This is my go-to website when I am looking for a text about a disease that clearly explains the causes, symptoms, and treatment. Without talking down, the website describes and explains many different diseases in simple language. The texts about each disease are at an appropriate reading levels and length for classroom use and because they have subtitles, they lend themselves well to practices like filling in graphic organizers and writing summaries.
I’ve used this site when introducing science. For instance, a series of lessons on genetics culminating in reading about sickle cell anemia as both an example of recessive gene inheritance and natural selection (Scientists believe sickled cells help grant immunity to malaria).
I have also given different groups of students handouts about different types of diseases culled from this website and asked them to sort the diseases into “inherited,” “infectious,” and “environmental.”
To find explanations of diseases, use the search button or click on “Health Problems.”
Additional features of the site:
- Many of the texts are also in Spanish.
- There is a dictionary of medical terms.
- Most texts can also be listened to in audio.
The degree of engagement will be high if the texts are well framed by the teacher beforehand, but this site is likely to be useful to anyone who wants to learn more about a disease.