These are cross-correlated with various primary and secondary school standards.

    Invisible Invaders, Analyzing the Effects of Epidemics on Different Aspects of Society

Wednesday, March 17, 1999
Author(s) Alison Zimbalist, The New York Times Learning Network

Grades: 6-8, 9-12
Subjects: Global History, Health, Language Arts, Science
Interdisciplinary Connections

Overview of Lesson Plan: Students research various epidemics that have devastated the world population at different points in history, focusing on the historical events taking place during the times of the epidemics and the epidemics’ effects on these societies. Each student then imagines that he or she is living during the time of the outbreak of the epidemic researched in class and writes diary entries discussing how the epidemic is affecting his or her life and various aspects of society.
Review the Academic Content Standards related to this lesson.

    Nothing to Sneeze At

Creating Public Service Campaigns to Convey Information About Avian Flu
Tuesday, November 8, 2005
Author(s) Jennifer Rittner, The New York Times Learning Network
Bridget Anderson, The Bank Street College of Education in New York City

Grades: 6-8, 9-12
Subjects: Current Events, Health, Media Studies, Science
Interdisciplinary Connections

Overview of Lesson Plan: In this two-day lesson, students research and create public service campaigns to inform different populations in their community about avian flu, a current global health concern.

    Looking for the History in Historical Fiction: An Epidemic for Reading

Can you imagine having to participate in an arranged marriage? What if your family had to escape from home and hide in a cellar? How would it feel to live in a country where your beliefs were not valued? Could you fathom having to leave your family as a child to go fight in a war against other kids your own age? These, and other true stories of the past, are explored in historical fiction. This lesson looks at the history in historical fiction and has the students research the facts.

From Theory to Practice
Throughout time, disease has played a role in the lives and deaths of people. For example, during the 1800s, there were a variety of diseases that found their way to this soil. Once here, diseases spread across the lands sparing no one. For example, white settlers were responsible for introducing several diseases to the Native American population. A disease of particular concern, cholera wiped out 50% of the Northern Cheyenne and killed many others along the wagon trails. Students could read facts like these in a textbook or in a nonfiction book. But, infectious diseases, illnesses, and epidemics can also be found throughout historical fiction. As Beck et al. state, “Teachers know that these novels focus a rich, human lens on a sometimes abstract topic. The stories and the lives of historical characters help readers see the details of everyday life that are not incorporated into textbooks.” Historical fiction presents a new perspective to the students. lesson_view.asp?id=404

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