Introduction to Microorganisms and Animal Health
In this lesson, your students will examine how microorganisms affect other living organisms. A brief overview of common microorganisms related to animal health (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protazoa) is followed by examples of how these interactions both benefit and harm animals. Case studies describing common household pet afflictions are provided as part of a suggested activity for your students.
This lesson should cover roughly 1 class period and should be supported by any additional class references (textbooks, teacher notes, etc...). It is best suited for Grade 11/12 or Secondary 5 Biology, but it may also be incorporated into classes on Human Health and Food Nutrition.
*NOTE: this is Part 1 of a series of suggested Lesson Plans (parts 1 - 4) under the same general title.
Part 1: Micro- and Macroorganisms
This first lesson begins with a summary of the four important microorganisms related to animal health: bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi. This is proceeded by a look into how microorganisms interact with the digestive systems of larger animals.
At this point, it might be interesting to provide your students with a few examples of common pet diseases. The following provides short case studies of infections caused by a variety of microorganisms. Each case study includes descriptions of symptoms, modes of transmission, treatments, preventative measures, and so on.
One suggestion would be to have your students summarize the information in chart-form or as a mind-map. This resource is thick in information, so an emphasis on organizing facts would best be suited for this activity. This could be assigned as homework, handed in individually, or completed in groups and displayed around the classroom.
Here's an idea! Have your students create a 'Prezi' (http://prezi.com) in small groups for an assigned case study. A 'Prezi' allows one to create beautifully orchestrated presentations using the computer. It is a stimulating and fun way to allow students to present their findings of a particular topic. Try it out and see!
- examine how microorganisms interact with other living organisms
- understand how human health is affected by microorganisms
- analyze different methods to protect oneself from potentially harmful effects of microorganisms
- explore some of the ways in which Canadians have contributed to the field of Science