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Lesson Plan:

For Teachers: Diabetes Timeline

Type: Assignment
Subjects: Science, Visual Arts, English Language Arts
Grades: Grades 6-8
Duration: 2 to 3 lessons
Purpose: To sequence historical events; to represent information visually
Summary: Students will create a class timeline of key stages in the history of identifying diabetes and the search for a cure, and then illustrate several of the key events.

Before Exploring

As a class, brainstorm what the students know about the history of diabetes, both the illness and treatment. Record student responses.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic Chasing a Cure for Diabetes on the CBC Digital Archives website. If students have not completed the activity Chasing a Cure, they can do so now, or they can work in small groups (using a jigsaw or other method) to gather information and share it with the class. Students should focus on all of the clips.

The class will use its information to create a timeline of the key stages in the history of diabetes, from an understanding of the disease through the search for cures. To help students identify key stages, have them share their responses while you record. Then work together to identify the chronological sequence of these key stages. For each key stage, the students should identify the major events that occurred in chronological order. Add the information to the timeline as it is developed.

Revisit and Reflect

Place students in groups of three or four. Have groups select (or you can assign) a point on the timeline to create a pictorial representation of the event (e.g., poster, collage). When each group's representation is completed, place them around the classroom to create a visual of the history of diabetes and the search for a cure. Have each group explain its representation to the class, addressing what they have included and why they considered it important.


Students can investigate the history and treatment of another illness or disease that may be prevalent in their community.


Art supplies