Activity Introduction

This lesson is designed to be completed independently by students. 

In this lesson, students will read an informational text about common misconceptions around zoonotic diseases. They will be supported to understand specialised vocabulary and to identify ways that authors use synonyms. Then students will use close reading strategies to read and re-write a summary where necessary. Using visual processing, students will turn a written explanation into a clear and labelled image.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 7 English

  • Investigate vocabulary typical of extended and more academic texts and the role of abstract nouns, classification, description and generalisation in building specialised knowledge through language (ACELA1537)
  • Use prior knowledge and text processing strategies to interpret a range of types of texts (ACELY1722)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)

Year 8 English:

  • Apply increasing knowledge of vocabulary, text structures and language features to understand the content of texts (ACELY1733)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and evaluate texts by reflecting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources, including finding evidence in the text for the author’s point of view (ACELY1734)

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Background information

We are living through unprecedented times and our lives have been forced to change almost overnight as a result of Covid-19. There are many misconceptions around the cause of COVID-19 that should be addressed.

Tips for Parents and Carers

Students can feel a range of emotional responses when researching and discussing COVID-19. If you need further support for students please refer to:

Resources Required


[email protected] from Cool Australia

[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in a remote or school settings.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with The Conversation. The Conversation’s mission is to be known as a prominent and trusted publisher of new thinking and evidence-based research, editorially independent and free of commercial or political bias. The Conversation hopes teachers will use their content as a source of truthful information, and that teachers can show their students the importance of trusted, evidence-based information in understanding the world around them and making informed decisions about their actions. Please follow the republishing guidelines when using The Conversation’s articles.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Student Worksheet

Writing Informatively & Debunking Myths - Activity Instructions

Learning intentions:

  • You will learn to use specialised vocabulary
  • You will learn how authors use synonyms to develop arguments and ideas
  • You will use close-reading strategies to identify information in a text and respond to it
  • You will learn how to use visual processing strategies to break down information and explain it in a new way.

Success criteria:

  • You can correctly define key words
  • You can categorise vocabulary into groups
  • You can answer true and false questions by reading closely
  • You can break down a short description and depict it through imagery and words.


Coronavirus: three misconceptions about how animals transmit diseases debunked

Olivier Restif, University of Cambridge

As global COVID-19 cases top two million, it’s humbling to remember that it all started when one person got infected by one wild animal. We may never find out precisely where or wh

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