COVID-19 Middle School Curriculum - Start Here

Medical Student Authors: Kendall Carpenter [1], Priya Shah [1], Audrey Effenberger [2]


Graphic Designer: Constance Wu [1]

Faculty Reviewers: Gene Beresin, MD [3], Baruch Krauss, MD, EdM [4], Janis Arnold, MSW, LICSW [5]

Teacher Reviewer: Tory Small, M.S.Ed.

Student Reviewers: Margaret Irwin [1], Chandler Moore [1], Rachel Reardon [1], Katie Kester [1]

[1] Harvard Medical School, [2] Massachusetts Institute of Technology, [3] Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry Service, [4] Boston Children’s Hospital, Division of Emergency Medicine, [5] Boston Children's Hospital, Department of Social Work


You’ve been hearing a lot about the coronavirus lately. Maybe you’ve even heard these other words too, like: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and pandemic.

And you may have some questions like: What is a virus anyway? Why do people get sick? Why can’t we go to school? And most importantly, how can I help?

We’ve heard your questions and put together an interactive website to help answer your questions, as well as get you thinking about other questions that we don’t know the answers to yet. After all, science is all about discovery.

Please download or print out the COVID-19 worksheet and complete it as you go through the module:

Now let’s get started…

Learning Goals:

We built this curriculum to help students better understand the history and implications of the virus, and what we can do to help!

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this activity, we hope students will be able to:

  1. Define what a virus is and describe why and how viruses cause illness.

  2. Explain orally and in writing the different terms used to reference the virus.

  3. Recall the general timeline of the virus and evolving pandemic, both at an individual level (what happens when you get sick) and at a population level (how this affects our society).

  4. List the ongoing efforts to contain the virus and explain why they are useful (hand-washing, social distancing, mask-wearing, shelter-in-place).

  5. Identify one question that they still have about COVID-19 and design a study for how we might be able to discover the answer.

  6. Create a personal stress action plan with activities/approaches they can use if they are feeling stressed during this uncertain time.

Are you interested in a medical student tutor?

COVID-19 Classes for Kids (CCFK), spearheaded by medical students at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is mobilizing health professions graduate students across the USA to teach these modules to children who are currently “sheltering in place” at home. If you or your child/student are interested in working through this curriculum with a medical student tutor, please fill out this form.

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