Students will do the following:
The class will need the following:
Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate how well students participated in class discussion, researched allergic reactions or the common cold, and created flowcharts to describe the body's reaction to the allergen or virus.
Treating Allergies and Viral Infections
Diagnosing allergies and viral infections can be confusing, and their treatments are different. Have students interview their own or another pediatrician about treatments for these conditions with similar symptoms. Brainstorm with students about questions they might ask. They may want to include the questions below in their interviews:
Allergies (Disease and People series)
Sara L. Latta. Enslow Publishers, 1998.
About 20 percent of the population is allergic to something. That's a lot of people! Using clear language and occasional illustrations, this is a solid introduction to the world of allergies: how they were first understood, how they are diagnosed, and how they are prevented and treated. An extensive bibliography and a glossary are included.
Allergies: What You Need to Know (Johns Hopkins Health)
Mark Giuliucci. Time Life Books, 1999.
Beginning with a detailed explanation of the changes that take place in your body's immune system when you have an allergic reaction, this handy book covers a variety of allergic responses, including hay fever, asthma, and skin, food, and drug allergies. Later chapters explain how to choose an allergist and various treatments for allergies, from creating an allergy-free environment to using drugs or shots for allergy prevention. The appendix lists support groups, Internet resources, and more.
Definition: A substance such as pollen or mold that causes an allergy; the body's immune system interprets it as an invader.
Context: Pollen is a commonallergenthat causes hay fever.
Definition: An exaggerated or abnormal reaction (such as sneezing, itching, or a rash) to substances or conditions that are harmless to most people.
Context: Common forms ofallergyinclude asthma, hay fever, eczema, and hives.
Definition: Proteins produced in blood and tissue to help neutralize and destroy foreign bodies (antigens).
Context: Antibodiesare an essential part of the immune system.
Definition: A chemical substance (usually a protein) that the body perceives as foreign; antigens cause the body to form antibodies against it when it is introduced into the body.
Context: In the case of allergies, theantigenis an allergen.
Definition: An allergic reaction caused by the pollens of ragweed, grasses, and other plants whose pollen is spread by the wind.
Context: Hay feverand the common cold have similar symptoms.
Definition: A naturally occurring substance released by the immune system after being exposed to an allergen.
Context: Histamineproduces many of the symptoms normally associated with allergic reactions, such as sneezing, nasal congestion, itching, rashes, and wheezing.
Definition: The body's defense system that fights infections and foreign substances.
Context: Theimmune systemprovides protection against potentially damaging substances that may invade the body.
Definition: A large cell involved in allergic reactions.
Context: An allergic reaction activatesmast cellsto send out histamines.
Definition: A fine, powdery substance released by plants and trees.
Context: Hay fever is an allergic reaction caused bypollen.
Definition: Viral infection of the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and sometimes the air passages and lungs.
Context: Therhinoviruscauses most common colds.
Definition: A microscopic infectious organism that can multiply only in living cells, causing diseases in human beings, lower animals, and plants.
Context: The common cold and the flu are two types ofviruses.
This lesson adheres to the National Science Education Standards for students in grades 5-8:
Joy Brewster, a freelance writer and editor of educational material.
This lesson was developed in consultation with Frank Wiesel, life science curriculum consultant and former middle school science teacher.