Literary Sparks: Science, Grade 6


LAFS.6.RL.1.2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

LAFS.6.RI.1.1: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

SC.6.L.14.3: Recognize and explore how cells of all organisms undergo similar processes to maintain homeostasis, including extracting energy from food, getting rid of waste, and reproducing.

Inside your insides book cover

Inside Your Insides: A Guide to the Microbes That Call You Home by Claire Eamer

This interesting nonfiction book takes a look at the microbes that live on our bodies: in our hair, on our skin, and the ones we pick up everywhere we go. We’re microbiomes: a walking, talking collection of microbes, and Inside Your Insides introduces us to some of the most common microbes we share our surroundings with. We learn about bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, protists and mites; their preferred environments; and all the places they live on and around us.

astounding broccoli boy book cover

The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Rory Rooney likes to be prepared for anything, but when he inexplicably turns green and finds himself in an experimental hospital ward with his nemesis, school bully Tommy-Lee “Grim” Komissky, everyone is baffled but Rory believes he and Grim have become superheroes.

#Literary Sparks

  1. In The Astounding Broccoli Boy, Tommy Lee has an allergic reaction to nuts. What happens in the human body when it is having an allergic reaction? Do you have any allergies?
  2. Dr. Brightside performed experiments on Rory and Tommy Lee; what does she hope to prove?
  3. Based on the results from the experiments, what caused Rory and Tommy Lee to turn green?

Viral Epidemic

Learning Outcomes Statement:

The Viral Epidemic program will demonstrate to students the nature of a virus and how it can spread quickly with minimal contact. This program develops the core academic skills of collaboration and connection by students sharing the responsibility for the outcome.

Materials Needed:

  • Sheets of red and green stickers
  • Timer

Library Resources/Materials to Share:

Y 579 EAMER Inside Your Insides: A Guide to the Microbes That Call You Home by Claire Eamer

Y FIC Cottrell-Boyce The Astounding Broccoli Boy Boy by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Y 579.3 GARDY It’s catching : the infectious world of germs and microbes by Jennifer Gardy

Y 579 BURILLO-KIRCH Microbes : discover an unseen world with 25 projects by Christine Burillo-Kirch

Notes for Introduction:

The class is reading a book about microbes that live in our bodies: in our hair, skin, and the ones we pick up everywhere we go. We are microbiomes: a walking, talking collection of microbes. In the activity today you will be experiencing a viral epidemic. This activity is going to demonstrate how a virus spreads. Afterwards, we’ll compare results, evaluate the outcome, and answer some questions about viruses.

Activities Description:

Have students stand up.

Designate one student as the viral “carrier” and give her a sheet of red stickers.

Instruct the students to begin circulating around the room once the 60-second timer starts, and instruct the carrier to place stickers on as many students as possible.

After 60 seconds, count how many students have been “infected.”

For round two, give the carrier and three of the infected students each a sheet of green stickers, and repeat the process.

After this round, count the number of newly infected students and the total infected, and compare results.

Explain that at first only one person spread the virus, but after the virus incubated, others started to spread it as well.

Questions for Feedback and Reflection:

  1. What is a virus? Describe the structure of a virus.
  2. What are different ways that we spread a virus?
  3. Can anyone name some differences between bacteria and viruses?

Get a Library Card

Jacksonville Public Library Card image