High School Science Reading: H1N1 Virus on an Airplane - Sub Plan

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This lesson is designed to help students with science literacy reading strategies and can be used as a sub plan! Students will analyze real data from a case study of patients who caught H1N1 virus on an airplane flight, the first H1N1 cases to arrive in Great Britain.

Good science reading at the high school level is difficult to find! Science teachers struggle to find lessons a substitute could help students do and here is a lesson they can!

This lesson also comes in a bundle of 6 science readings! Click here to see the money-saving bundle!


As more focus around the country is put on science literacy, I am working to improve my students’ science reading abilities by adapting literature articles, creating shorter articles at the high school reading level. This article is 2.5 pages long and is calculated by several online reading level calculators to be at the 9th grade reading level. I purposely designed this reading to take up more space so that students have room to underline, circle, and write in the margin.

As students read the study, they will fill in a timeline to show when each case-patient’s symptoms started. They also will fill out an airplane schematic to show where in the airplane the case-patients sat in relation to the index patient. There are several text-dependent questions designed to engage and encourage deeper thinking about the topic.

When I work with my students on science literacy, I do the following in order:
First, I review some basic vocabulary words they have already seen and are necessary for the lesson.
(This lesson does not have any specific vocabulary they need to know before reading it.)
Next, I read the passage out loud as students follow along.
Next, I ask them to read the passage silently to themselves and make marks in the margins, circling new words, underlining key ideas. (Each reading page has space on the right hand side for notes)
I then go through each question and encourage students to volunteer answers. I also have used techniques like think-pair-share to encourage more student participation.

I know as a science teacher, I often struggle to find a lesson a substitute can complete with them. This works as a great substitute lesson! Substitute teachers can read the article with the students and help them answer the questions. An answer key is also provided to help you (or your substitute).

Lesson Contents:
Pages 1-3: Reading Passage and Timeline for students to fill in
Pages 4: Airplane Schematic for students to fill in
Pages 5-6: Text-Dependent Short Answer Questions
Page 7: Teacher Instructions
Pages 8-11: Answers
Page 12: Terms of Use and Illustrations Credit

If you want more Science Literacy Readings, check out my other readings!
Are there Prions in our Milk?
Can Cat Parasites in Your Brain Cause Bad Driving?
Zombie Ants and Fungal Parasites
Great White Shark Transcriptome
How Identical are Identical Twins?

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Teaching Duration
1 hour

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High School Science Reading: H1N1 Virus on an Airplane - Sub Plan
High School Science Reading: H1N1 Virus on an Airplane - Sub Plan
High School Science Reading: H1N1 Virus on an Airplane - Sub Plan
High School Science Reading: H1N1 Virus on an Airplane - Sub Plan