Writing a Children`s Story about Bacteria and Viruses


Writing a Children’s Story about Bacteria, Viruses, and your Immune System

Children’s Story

Assignment Directions

Due Date: Friday, May 18 For this assignment, you will write a children’s story based on bacteria, viruses, or parasites, and the immune system. The story will be read by fourth grade students (approximately age 9) throughout the Ventura school district. In addition to sharpening your ability to communicate scientific material to others, your efforts will be rewarded by real responses from real students.

For this assignment, your story should:

    include both written and visual components be based on what you can learn/ have learned about bacteria, viruses, and/or the body’s response to them.

be creative, entertaining, and well thought-out be appropriate for this age group (We will look at some examples in class) Beyond these requirements, you have a free hand to invent the most creative story you can. You can draw on your own experience dealing with a bacterial or viral infection. You can draw on any other experiences related to biology or writing or working with children that will help you to write and illustrate an appealing story. For the visuals, you can use computer-generated images, collages, drawings, paintings- anything you think will support your story and your work well. You should, however, be prepared to talk about why you chose the visuals and layout that you did, and what you hoped to accomplish with these choices. If you aren’t quite sure where to begin, try to think back to the types of stories you liked to read when you were younger. In addition, you might want to consider options such as giving them choices about how to proceed through your story, or including activities for entertaining readers while also informing them about your organism(s). Questions you should consider when writing:       What do you want your readers to learn from this story?

How must you use language in order to make fourth and fifth graders understand what you are trying to communicate?

How do children see or look at nature?

What types of issues, ideas, language, etc. are appropriate for this age group? What is inappropriate?

How can you get them interested in your organism?

How can you use visual elements to best support or enhance your ideas?

California State Standards must be addressed: There is one California State Standard that addresses microorganisms, and that is Life Science Standard 2d: 2.

Living organisms depend on one another and on their environment for survival. As a basis for understanding this concept: d.

Students know that most microorganisms do not cause disease and that many are beneficial. You must address this standard at one point in your children’s book. If your book does not follow this standard, you may look for an alternative standard that you can use in your children’s book. Look at the following website for help finding a “Life Science” or “Investigation and Experimentation” standard for your standard. The website is: http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/scgrade4.asp

One last word of advice! This will be read by children. You are looked up to by them, and it is very important that you treat them with respect. Do not use any language or content that is inappropriate for a nine-year old. If there is any age inappropriate topic (i.e., STDs, luck! c o l o r f u l language) your book will receive an automatic zero. This is a 50-point project, and it will serve as your formal assessment for your introduction to the immune system and infectious agents. Good The rubric for the children’s book should serve as your guideline for formatting and writing your book: Standard clearly written on back cover and addressed within text Creativity Formatting Neatness (typed – or no credit for neatness, no typos, text out of margin, pictures in fold of book) Content Scientific Accuracy of infectious agent (bacteria, parasites, viruses) Scientific Accuracy of immune response (start with the first line of defense and move through the immune response) Clarity (Clearly written; Does it reach target age?)


0-1 0 – 2 2 3 – 4 3 5 – 7 4 8 – 9 5 10 = _________ (Final Grade)