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Age Range: Grade 6 through Grade 8 (Middle School)
Overview and Purpose: This is a study of how the Bubonic Plague affected the populations of Europe and Asia, in the Middle Ages, before antibiotics were developed. Students will make public service announcements explaining how the disease is spread and what people can do to stop it.
Objective: The student will be able to explain how the bubonic plague was spread and how to avoid getting it.
Internet access for students
Have the students work together in groups to research the Bubonic Plague in their textbooks or on the internet. They should use the information to create a "public service announcement" about the outbreak. Encourage them to stay within the time period and only use resources that would have been available to them. (i.e. they should not go to the emergency room if they feel sick or watch television for the latest news.)
Video tape the announcements and let the students watch themselves performing.
Initiate a discussion with your class about a time when they've been ill enough to need medical care. What sorts of treatment/medication did they receive? Ask students to relate what they have learned about illnesses in the Middle Ages to the illnesses we have in modern day society. What types of situations encourage the spread of bacteria and diseases? What precautions can be taken to avoid "catching" some of these illnesses?