Carly Weeks reports on the strategy of self-isolation, one of the latest measures Canadian officials are taking in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Social studies, science, health and wellness, current events

Key Question(s) to Explore:

  • What is the COVID-19 coronavirus, how is it transmitted, and what are its dangers, symptoms of infection and origins? What is being done in Canada to contain its spread?

New Terminology:

Coronavirus, epidemic, pandemic, quarantine, zoonotic

Materials Needed:

Globe article, Internet link:

Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

Students will have heard of the coronavirus outbreak, which originated in China and has now spread to Canada and around the globe. For their own safety and the safety of others, students should be informed about the disease. This lesson is a straightforward fact-finding and summarizing exercise that can help inform students on the subject. It relies on the link embedded in the article.

The article by Carly Weeks, as well as other data in this lesson plan, may well be out of date by the time you access this lesson. For example, the number of people infected, countries involved, and so on, is changing rapidly from day to day; however, you should have ready access to up-to-date data via the media. Therefore, this lesson focuses mostly on the disease, transmission, and response.

Working in groups, students will produce summary reports on the coronavirus and present these to class.

Action (lesson plan and task):

Start a discussion about the coronavirus, asking what students know to date, questions they may have and/or provide definitions of key words: epidemic, pandemic, quarantine. Have them quickly scan the article by Carly Weeks and note what jumps out at them and discuss as needed.

Provide them with this worksheet:

Using the link in the article attached, work together to produce a report on the coronavirus. Note that the numbers associated with those infected, and so on, at this link will be out of date; new numbers should be available in any news feed.

Your report should address each of the following questions:

  • Why is the corona virus so named?
  • What is a zoonotic virus?
  • What are three main ways it is transmitted from person to person?
  • Given the methods of transmission, what actions can you take to avoid becoming infected?
  • Name five symptoms that can be signs of infection. What serious ills might the infection cause in severe cases?
  • What is are the treatments for coronaviruses?
  • Describe the timeline from the onset of symptoms. For example, how many days after the onset is a person usually hospitalized?

From the article:

  • What is the purpose of the health officials’ request to self-isolate?
  • How is quarantine used to prevent the spread of the disease?

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Students discuss their reports in class.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Students can explain the coronavirus outbreak in terms of the disease, its symptoms, method of transmission, dangers of infection and how to avoid infection.

Confirming Activity:

  • Students note media reports on the state of the coronavirus outbreak around the world.