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Curriculum Plan

Lyme disease Education for Elementary School Children

Goal: To increase student’s knowledge regarding the transmission, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of Lyme disease.

Objectives: After viewing the presentation on Lyme disease (“Tick Talk”) and completing the activities and homework assignments, students will be able to:

  • Describe the transmission of Lyme disease
  • Know steps to take to prevent Lyme disease (with a focus on doing a tick check everyday)
  • Recognize symptoms of Lyme disease

Educational Activities Included in this Manual “Tick Talk” presentation – this is an overhead presentation that focuses on the basic facts about ticks, Lyme disease transmission, Lyme disease symptoms, and ways to prevent Lyme disease. What you should know about Lyme Disease by Karen E. Baird, M.A. and Scott W. Brown, Ph.D.[University of Connecticut) was used as a reference for this presentation.

Tick Word Search – this is a grade appropriate specific word search incorporating new Lyme disease related vocabulary. The Regional Health Education Center of Yorktown Heights, NY, developed the word searches.

Draw Your Own Backyard – this can be given out as a homework assignment. Students can bring this home along with a Parent’s Guide to Lyme Disease Prevention brochure. Students are asked to draw their own backyard and circle three or more things that can be changed to make their backyard safer. They should bring the homework assignment back the next day. Students can be asked if they found anything that can be changed in their backyards to reduce the number of ticks. A classroom discussion about ways to prevent tick bites can follow.

Tick Search and Color – Students are given this picture of a family walking in the woods and asked to search the picture for hidden ticks. Students should circle the tick when they find it. Students can also color the picture at home or in class. This activity reinforces what students will have learned about places to find ticks. Rita Mitchell, RN, public health nurse from Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment developed the Tick Search and Color picture.

Schoolyard Tick Walk – Walk around the schoolyard or playground with your students. Ask students to point out places where ticks are and places that are safe to play. A discussion on safe places to play and walk to school can follow the walk.

Tick and Lyme disease Paragraph – Have students write a paragraph on what they know about Lyme disease before you give the Tick Talk presentation and do some of the educational activities included. Students can later review their paragraph to see how much they have learned about ticks and Lyme disease.

Tick Bulletin Board – Ask students to design a bulletin board, after the Tick Talk presentation, on ticks and Lyme disease for your classroom or school hallway. Students can draw pictures of ticks, tick habitats or proper ways to dress when playing in wooded or grassy areas.

Tick Tag – A game that can be played outside on the playground. This game will reinforce Lyme disease knowledge learned from the Tick Talk presentation and classroom activities. Two students will be “ticks” (the tag people) and have to tag other students. Students are safe from the “tick” when they form a line of 10 students. When the “tick” tags a student, the student is sent to the hospital (a neutral zone) to receive treatment for Lyme disease. Students can be released from the hospital to rejoin the game when they tell the teacher something they learned about Lyme disease, such as symptoms, treatment or prevention tips. The ideal of the game is to form a line with 10 students, this kills the “tick” and the students win the game. The teacher can set a time limit for the game, so that the same students are not the “ticks” for the whole time. The game can be repeated with different students as “ticks.”

Additional Materials Included:

  • Parent Lyme Disease Prevention Guide
  • Listing of educational materials on diseases spread by ticks available through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Tick ID card – can be photocopied and distributed
  • Tick dock card – a template is provided that students can use to make their own cards
Brigham and Women's Lyme Disease Prevention Program