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