Biological Form and Function

Lesson Title: Form and Function Lab, Part 4: Viral
Academic Standards: HS-LS1-1; HS-LS1-3; HS-LS4-4
Content Creator: Mrs. Wendy Martin
Level: High School
Duration: 30-40 min
  /  Form and Function Lab, Part 4: Viral


  • Define biological form and function.
  • Understand basic viral structure.
  • Understand viral specificity to host cells.
  • Understand how viruses infect host cells.


This lesson will focus on the form and function of viruses. Students will learn the basic structure of all viruses. In addition, they will learn how each virus has specificity in its structure that determines what range of host cells it infects. Focus will be on COVID and influenza. Students will manipulate the viruses during discussion of them. In addition, students will take a field trip into a hospital room where healthcare personnel are training in the treatment of COVID patients.


  1. Introduce the lessons objectives.
  2. Have students list any viruses that they know of.
  3. Show 2D video on virus structure.
  4. Using PowerPoint, discuss the "lock and key" mechanism of viruses, the specificity of structure and how it determines the host cells that become infected.
  5. Manipulate viruses during discussion (COVID, influenza, Tphage, Dengue).
  6. Have students go back to lab and assemble viruses.
  7. Take students on a field trip into an ER room where personnel are training in the treatment of COVID patients.
  8. Follow up with any questions.

Demonstratives & Media

Classroom Space
Science Lab
Virtual Field Trips & Lab Demonstrations
Instructional Videos

Suggested Ancillary Support

1. Explain that viruses are not considered living because they cannot replicate without a host. 2. Explain the difference between the lytic and lysogenic modes of viral replication. 3. Discuss infection and symptoms of some common viruses: COVID, influenza, common cold, hepatitis, HIV, measles.