Parasites Teacher Resources
Find Parasites educational ideas and activities
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Parasites and Disease
Students research some parasite-borne diseases and report on how parasites infect their hosts and how people are trying to reduce infection rates.
Fish Parasite Survey
Students count nematodes, cestodes and crustaceans on approximately one-hundred and fifty fish. They fill out autopsy reports for external and internal parasites then complete and discuss guide questions to make inferences about parasite evolution.
New! Cheese, Dogs, and a Pill to Kill Mosquitoes and End Malaria
This is a fantastic demonstration of how out-of-the-box science can serve the needs of mankind and save millions of lives. Bart Knois takes his audience through the step-by-step process of his research to kill mosquitoes and fight malaria in African nations, including his studies of what smells mosquitoes are attracted to, how to find breeding sites, and how we can train dogs to not only find mosquito larvae but also identify humans that possess parasites transferred by mosquitoes.
Deformed Frogs! - The Parasite Hypothesis
This project provides learners the opportunity to investigate parasites as a possible cause of the observed frog deformities. It asks students to view web-based evidence and interpret whether it supports the parasite hypothesis. Learners write a letter to a scientist stating their opinions and questions about the parasite hypothesis as a culminating activity/assessment.
Parasite Tales: The Jewel Wasp's Zombie Slave
It sounds like the premise of a bad B-horror film from the 70s: a species of beautiful blue wasps turn cockroaches into zombies to host the wasps' offspring. Sometimes, however, nature is the best horror film of all. Carl Zimmer, parasite lover and science writer, explains the process behind the zombification of cockroaches by the parasitic jewel wasp.
Create a Parasite
Students examine the physical characteristics of several parasites. In this biology lesson, students create a new parasite to pair up with a given organism in their worksheet. They make a model of it if time permits.
Parasites and You
Twelfth graders investigate parasites and how parasite-borne diseases are spread. They conduct Internet research, answer handout questions, and identify methods that could reduce parasitic diseases in various countries.
Students explore the different interspecies relationships namely mutualistic, commensal and parasitic. In this ecology lesson plan, students investigate an ecosystem disrupted by humans. They formulate an action plan to save it and present their proposed solutions in class.
Students study the flea's life cycle and the reasons fleas are so attracted to our pets. They'll conclude by writing a story from the flea's perspective. They define the term, parasite and visit website imbedded in this plan to explore fleas.
Insects We Love and Hate
Students explore some insect parasites (e.g., mosquitoes and lice) as well as about insects in general. They see pictures of insects that bite and sting, and others of insects that don't bother people.
Parasites: Our Tiny Companions
Students consider parasites that seek human hosts. They prepare nutrient agar plates and cultivate samples of bacteria taken from their own bodies. They experiment with disinfectants and soaps to determine which method kills the most bacteria.
Students investigate parasites and the diseases they can cause and carry. They read and discuss an article, conduct research, and create a fictional studenT story about the parasite they researched.
Offering a comprehensive overview of symbiotic relationships, this presentation would be a great way to introduce or review material covered in a biology class. There are definitions, examples, and a quiz on the meaning of parasitism, mutualism and commensalism. In the quiz, there are a few pictures that teachers may want to swap for better illustrations.
Malaria: The Cause
Students study the disease of malaria. In this malaria instructional activity, students conduct an experiment using glitter. Students shake hands with each other, which leaves glitter as a representation of the disease being spread. They understand basic facts about malaria; how the disease can spread so quickly, and label the pathways of the malaria parasite.
Fish Parasite Survey
Students survey and dissect as many fish as possible. They count nematodes, cestodes and crustaceans on the fish, fill out autopsy reports, and transfer data to a chalkboard data table. Students graph the results of the entire class and explore coevolution.
Antigen Switching in Malaria
High schoolers model how the malaria-causing protist avoids immune response in its host. In this parasite biology lesson, students use printed cell images to model the way that Plasmodium changes surface protein markers every few generations to avoid host immune response. They are able to explain antigenic variation is useful to the parasite.
Student determine how to manage pests using biological control. They examine how knowledge of the pest's food chain is helpful in managing pests. Finally, they identify the three groups of biological control agents. They listen, take notes, and complete answers to questions presented on a PowerPoint while deciding if each picture is a predator, parasite, or pathogen.
The Salmon Estuary And Human Impacts
Students have discussions and complete activities about the pacific salmon life cycle and marine parasites. In this salmon lesson plan, students complete activities such as observing sea lice, playing a tag game, and a board game.
Friend, Foe, or . . .
As a result of this lesson, upper elementary ocean explorers will be able to describe several interrelationships: symbiosis, mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. They learn that the biological richness is increased near seamounts and use this type of community to find examples of each of these relationships. After discussion of these concepts, learners work in groups to research an individual seamount community member. They prepare reports to share with the rest of the class.
Prairie Dog Prognosis
Students discuss the transmission of diseases from exotic pets to humans. They research different aspects of particular zoonotic diseases from the perspectives of the animal vector, the parasite, the infected human, and the carrier human.