Tick Borne Disease Curriculum


The Tick-Borne Disease unit explores the role public health and health care workers play in human / animal welfare as well as the significance of tick-borne diseases in human / animal health. Using interdisciplinary NGS standards including math, ELA Literacy, History, and Earth Space Science, this unit is primarily focused in Life Sciences meeting both STEAM and STEM objectives.


This lesson can be taught in 3 days (modified block schedule) or 5 days (traditional schedule). Total unit time is approx 190 minutes. Could become a 2 week unit if all activities and extensions are used.

During Part 1 of the unit, students will explore the One Health concept. They will develop an understanding of public health work, the role it plays in the ever-changing environment for humans and animals, and the career opportunities available in this growing field.

During Part 2 of the unit, students will develop a working knowledge of tick-borne diseases and their impacts on both human and animal health. Using teacher / student driven exploration, technology, as well as hands-on labs, students will develop an appreciation for the impact ticks have on the safety and welfare of our environment. Identifying significant ticks of Kansas and the diseases they are vectors for are covered in this unit. Related scientific vocabulary is also developed during this lesson.
Flexible extension options are included to expand both the length of the unit as well as student learning and may be used by teachers at their discretion to increase rigor or provide a more in-depth experience in public health and tick-borne diseases.

Student Profile

During piloting, teachers successfully used these materials with a wide range of student age and abilities. Students experienced high levels of engagement and learning regardless of which activities they participated in. Teachers should feel free to use these materials in whatever combination, sequence, and timetable they require.

Author Information

This curriculum was developed and piloted by teachers participating in the Tick-Borne Disease Externship program funded by the One Health Kansas grant.

If you have questions or need clarification, you may contact any of the following:

Brenda Bott: brendabott@smsd.org

Dianne Dunn: ddunn@bluevalleyk12.org

James Estes : jesteson@olatheschools.org

Wendy Haas: whaasos@olatheschools.org

Kelley Whisler: kwhisler@buhlerschools.org

Download entire contents here (.zip)


  1. Science Standards
  2. Curricula References
  3. Unit Plan