Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Battling a Curable Disease
Have each student go online and find
six to ten facts about each of two or three infectious diseases. Then engage
students in a brainstorming discussion to create "chains of facts" about
specific infectious diseases.
One student names a disease and classmates see
how many facts they can rapidly generate, one per student. For example, one
student might say smallpox and the class could generate the following chain:
globally well-travelled scourge for millennia; live vaccine immunization began
in ancient times; Edward Jenner pioneered immunization with cowpox; disease
caused by the variola virus; WHO spearheaded campaign to eradicate smallpox through
vaccination; WHO declared world smallpox free in 1980. Consider keeping a tally
of diseases and numbers of facts.
A selection of good print references will be useful to augment students' knowledge, and discussion will be useful to clarify entries for new diseases, such as SARS and avian flu.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Tuberculosis: Old Disease, Continuing Threat on the CBC Digital Archives website and have them browse the clips, looking for information on the medical responses to tuberculosis over time. Provide students with self-adhesive notepads and direct them to take notes on the pads and date each note.
Draw a timeline on a whiteboard or on several pieces of chart paper posted on the chalkboard. Have students silently post their notes. Give them time to read one another's notes and to return to the topic to supplement the notes on the board.
Revisit and Reflect
Have students form a line along the timeline and trace the medical history of tuberculosis in the 20th century. Each student can contribute a couple of sentences to the story. Challenge students to be brief so that everyone has a chance to speak, and to make logical transitions from one speaker to the next.
Students can do additional research on the Internet to find the most recent advances in tuberculosis treatment and prevention. Students can also expand on their explanation of the DOT (directly observed therapy) system. Invite students to add new notes to the timeline and share their information with classmates.