Global Health Fighters

Students will research different aspects of the Ebola outbreak, HIV/AIDS, and malaria as global health crises.


The following lesson plan whill challenge students to become detectives in finding out about global health issues as they have played out in West Africa and especially about individuals involved as Ebola fighters and community health workers.


  • Students will do research about different global health issues such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and the Ebola outbreak, and gather that information to share with the school and their community.
  • Students will understand the different factors that play a role in a global health crisis like the Ebola outbreak, HIV/AIDS, and malaria.



  1. Show students the YouTube video of Dallas students singing and rapping the version of "We Are the World" that they created. 
  2. Discuss why the kids created the song, bringing in context about Dallas and the Ebola outbreak. Some more questions to discuss are: Why did Americans become so concerned, fearful at that time? Why is Ebola scary? As you learn about Ebola think about what we might do. Additionally, discuss how the Ebola outbreak was treated by the media, especially how it portrayed Africa.
  3. Divide students into groups. Each group will be responsible for researching a different aspect of three global health issues. 
  4. Group 1: Description of Ebola as a disease (transmission, prevention, treatment, and history of previous outbreaks).
  5. Group 2: Description of HIV/AIDS as viruses (transmission, prevention, treatment, and history of outbreaks).
  6. Group 3: Description of malaria as a virus (contraction, prevention, treatment, and history).
  7. Group 4: Ebola in Guinea. Read U.S. Disease Detectives Pursuing Ebola's Trail and search the internet for information on the epidemic in Guinea. Research the role of the CDC in the epidemic
  8. Group 5: HIV/AIDS in Namibia. Read Texting Across the Desert and research the issue of HIV/AIDS in Namibia. Look at the role of the CDC in combating this issue.
  9. Group 6: Malaria in Senegal. Watch Fighting Malaria One Net at a Time and research the issue of malaria in Senegal. Look at the role of the CDC and the WHO in combating this issue.
  10. Encourage students to report what they have learned in creative ways, using pictures, maps, role playing interviews of community health agents and disease/virus survivors. Engage students in considering how they might share what they have learned with their school and their community.

Frameworks & Standards

Enduring Understandings

  • Global health crises like the Ebola outbreak, HIV/AIDS, and malaria highlight the importance of public health institutions.
  • Health crises, when serious enough, can also turn into a global affairs issue and involve many different governments. 

Essential Questions

  • How do we decrease the impact of these global health issues?


  • NL-ENG.K-12.8
  • NL-ENG.K-12.9
  • NS.9-12.6
  • NSS-C.9-12.4

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