Combating Misinformation by Teaching about the Coronavirus in K-12 Classrooms

(Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock)

Dr. David Childs, D.D., Ph.D.
Northern Kentucky University

With so much misinformation online and in the media about COVID-19 it can be challenging to know what information is accurate and useful. Teachers can combat this by educating students and the public about the pandemic. Indeed educators can offer reliable information about the coronavirus. For example, they can teach students the science behind the virus, the effectiveness of vaccines and social distancing, and the usefulness of wearing masks. Classroom teachers can combat the conspiracy theories and false information that has inundated social media and the Internet.

(Drazen Zigic/Shutterstock)

There are some online resources and lesson plans that can help teachers provide reliable information about COVID-19. An effective way to stop the spread of the virus is to win the information war, and eradicate the false information that is widespread about the pandemic. K-12 classrooms can be the optimal environment to do this. Check out the creative lesson plans and resources below that can assist in this effort.  

The success of Hong Kong and Singapore in stemming the spread of the coronavirus holds many lessons for how to contain it in the United States.Photograph by Tsuji Keith / Abaca / ZUMA

BrainPOP Coronavirus Lesson Plans
The BrainPOP Coronavirus Lesson Plan is designed for grades 3-8. In describing the lesson and details of the material the website states: 
“This lesson plan accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Coronavirus, and can be completed over several class periods. In this lesson students will: 

  • Activate prior knowledge about viruses, and specifically about the coronavirus. 
  • Use critical thinking skills to identify and connect facts about the coronavirus.
  • Demonstrate understanding through creative projects, such as producing a public service announcement and coding an interview with a doctor. 
  • Present projects and reflect on new understandings.”

Other Resources and Lesson Plans on COVID-19
American Federation of Teacher- Lesson Plan 
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences- Lesson Plan
National Geographic Learning Teaching Materials on COVID-19
Teach Your Students about Covid-19 with Lifeliqe Lessons
Florida Literacy Classroom Lesson – Coronovirus (COVID-19)
Lysol- Prevent the Spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Lesson Plan
Crisis Collaboration: COVID-19 Mini Lesson
Free Coronavirus Science Lesson Plans
NEA News- How Teachers Are Integrating COVID-19 Crisis Into Their Lessons


  1. Misinformation about covid-19 was/is such a huge problem. When the virus became more wider spread and people were on lockdown, the internet became a space of more widespread information. A lot of the time it was misinformation about the virus. Teaching such a topic to a child can be very challenging, especially if you yourself are misinformed about it. I like that people take the time to make a good lesson plan for our youths, and these lesson plans can also help you inform yourself and others.

  2. When reading this article, I thought that it was important to note how it mentioned that it’s crucial to teach your students about viruses and sickness in general. I think that this is a good point because teaching children what an illness is and how to deal with it, I believe is very important for teachers to do. I believe this because when education students about germs, how they spread, what they can do to the body, etc. it teaches the students that being educated about germs and how to prevent them when they are spreading is crucial for the people around them, while including themselves. I believe that teaching students these things is so important because the more they know, the more they are aware of how they spread, how to prevent the spread, and when they prevent that spread what that does to the people around you. I think that it is crucial to teach students about what a virus is and how it can effect the millions of people in the world. I think that these resources and links can be very helpful when learning about viruses as a class because it can be very difficult to explain what that is to a child. They get confused, they ask lots of questions that can be overwhelming at times, and it can be very scary or them. I liked these resources because they went about teaching viruses in a way that is less scary to children, and it is easy for them digest and take in.

  3. Topics such as the Corona virus are hard to explain to preschoolers and a lot of times they already heard their parents talk about it which can lead to conversations between the students that are not age appropriate. Sharing age appropriate facts and correct information is very important and in this particular age group keeping it simple is the best way to go and at the same time making them feel safe. Giving the children the tools such as handwashing and how to protect themselves and others is very helpful and gives them a sense of empowerment.The article has some great resources especially the Brain-Pop lessonplans.

  4. This article caught my attention because misinformation about the COVID 19 virus has been a huge topic for about 2 years now. Naturally, children will have lots of questions about what is going on in the world around them, and COVID is no exception. I thought that the Brain Pop lesson in this article was a great way to teach children about COVID. It doesn’t get too technical, but it also gives great and necessary information about the virus. I think students should understand the basics of the virus, depending on their age level. Teachers are constantly telling students to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer, so I think carving out a few minutes to explain why this is truly important is essential in today’s world.

  5. This article is interesting because it talks about the importance of educating students about the coronavirus. Many articles that talk about the coronavirus are very opinionated. They don’t really have facts. I like how this article talks about teaching the science behind the virus and the effectiveness of the vaccine. It also provides lesson plans to teach about the coronavirus. I think this virus is something that will always be relevant. It’s something that will be talked about like chickenpox or measles. So, it’s nice to see some specific lesson plans that show how to go about educating students about it.

  6. It is important for students to know the truth behind COVID-19. People that don’t have personal experiences with what it truly does, will most likely underestimate it. And a global pandemic is not something that should be underestimated. I have no doubt in my mind that COVID-19 will be taught to future kids as history, but right now it isn’t history, it is the present. It is more important to learn about what is going on while it is happening rather than after it already happened. Not all people are willing to go out of their way to do research and that very well could have some negative effects. That is why it should be taught now in schools where students don’t really have the option to not do research. Maybe give students assignments about it and plan lessons about it. The BrainPop lesson would be great for younger kids, but for older kids there should be assignments that require more research and understanding. I think this would be very beneficial.

  7. I appreciate these resources a lot because it can be really difficult to find reliable information about the coronavirus especially since it is something that is currently happening so a lot of information is false or gets lost in translation. Social media has not helped because I see a lot of articles and information posted to these outlets that may not be entirely true but everyone chooses to believe and rely on.

  8. I think it is super important to understand the facts about the pandemic we are living through, and many people don’t and act blindly to the facts and issues being brought to the public. The classroom is a great place to get informed about unbiased information that some students are learning from outside sources that aren’t very creditable.

  9. I think it is important to teach kids about this pandemic especially in a classroom environment. There is a lot of misinformation going around. It is important for teachers not to bring in their own bias, and to pick their resources carefully.

  10. I think there is a lot of different information out about the coronavirus and the classroom is a great place to talk about it. I think there is cause for some concern and teachers must approach this gently, because you do not know what is happening at home. This could open up a can of worms if they are not careful. I would probably use the BrainPOP lesson because that was made for my age groups and those lessons are usually very helpful.

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