Recipient of the 2019 NAGC Curriculum Award

It is a germy world out there, and students are naturally curious about this hidden world. Microscopic Monsters and the Scientists Who Slay Them, a 30-lesson interdisciplinary science unit:

  • Is designed to teach high-ability fourth and fifth graders how to think like real-world epidemiologists.
  • Was designed using the research-based Integrated Curriculum Model.
  • Features challenging problem-based learning tasks and engaging resources.
  • Includes detailed teacher instructions and suggestions for differentiation.
  • Is winner of the National Association for Gifted Children's curriculum award.

In unit, students apply principles of epidemiology and microbiology to respond to a fictional epidemic and its effect on their town, all while building an understanding of the perseverance required to detect, track, and stop epidemics through the experiences of real-life epidemiologists and exploring career paths available in the diverse fields of medicine and microbiology. Suggestions and guidance are included on how teachers can adjust the rigor of learning tasks based on students' interests and needs.

Grades 4-5

chapter |6 pages


chapter Lesson 1|7 pages

Preassessing Perseverance

chapter Lesson 2|7 pages

Epic Epidemiology

chapter Lesson 3|5 pages

Justifying the Existence of Germs

chapter Lesson 4|5 pages

Making a Microscope

chapter Lesson 5|5 pages

Manufacturing a Microbe

chapter Lesson 6|6 pages

Master Planning a Metropolis

chapter Lesson 7|3 pages

A Serious Scenario

chapter Lesson 8|4 pages

Engineering an Epidemic

chapter Lesson 9|3 pages

Managing Malaria

chapter Lesson 10|6 pages

Planning for a Potential Pandemic

chapter Lesson 11|5 pages

Contrasting the Causes

Is It Bacterial or Viral?

chapter Lesson 12|5 pages

Scripting an S.O.S. Signal

chapter Lesson 13|3 pages

Nitpicking Your Newscast

chapter Lesson 14|3 pages

How Our Bodies Fight Off Foes

chapter Lesson 15|2 pages

Heredity or Health Habit

chapter Lesson 16|4 pages

Practicing a Predicament

chapter Lesson 17|5 pages

Confidential Case Files

chapter Lesson 18|6 pages

Gadgets and Gizmos

chapter Lesson 19|4 pages

Doling Out Donated Dollars

chapter Lesson 20|7 pages

Broken Into Branches

chapter Lesson 21|5 pages

Pandemics of the Past

chapter Lesson 22|4 pages

GDP Population Patterns

chapter Lesson 23|5 pages

Are All Germs Bad?

chapter Lesson 24|3 pages

Symbiotic Synergy and Pathogenic Pariahs

chapter Lesson 25|3 pages

Cultivating a Cure

chapter Lesson 26|9 pages

Vaccination Vexation

chapter Lesson 27|3 pages

Paying for the Potion

chapter Lesson 28|2 pages

Engineering Ethical Eradication Efforts

chapter Lesson 29|4 pages

Personal Pillars of Perseverance

chapter Lesson 30|5 pages

Pondering Our Progress