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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Investigating HIV/AIDS

Teaching Suggestions

Africa, Asia, Central America and Mexico, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, Pacific Islands, South America, The Caribbean, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe
Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
Arts & Music, Foreign Language, Language Arts & Literature, Mathematics, Science, Service Learning, Social Studies & Geography

These teaching suggestions are designed to support interdisciplinary exploration of the issue of HIV/AIDS. They may be used on their own or to extend students' learning from the WebQuest Reversing the Spread of HIV/AIDS.

More about how Peace Corps Volunteers address global issues:

More about HIV/AIDS in the world:

More about HIV/AIDS in the United States:


Suggested extension activities:

Social Studies: Locate two current print or web-based news articles, one from a local news source and another from an international news source addressing HIV/AIDS. Describe the political, economic, and social impacts of HIV/AIDS using evidence from the articles. How are these impacts similar and dissimilar in the local and global contexts? In your view, what are the most critical impacts of HIV/AIDS for the world?

Math: Watch the United Nations' AIDS Clock for four minutes and create a graph of the data (x-axis: time, y-axis: HIV cases). During the time you observed, how much did the number of people living with HIV change? What was the rate of change? Now resize the map to see which countries have the most HIV infections. Look at these numbers relative to population. Select two countries, one with a relatively high HIV burden and one with a low burden. Using the number of cases and the countries' current populations , what is the difference between the HIV rates (percentages of the populations infected with HIV) in the two countries you selected?

Science: Research the history of HIV/AIDS from the 1970's to the present. In small groups, assign each member to research a different aspect of HIV/AIDS, such as: how our scientific understanding of the disease has improved over the decades, how the disease spread geographically to become a global pandemic, how the number of people affected has changed over time, and how medical treatment of HIV/AIDS patients has evolved. Use print and web-based resources such as AIDS.gov to help you.

Language Arts: Review three essays- "A Brand New Muti ," "Angel," and "Where Life is Too Short" (all linked to above) written by Peace Corps Volunteers who worked on HIV/AIDS issues in South Africa. Analyze the stories using the accompanying World Wise Schools lesson plans or discussion questions of your own. Then compare and contrast the three authors' perspectives on HIV/AIDS and the issues facing their host communities.

Foreign Language: Investigate the issue of HIV/AIDS in a country where your target language is spoken. Find out some of the main challenges related to HIV/AIDS in your selected country. Develop a public service announcement or slogan to address one of these challenges in your target language.

Service Learning: Consider ways to address HIV/AIDS through a service activity of your own. Visit World Wise Schools service-learning project ideas to inspire your thinking about ways to address HIV/AIDS within your own community or in another part of the world.

Art: View the slide show Life is Wonderful (linked to above), created by a Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Kyrgyzstan. Find out how the Volunteer worked with community members to design and paint a mural to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. Study the colors, images, and symbols used in the mural. What messages were the artists able to convey? Design a mural of your own that conveys a message you believe is important for your own community to understand about HIV/AIDS. 

Frameworks & Standards

Enduring Understandings
  • HIV and AIDS are preventable.
  • Education is crucial for reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
  • HIV/AIDS adversely affects the lives of millions of people locally and globally.
Essential Questions
  • Why are some communities more affected by HIV/AIDS than others?
  • How can we support our community in learning and talking about HIV and AIDS?
  • How has HIV/AIDS changed the world?

  National Science Education Standards

  • Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    • Personal and community health
    • Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges
  • Content Standard G: History and Nature of Science
    • Science as a human endeavor
    • History of science

National Standards for Foreign Language Learning

  • Communication
    • Standard 1.3:  Present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts

  • Reading: Informational Text
    • Key ideas and details: Cite evidence that supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
    • Craft and structure: Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

  • Expressions and Equations
    • Understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations
  • Statistics and Probability
    • Investigate patterns of association in bivariate data

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

  • Thematic Strand IX: Global Connections
    • Explore the causes, consequences, and possible solutions related to persistent, current, and emerging global issues, such as health  
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