You Make Me Sick! Teacher Guide - Pre-Assessment


Time Required



Students will play a vocabulary game and then create a group Venn diagram to assess prior knowledge about bacteria and viruses.



Pencil8 x 11 sheet of paper


Timer or stopwatchIndex cards or small pieces of paperAccess to the unit glossary


8 x 11 sheet of paperPencil or pen


Write numbers on cards or small pieces of paper. Each student will receive a card. There will be two teams, so you will need two cards for each number. For example, if you have 18 students, you will need two sets of cards containing numbers 1-9. Set up an area for two students to come forward on their turn and hit a buzzer or bell.

Part 1: Vocabulary Game: List It!

  • Divide students into four teams. Explain that they will be playing a game to assess their prior knowledge of vocabulary related to bacteria and viruses. Each team will try to list as many vocabulary words as possible, and then the team with the most words will try to define each word.
  • Walk the class through the steps in the Student Guide for playing the game. Then, distribute a sheet of paper and a pencil to each team. Once everyone is ready, start the timer and begin.
  • After one minute, signal that time is up and ask each group how many words they were able to list. The team with the most words wins the round, as long as each word is relevant, or closely relevant, to the unit.
  • For round two, the winning team must define each word to earn a point. If the team is unable to define a word, the other teams have a chance to earn a point by defining the word. In this situation, the first team to raise a hand and provide a definition gets the point.

After the winner of round one has attempted to define all of the words on their list, lead a discussion of any additional words other teams may have listed. Ask the following questions to guide the discussion:

  • Are there any words in the glossary that were not listed in the game?
  • Are there any that were listed in the game that are not in the glossary?
  • If so, should they be added?

Reassure students that the goal of this activity is to assess prior knowledge in a fun and engaging way. Any essential vocabulary terms and concepts will be reinforced throughout the unit.

Part 2: Group Venn Diagram

Have students read the Introduction in the Student Guide. Then explain to students that they are going to create a group Venn diagram about bacteria and viruses. A Venn diagram is made of two overlapping circles and is typically used to compare and contrast two or more concepts or ideas.

Sketch or project the following Venn diagram on the board.

Instruct students to spend a few minutes brainstorming on the topic and filling in their own Bacteria and Viruses Venn diagram on an 8 x 11 sheet of paper.

Tell students that this activity is to assess their prior knowledge about bacteria and viruses, and encourage them to think about the vocabulary game they played. At the end of the lesson, students will fill out the same diagram again to show what they have learned.


Divide students into pairs and have them play You Make Me Sick! for the rest of the class period. Be sure they start by viewing the tutorial. As students play, encourage them to pay particular attention to characteristics of bacteria and viruses, how they are similar and different, and how they spread diseases. Let students know that at the beginning of the next class period, they will discuss their experiences playing the game.