West Nile Virus - Plans for Educators

Created by:
F. D. Quintrell
Los Angeles Unified School District

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Suggested Grade Level:

I created this lesson to use with my seventh grade students. Feel free to adjust this lesson to 
your needs.

Science Content Standards:

Science-Grade 7-Life Sciences

2e DNA is the genetic material of living organisms, and is located in the chromosomes of each cell.

5a Plants and animals have levels of organization for structure and function, including cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and the whole organism. 

5b Organ systems function because of the contributions of individual organs, tissues, and cells. The failure of any part can affect the entire system.

Science-Grade 7-Investigation and Experimentation

7a Select and use appropriate tools and technology (including calculators, computers, balances, spring scales, microscopes, and binoculars) to perform tests, collect data, and display data.

7b Utilize a variety of print and electronic resources (including the World Wide Web) to collect information as evidence as part of a research project. 

7c Communicate the logical connection among hypothesis, science concepts, tests conducted, data collected, and conclusions drawn from the scientific evidence. 

7d Construct scale models, maps and appropriately labeled diagrams to communicate scientific knowledge (e.g., motion of EarthÝs plates and cell structure). 

7e Communicate the steps and results from an investigation in written reports and verbal presentations.

Here are a few other standards I found, teachers interested in doing this webquest with 9th grade students might look closely at the genetic standards for your level.

Grade 6: Ecology (5e), Investigation and Experimentation (7a, b, c, d, e, g)
Grade 9: Biology (1c, 5f), Investigation and Experimentation (1a, c, d, i,) 

S.C.O.R.E. Lessons Standards Search by Grade and Subject
S.C.O.R.E. Standards and Framework
California Content Standards Grades K-12
California Content Standards Grades K-12 - Science - PDF Format

Teacher notes:

My plan for this webquest was to set up a framework in which students can have a wide range of choices. While analyzing current data and playing the role of a scientist,  students can make recommendations regarding public health. I am going to  have oral presentations where my students can exhibit mastery of subjects covered within the school year. (genetics, cells, basteria and virii, animal structure vs. function, life cycle, etc.) comments are welcome and appreciated.

A side note - I have big hopes for the mapping activity as it incorporates some math skills that my students need. I already have plans to change it to include a graphing activity. I am sure that it will be improved during implementation and this teacher wishes to hear from others who have had success. You can find great county level maps at the Center for Integration of Natural Disaster Information.

As I was writing this webquest, Colorodo has had its first confirmed case. I assume that soon the virus will be here in California. Expect to change some of the guiding questions.

If you have trouble with my rubric, (It's in word format) you can try a quick html version I made of it here. It lost all my formatting, but fix it up!


Students need practice in group dynamics. Groups will work closely at end of webquest to create their presentations.Students will also need practice in data collection and note taking. This has been planned as an end of the year project. I plan on spending the earlier part of the semester giving the students the necessary skills to be successful.


Interpreting data, making inferences, forming hypotheses, making predictions, mind maps
Presentations -hyperstudio or imovie
Computer literacy. 
Effective use of Internet resources. 


Presentations - defense of oral presentation, peer evaluation, rubric,
web site review sheet


Students may research related viral or arthropod species. 


Need a refresher on mind maps? go to Tony Buzan's web site

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August 15, 2002