How to Write About COVID-19 ... Even in Math Class


It’s in the news.

It’s on our minds.

It’s all over social media.

It’s changed our lives. 

Coronavirus. 

As we go back to school in whatever format our leaders have decided, we have a unique opportunity to listen to our students, the generation most impacted in every facet of their lives by the current events. Encourage them to talk about what’s going on in the world and how it’s affecting them.

Our students have been missing a vital part of what school offers: socialization. This isolation has been powerful in some areas of the country and can have harsh effects on students who would otherwise be thriving in the social time allowed in school. Use the opportunity that this pandemic has given us to lift up our students’ voices and give them space to talk through their experiences.

Here are some simple suggestions on how to take advantage of the strange times we’re living in for several content areas. Take these and run with them. Make them work for your students!

  • Art: Your school is decorating the lobby/hallways with student artwork displaying their experiences during this pandemic. Choose an element of your life (staying safe, overcoming obstacles, the best thing that’s happened) and a style/medium that represents your experience. Then write an essay describing your work and explain how the style/medium best displays your life during these times.
  • Health: Write an informative essay outlining safety measures during this pandemic. Then, create an infographic that will help younger students understand how to best protect themselves.
  • Health: Masks are very controversial and have been the subject of countless viral videos during this time. Which opinion do you side with? Why? Write a debate speech including your opinion as well as reasons others may support the opposing side.
  • History: Write a newspaper article informing readers about the 1918 influenza pandemic and comparing it to the current COVID-19 pandemic. What can we learn from history? 
  • Science: As a medical scientist, write a speech for the next town meeting in which you share details on how viruses spread. Explain how the coronavirus was likely spread to and within different parts of the world.
  • Science: Write an essay comparing viral and bacterial infections. Include how each one presents itself in humans, how they are spread, how they are treated, and what causes them.
  • Math: Examine the rate of COVID-19 infection in your area. Write a statement describing what exponential growth is and how it applies to the current situation. Calculate how many people will be infected in 3 weeks if we do/do not wear masks and maintain safe distances.
  • ELA: write a narrative (fiction or non-fiction, personal or not) that describes what life is like in the days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Include elements such as dialogue, characters, descriptive language, etc. to tell the story.

In an effort to lift up and highlight the voices of students, we plan to digitally publish your writers’ essays and stories in an anthology we’re calling Life in The Time of COVID. Send* us any work that your students are willing to share** and we’ll compile the submissions into a digital collection. We can’t wait to see what your writers come up with!

*Send essays to jgarnett@measinc.com with “Life in The Time of COVID” in the subject line.

**Include the author’s first name, grade, and state. No other identifying information will be shared. Names may be kept anonymous if desired