9, 10, 11, 12

Students learn facts about the global threat of malaria and methods for fighting its spread. Students learn one way they can take action against malaria through fundraising to purchase insecticide-treated bed nets.

PrintOne 50-Minute Class Period, plus time to carry out a service-learning project

The learner will:

  • explain the urgency of addressing the issue of malaria in Africa.
  • identify the causes, effects, prevention, and cure of malaria.
  • take action to address the issue of malaria through fundraising.
  • student copies of Handout 1: Fast Facts
  • student copies of Handout 2: Malaria
  • student copies of Handout 3: Interview Questions
  • student copies of Handout 4:What Does it Feel Like to Get Malaria?
  • internet access
  • malaria: an infectious disease characterized by cycles of chills, fever, and sweating, transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito 
  • insecticide-treated bed net: a netting that encompasses a bed and protects the sleeper against infected mosquitoes

Have students reflect on the outcome of the Sweat for Nets event. How did they feel and what was the response of the school and community?


World Health Organization website: See statistics about Ghana here:

GenerationOn. "Sweat for Nets"


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Distribute Malaria Fast Facts Handout 1. Ask students to read, mark the statements as True or False,and discuss the answers in small groups. Ask: "Was any of this information new or surprising to you?"

  2. Begin the lesson by asking all students to read the interview and story on Malaria in the handouts regarding the impact of malaria on people and communities. Discuss these stories with the students. Review by asking basic questions such as: What is malaria? How is it spread? How do people in sub-Saharan Africa prevent malaria? What treatments are available?

  3. Focus on the question; how does malaria affect Ghana? Have students discuss the interviewees answer to this question regarding the overall effect of malaria on her country. How is this different than in the U.S.? What methods of medical treatment do we have here that differ from Ghana? Why do some groups receive adequate health care and others do not?

  4. View a map of Africa and locate Ghana. Discuss the spread of malaria in Ghana. Find current information about malaria on the World Health Organization website: See statistics about Ghana here:

  5. Discuss ways that the students can organize the whole school around doing something to help people in Ghana prevent malaria.


Have students form groups of three or four. Within these groups, ask students to pretend they have been hired by the government of a country with a high incidence of malaria, such as Ghana. The government has asked the group to prepare a report that explains how they can reduce the incidence of malaria in the country. Each group should prepare an oral and visual presentation (e.g., posters and charts) that discusses its recommendations, taking information from the websites they have visited.

Cross Curriculum 

Students participate in the Sweat for Nets program. Students "get active" in the fight against malaria. Ask the school to dedicate one athletic event (or more) to fighting malaria. The school or organization can donate all ticket proceeds to Sweat for Nets, and the students can inform and educate the audience about the need. Students design a malaria awareness presentation, slideshow, or public service announcement to present at a special Sweat for Nets-sponsored athletic event, such as at ennis match or a basketball, soccer, hockey, baseball or lacrosse game. Use the pre-game period or halftime break as an opportunity to talk to the audience about malaria and to present information about the issue to everyone in attendance. If the school or organization is donating the ticket proceeds to Sweat for Nets, let the audience know where the money is going and what it is being used for.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      3. Benchmark HS.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
    4. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.