VIRUSES lesson 1: Morphology and anatomy


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.”


You will need a good pencil and an eraser, and colored pencils (6 colors will enough).

Download and print this template page before you begin watching the video:

Viruses 1 template page

You might also want to print this info page.  It gives a written description of what we learn in this lesson.

Viruses 1 info page

If you need to see the final drawing, here is the one I did on camera:

Virus drawing 1 sample




Activity 1.1:  Build a model of the Tobacco Mosaic Virus

Download and print this page to make a model of a TMV virus

TMV virus pattern


Activity 1.2:  Build a model of an icosahedral virus







Icosahedral virus craft


Activity 1.3:  Watch a video that demonstrates icosahedral geometry on a sphere





Want to learn more about proteins?


Watch a short cartoon version of the Pandora myth:


The coronavirus is an “enveloped” virus, surrounded by a membrane that it stole from the human cell it invaded.  Learn why soap destroys this membrane.



Ready to take the quiz?   (Not required.)

There are 15 questions and you can reset the quiz to take it more than once.

(If the online quiz isn’t working, try turning off your ad blocker.  I’ve heard that can fix the problem.)

If you would like a printed copy, here is a PDF that you can download and print.  The PDF gives you both the quiz and the answer key.

Virology quiz lesson 1


Back to: Intro to VIROLOGY