn more by watching this preview video.

Based on the Vax Pack Hero resources, lessons:

  • Align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards (described in teacher guides for each lesson)
  • Employ the 5Es model of learning (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate)
  • Target grades 3 to 5
  • Are DOK (Depth of Knowledge) 1 to 3
  • Include:
    • Teacher guide
    • Student worksheets
    • Resources

Lesson 1 – Meet the Germs

By exploring Lesson 1, students learn that diseases are caused by different kinds of germs. The lesson focuses on how viruses and bacteria differ. Unique resources include computer animations and an illustrated story about Martinus Beijerinck, the scientist who figured out how to separate viruses and bacteria in the lab. Student activities include small group research to distinguish the structures of viruses and bacteria and class assessment of context cues to align Beijerinck’s work with the steps of the scientific method.

Lesson 2 – Meet the Heroes

By exploring Lesson 2, students are introduced to scientists whose work contributed to vaccine development. The lesson focuses on the timeline of development and how scientists used the scientific method in their research. Teacher resources include an exclusive illustrated story about Edward Jenner, the scientist who developed the smallpox vaccine, and an online timeline about the history of vaccines. Students expand their learning with a party planning teaching strategy. In this activity, student groups develop a guest list of people who have influenced vaccine development. They research the “guests” to choose a guest of honor. Learning is reinforced through a class activity in which groups share their information to develop a timeline based on their guests’ accomplishments.