Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus by Lauren Block and Adam Block

The United States had its first reported case of coronavirus back in January 2020 and life has changed dramatically since then.  We've needed to change the way we do everything... where we can go... who we can see... what we wear on our faces... how far apart we can stand from other people... etc.  It's a lot to take in and the reasons why we have to do these things don't always make sense to children.  As teachers, we know children will come to us to ask their questions, and sometimes their questions are hard to answer.  Lauren Block MD-MPH and Adam E. Block Ph.D. wrote Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus to help children find the answers to their questions and to give them the explanations they need.  Keep reading to learn more about their book and how we can use Kelly Stays Home in our classrooms.  

An integrated science and language arts lesson plan using Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus to teach school age children about COVID-19.

Disclosure: Affiliate links to Amazon are included in this post.

🍎 Title: Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus
🍎 Authors: Lauren Block MD-MPH and Adam E. Block Ph.D
🍎 Illustrator: Alex Brissenden
🍎 Publisher: Blockstar Publishing
🍎 Date: May 18, 2020
🍎 Pages: 36

Author's Summary

Discover along with eight-year-old Kelly the science behind the COVID-19 illness, viral transmission, basic epidemiology, and social distancing needed to protect your kids and community. Dr. Lauren Block MD-MPH, a primary care physician and medical educator, and Dr. Adam Block Ph.D., a health economist, and public health professor are parents of three curious kids. After months of treating COVID-19 patients in New York City, this is what we teach our children about the science behind the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the only children's book that goes into depth on the science behind the spread of coronavirus, how the virus causes the symptoms it does, and how vaccines contribute to herd immunity. You and your children will understand why the virus spreads so rapidly, how handwashing and social distancing can prevent transmission, how kids can help others during the pandemic, how people who become ill are treated in the hospital, and how you can protect your family from infection.

Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus by Lauren Block and Adam Block

Integrated Language Arts and Science Lesson

Since the coronavirus has lingered in the United States for so long... almost 10 months at the time of this posting... everybody, including children, knows something about it.  Some children know a lot.  Some know a little.  Some even think they know a lot, but have the facts all jumbled in their minds.  Doing an activity such as making a KWL chart with your class can help you determine how much your students actually know about the coronavirus.  (Note: This particular lesson may need to be spread out over a period of a couple of days.  Plan accordingly.)

Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus by Lauren Block and Adam Block

What is a KWL Chart?

A KWL chart is a graphic organizer to gauge how much students think they know about a topic before the lesson starts and how much they learned when it's completed.  A KWL chart is divided into three columns:

  • K... what I think I already know about the topic
  • W... what I want to learn about the topic
  • L... what I learned about the topic
Sometimes you will see a fourth column marked with a D.
  • D... what I need to do to learn more about the topic

KWL Chart by Kelly Wilson / Kelly's Classroom / Kelly's Classroom Online

This is an example of a KWL chart.  Large KWL charts for the whole class to use can be made on butcher paper or drawn on the board.  If you're handy with technology, you can make your own KWL with whatever software program you use.  Smaller KWL charts to be used individually by students can be made by folding a piece of notebook paper into thirds and marking off the lines.  (This particular chart is available as a free download on the third-party Teachers Pay Teachers website.  No purchase is necessary.  Click here to download the chart.)

Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus by Lauren Block and Adam Block

Step One: Using the KWL Chart

Before reading Kelly Stays Home to your class, take some time to talk with your students about the coronavirus and what they think they know about the coronavirus.  As you call on the students to share their tidbits, keep in mind that this is not the time to tell them if their tidbit is right or wrong.  The time for that will come later.  For now, record the students' tidbits in the K column of the chart... no matter how far-fetched some of those tidbits seem!  

Once you've listed all of your students' tidbits of knowledge or have run out of room for them in the K column, start working on the W column.  Instead of talking about what the children think they know about the coronavirus, now it's time to talk about what they want to know about it.  Your students will want to learn all sorts of information.  Some of them will want to know the answer to some heavy questions.  Other questions will seem silly.  No judgments.   Just record their questions.  

Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus by Lauren Block and Adam Block

Step Two: Kelly Stays Home

Depending on your students' reading abilities, you may be able to use this book as an independent activity but I suggest using Kelly Stays Home as a whole group read aloud.  There is a lot of information and new vocabulary packed in this book.  This is the part of the lesson in which your students will be gathering new tidbits of knowledge, realizing some of what they thought they knew is incorrect, and getting confirmation that some of what they knew was right.  Take your time and answer all of the questions that pop up.  Explain the new words.  Talking about the coronavirus is not easy.  For some of your students, it might even be emotional.  Reassure your students and give them some TLC as needed.

Step Three: Completing the KWL Chart

After reading and discussing Kelly Stays Home, you can finally complete your KWL chart.  The process for filling out the third column is essentially the same as when you and your students filled out the first two.  This time, however, everything that gets recorded under the L must be a fact.  It must be 100% true.  It is OK if not all of your students' questions from the second column weren't answered.  Your students will enjoy seeing their list of things they've learned get longer and longer and longer!

Kelly Stays Home: The Science of Coronavirus by Lauren Block and Adam Block

To learn more about Kelly Stays Home, visit the Kelly Stays Home website or watch the video below.

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  1. Sounds like a really informative book. I am glad that these things are available now for kids to better learn about COVID.


    1. Me too... especially since there is so much conflicting and inaccurate information rolling around out there!

  2. This is so great! I think learning about what's actually going on is so important for kids...for all the obvious reasons and because there is no way they can have missed hearing about it by now and for making sure they have real info and answers to demystify it!