Mosquito - Photo by form PxHere

All the most common communicable diseases are endemic and occur most of the time in some populations, in some parts of the world. Malaria is an example of a serious communicable disease found in the tropics.

Find out more about malaria with this two-minute animation. It gives a history of malaria, how things are now, how people are trying to get rid of it, and the benefits this would bring.

  • Print out and cut up the eight cards from each of the three ‘World’s most common communicable diseases’ sheets. You can also do this activity online 
  • Match the jumbled-up cards with the correct disease under the headings provided
  • Look for clues in the texts to help you, or use the Kiddle search engine  to look up the diseases
  • The set of cards for malaria has already been matched
  • When you have matched all the cards correctly, the small coloured letters in the bottom left-hand corner of each card will line up to spell words
  • If the diseases are ordered: Respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, Diarrhoeal diseases, they will make a sentence.

Read the first six spreads (double pages) of Coronavirus: a book for children, and watch the short video on how a virus attacks a cell, infects people and makes them ill. Then, prepare cards for Covid-19 like the ones for the other diseases. 

You can use the Kiddle search engine to look up extra information and find images. CBBC’s Newsround is another good place to visit. 

Display a complete set of your cards along with any questions that you have.


Communicable disease – diseases that can be spread from one person to another.

Endemic diseases – diseases permanently found within some populations (from the Greek words ‘en’ meaning ‘in’ and ‘demos’ meaning ‘people’).


Epidemics – diseases that spread temporarily, and often rapidly, through a population (from the Greek words ‘epi’ meaning ‘upon’ and ‘demos’ meaning ‘people’).

Pandemic – an epidemic that spreads across the world (from the Greek words ‘pan’ meaning ‘all’ and ‘demos’ meaning ‘people’).