Infectious Agents

Infectious Agents

Use this infographic (provided in English, French, and Spanish) to teach students about five major infectious agents.


5 - 8


Biology, Health

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Idea for Use in the Classroom

Explore the Infectious Agents infographic with students to help them identify and discover how infectious agents invade the body and the types of treatments and preventions available for the illnesses they cause. Allow students to collaborate or work independently.

Have students make a KWL chart. Ask them to record what they already know about infectious agents in the “K” section of the chart. Next, ask students what they want to know and have them fill out their questions in the “W” section. Then introduce the infographic to students and give them time to explore the information.

Ask students to focus on using the infographic to discover the different ways that infectious agents invade human bodies. Have them find and record specific examples of pathogens that enter the human body through air, water, food, and blood in the “L” chart section, citing specific evidence from the infographic.

Then have students invent their own pathogen—it must be either a bacterium, protozoa, virus, worm, or fungus. Instruct students to use the information they have learned from the infographic to describe what host their pathogen needs, how their pathogen would infect that host, the symptoms the pathogen would induce in the host, and explain how the infection could be prevented or treated. Tell students to reference the infographic to make sure that their fictional pathogen aligns with the information cited. Encourage students to make a model or a drawing to accompany their written descriptions of their fictional pathogen. Finish by having students present their work to the class.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
Program Specialists
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

April 1, 2024

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