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This course is designed for students in middle or high school and gives an overview of the study of viruses.  (It also includes a lot of cell biology, plus general science and chemistry concepts.)

Please be aware that the course is in process right now.  I reserve the right to make changes and additions as I go along.   (It will become a product to purchase as of June 1, 2020.)

Also please be aware that my webstore software is in the process of being upgraded to the latest version.  The current version works okay in general, but now and then it will get buggy about telling people they need to log in when they are already logged in, or not showing quizzes.  These are bugs I am unable to fix on my end. They usually relate to certain browsers, or whether a customer’s ad blocker is on or off, or whether their computer has saved an old cached version of the site.

Things you can try if you run into bugs:

1) Turn off ad blocker temporarily.      2) Clear your computer’s cache (Google it if you don’t know how)      3) Clear your computer’s cookies.      4) Worst case, try signing up again and see if the issue disappears.       5) Contact me if the issues don’t clear up. 

[NOTE: If your issue is that you can’t gain immediate access to the course, try it again later, giving me time to do my twice-daily manual processing of any orders that are not immediately cleared by Paypal.]



You will need to download and print the template pages before you start each lesson.  There are also info pages available that give you a written summary of what was covered in the lesson.  Each lesson comes with one or more activities and optional supplemental videos.

If you would like to download all the necessary pages in one go (instead of one at a time when you get to each lesson page), here are some links:

All template pages for Intro to Virology

All info pages for Intro to Virology

All final drawing samples for Intro to Virology

If you would like to see a list of the resources I used in my research, here is a bibliography.

Intro to Virology Bibliography






NOTE:  If you are enjoying this course and feel that it is benefiting your student(s), and you’d like to say thanks, I have added a “Buy Me a Coffee” option in my store.



List of Activities for each lesson:

1) Make a paper model of adenovirus and TMV, video on how to draw icosahedron on an orange,    2) Online activity about scale,   3) Word puzzle, printable card game about virus photos, virtual PCR test,   4) Make a model of T2, worksheet with funny video as prize, hands-on experiment “Black Box”    5) Hands-on membrane lab, video about triskelion geometry, memory match word game online,    6) Online matching game, online ribosome activity, online game about cell parts,    7) Virus classification worksheet, online memory match game, hands-on activity to make capsid cookies,    8) Viral Crimes and Misdemeanors worksheet, online Jeopardy game,    9) Online Jeopardy game,   10) Online game from CDC, two rounds of online game “Who Wants to Be Villionaire?”


VIRUSES lesson 1: Morphology and anatomy

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Length: 61 minutesComplexity: Standard

  In this lesson we look at the most common shapes that viruses take.  We also look at their anatomy and label their parts.  (We will find out more about what these parts do in a later lesson.)  We also review what protein is made of, and we what we mean by "genetic material."   [...]

VIRUSES lesson 2: Size and prevalence

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Length: 37 minutesComplexity: Standard

  I have divided this lesson into two videos.   The first runs 38 minutes and the second is only 18 minutes. (NOTE:  For any younger students who are not likely to go much further than this lesson, don’t quit before you check out lesson 7(a), and the activity suggestion about making virus cookies.) In lesson […]

VIRUSES lesson 3: History of discovery

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Length: 75 minutesComplexity: Standard

  In this lesson we make a timeline of the history of virology.  This is an unusual drawing because you will be printing four template pages, not one.  Three of the pages are the timeline, the fourth is the official lesson page, which is mostly blank so that you can glue the timeline onto it.  […]

VIRUSES lesson 4: Bacteriophages

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Length: 56 minutesComplexity: Standard

  I decided to divide this lesson into (a) and (b), like I did with lesson 2.  Part (a) will introduce you to bacteriophages, as well as the infection process in general (the lytic and lysogenic cycles).   Part (b) will be a short biography of Felix d’Herelle, discover of phages, and some info about “phage […]

VIRUSES lesson 5: How Viruses Enter Cells

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Length: 50 minutesComplexity: Standard

  This lesson is divided into two parts.  In part (a) we see how viruses enter cells by using receptors on the cell’s surface, then using a fusion protein to either poke a hole in the membrane or fuse with it.  In part (b) we focus on just the influenza virus and take a closer […]

VIRUSES lesson 6: Inside a Cell

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Length: 61 minutesComplexity: Standard

This lesson might seem like a step backwards.  Right in the middle of our study of viruses, we have an entire lesson just on cells.  Why?  Because virologists need to know a lot about cells.  In fact, virologists are also cell biologists.  We’ll use this information about cells a little bit in lesson 7, then […]

VIRUSES lesson 7: Inside a Capsid

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Length: 73 minutesComplexity: Standard

  Lots of drawing and coloring in this lesson! We look inside the capsids of 6 viruses, we see how virologists make linear diagrams of genome information, and we learn how virologists classify viruses.   I decided that it was too much for one page, so you will need to print out two template pages.  […]

VIRUSES lesson 8: Viruses Inside Cells

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Length: 61 minutesComplexity: Standard

This lesson brings together many things we’ve learned in past lessons.  We are finally ready to go through the entire life cycle of a virus!  We’ll look at two very different life cycles, one inside the nucleus and one outside.  It makes sense to divide this lesson into two parts.  Part (a) will be a […]

VIRUSES lesson 9: The Body Fights Back

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Length: 59 minutesComplexity: Standard

In this lesson we will take a very brief look at some of the strategies the immune system uses to fight viruses.  Most of the time the body wins the fight, even with viruses having so many ways to get around the cell’s biological weapons. NOTE:  There is an optional intermission at the 32 minute […]

VIRUSES lesson 10: Vaccines and anti-virals

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Length: 44 minutesComplexity: Standard

Because you’ve done so much learning about viruses already, we only have to cover a small amount of new information in this lesson.  We’ll learn about four type of vaccines and how they interact with immune cells.  We’ll also learn about the three most successful strategies (so far) for making anti-viral medicines. Please note:  This […]

VIRUSES: Bonus info and extra resources

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Length: 61 minutesComplexity: Standard

Did you enjoy learning this way, drawing along with a video lecture? If so, the good news is that I’ve done lots of these video lectures.  Some are one-shot lectures (not part of a series) and many are about invertebrates.  They are listed  as FREE resources, under the VIDEOS tab on the top menu bar.  […]