Respiratory viruses are among the first pathogens encountered by young children, and the significant impact of these viral infections on the developing lung is poorly understood. Circulating viruses are suited to the environment of the human lung and are different from those of viruses grown in cultured cells. We modeled respiratory virus infections that occur in children or infect the distal lung using lung organoids that represent the entire developing infant lung. These 3D lung organoids, derived from human pluripotent stem cells, develop into branching airway and alveolar structures and provide a tissue environment that maintains the authentic viral genome. The lung organoids can be genetically engineered prior to differentiation, thereby generating tissues bearing or lacking specific features that may be relevant to viral infection, a feature that may have utility for the study of host-pathogen interaction for a range of lung pathogens.