Coronavirus instructional resources?

Hello colleagues, I know many teachers incorporate current events into their instruction. Of course, most recently one of the hottest topics has been the coronavirus. Teachers can play a role in allaying fears about this outbreak and help learners and their families to feel better prepared.

What video and/or textual resources have you found useful on this topic? Thanks for sharing.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP


Hello colleagues, I know many members have created lessons focused on the coronavirus. The CDC website -- available in various languages-- is a reliable source of information. Please share additional internet resources -- both print and video-- that can be drawn upon to address this topic with adult learners. Thank you!

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP

Hello colleagues, Yesterday, when I asked the advanced students attending my Zoom English class what topics they would like to study, they told me they wanted to learn more about the coronavirus. We had already been studying animals' role in human diseases, drawing from a text on this topic in CommonLit. We also viewed a video on Ebola which CommonLit had identfied as relevant media. The Ebola video is available on YouTube here.

In my search for additional lessons on the coronavirus, I discovered that the New York Times and PBS have lesson plans on this topic. Share My Lesson Plans is a site where teachers can post their lesson plans, and there are several  related to COVID-19. This site is free, but does require registration.

It's no surprise that the lesson materials available online are designed for K12; however, it is not difficult to choose and/or adapt lessons so that they are relevant to adult learners.

By the way, CommonLit is a wonderful source for texts (grade levels range from 3-12), text sets and related media. Each article on CommonLit includes comprehension questions as well as questions for discussion. Learners have the option to listen to the text, too. Plus the text is available in various languages. The site is completely free but does require registration. Teachers can create a class and assign readings to the whole class or to individuals. Assigning articles to individuals is a great way to differentiate for learners at different levels. The teacher can review learners' written responses and provide feedback.

You are invited to add to this list of intructional materials on COVID-19. I know many learners are especially interested in this topic right now.

All the best, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition and Teaching & Learning CoPs

Hello colleagues, I have found that the adults in my class are strongly interested in talking about and learning more about the coronavirus. This article, "Innovative Ways to Make Coronavirus a Teachable Moment" by Sarah Gonser highlights several useful ideas for drawing upon the pandemic as a topic to teach science, social studies, reading/writing, and math.

The instructional ideas include the following:

  • The Math Behind Pandemics
  • Virology and Biology
  • Journalism
  • Makers of History
  • Asking Hard Ethical Questions
  • Media Literacy

I'm especially intrigued by what it means to ask hard ethical questions and engaging learners in thinking and talking about the important ethical questions that have arisen due to the pandemic. Gonser shares the following ethical decision-making method from the "Ethics Institute." 

  1. "Study and understand the situation.
  2. Identify the values that are involved on all sides.
  3. Identify the ethical dilemma -- right vs. right.
  4. Identify the values that influence your position.
  5. Communicate effectively and respectfully a decision that demonstrates the ability ot apply the facts, Identify the values that inform your position, and can refer to other sources or stakeholders."

What are your thoughts about the pandemic being a potential teachable moment?  Please let us know your thoughts, and if you are having conversations with learners about the coronavirus, I hope you can share a bit about how it's going.

Stay safe, everyone.

Take care, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP