The supplement contains two weeks of lessons that are easily integrated into your curriculum and are aligned to national and state standards.

Please note the publication date of this resource. There may be more recent developments that are not captured here. We are working to update our science education content and encourage you to check our website for new resources in the future.

Lesson Objectives
1. What Is a Rare Disease? Understand the three main causes of diseases (genetics, environmental exposure, and infectious agents) and that rare diseases may become common and common diseases, rare. Recognize that many rare diseases can be cured or managed through treatment.
2. What Causes Rare Diseases? Examine how two different causes of disease can interact to produce a rare disease. Explore how a common bacterial species can cause a rare disease.
3. The Difficulty of Diagnosis Observe how problems with a single gene can affect many different body systems. Understand that a rare disease may be difficult to diagnose and that people who are diagnosed with it may have to cope with an associated stigma.
4. The Importance of Medical Research Perform a simulated Web search and design a clinical trial to understand and treat childhood leukemia. Appreciate that some genetic diseases are inherited and that clinical trials have helped improve treatments for many rare diseases.
5. Communicating about Rare Diseases Learn about organizations that provide reliable information about rare diseases to the public and understand how such knowledge may reduce the stigma associated with having a rare disease.