Disease & Epidemics: Architects of History
Week - Connection Science Social Studies Language Arts Math
Week 1
Science lays the groundwork for this unit’s area of inquiry by making sure that students not only know why they need to use aseptic techniques when doing lab work, but are able to do so proficiently.
Aseptic Techniques
Students explore the need for aseptic techniques in the classroom.
On the Microbe Trail
Why they need to use aseptic techniques.
Laboratory Protocol Poster
Students produce poster.
Week 2
While science looks at how diseases present themselves through physical symptoms and the biological mechanisms involved in their spreading, math examines probability models that quantify and illustrate the transmission of disease.
Use questions to navigate and analyze information about the presentation of a disease.
    Who Gave it to You?
Model the spread of disease through population.
Disease Hits Home
Explore routes of transmission
What’s that Brown Fuzzy Stuff on My Plum?
Laboratory exercise using Koch’s Postulates to explore Germ Theory.
Week 3
Students use the tools of modern science to see how diseases are identified and how the immune system functions while in social studies they travel back to Medieval times when neither sickness nor resistance to it was understood in order to examine how these factors made humanity highly susceptible to epidemics. Through language arts the students explore the devastation to the human spirit such virulent diseases create. Math looks at how not everyone exposed to a disease becomes sick or dies.
Access Excellence Mystery Spot
Students explore the information to figure out a disease.
When Diseases become Epidemic “Year of Wonders” What does Math have to do with getting sick?
Susceptible -
Infected -
Recovered models for epidemics.
Reasons Diseases become Epidemic
Food Forensics
An introduction to the immune system via food allergies. A lab.
The Human & Animal Connection “Ode to a Nightingale” Literary Devices
Public Health Visitor
Social, Political and Economic Factors in Disease “Life Day by Day”
Samuel Pepys
The Black Death circa 1340s Today’s Epidemic
Read poetry written by some of the youngest victims of the pandemic of our time.
Week 4
As students in science continue to study the immune system both social studies and language arts classes will be used to examine how the Medieval way of life and the ways trade took place in those times presented the ideal conditions for certain epidemics to happen. Math illuminates the mechanisms by which the presence of illness in a population can explode into an epidemic.
Public Health Visitor
The Middle Ages in Europe Today’s Epidemic
Who Makes an Epidemic?
Calculate the number ofsusceptible people needed for an epidemic to occur.
Launching A Defense
Students explore the complexity of the immune system via a webquest.
Making Connections: Trade and disease today The Importance of Trade
Trade routes of the Medieval World
Tracing the Shared Path
Not Just One Vector
Multiple sources of visual and written information.
Week 5
While social studies classes explore how trade and exploration actually improve humanity’s chances for survival, science classes look deeper into the immune system’s ability to respond to disease. In language arts students pull together these two ways of understanding the physical world, specifically disease, from the historian’s perspective and from the scientist’s viewpoint.
Does the Chicken have Anthrax & I am a Pathogen Why Explore? Benefits to survival Science Happens in a Social Context
How does a scientist view disease and how does a historian see its impact on society.
Waterborne Diseases
Explaining the immune system response.
Why Trade? The Positive & Negative Effects of Trade
Where in the World did this come from? Trade across the globe
Week 6
Science continues to develop an understanding of the immune system by delving into the world of bacteria and establishing how to classify these organisms as pathogenic and non-pathogenic. At the same time social studies brings the discussion of trade up to date by looking at modern times and the current modes of transportation for both goods and pathogens. In language arts students will choose a time and epidemic of interest to them and read a novel that deals with the various repercussions on society of a widespread disease outbreak.
What’s Living in My Mouth Discover that bacteria lives inside the mouth & while it can be beneficial it can also cause disease. Where in the World did this come from? Trade across the globe continued.. Disease & Culture through Literary times -
Using literature to review impact of disease.
Catch a bug Time to Read
The effects of disease on the community as described in literature.
Routes of Entry
Students classify organisms as pathogenic and non pathogenic.
Week 7
Students will gain a greater understanding of how pathogens affect the human body and the impact of antibiotics on the immune system’s response. Math will calculate the absorption rate of antibiotics. The concept of vaccination is also introduced in science. Social studies classes examine smallpox, a disease that devastated populations until a vaccine for it was developed. Some intriguing occurrences in medical history are then explored. Students will share what they have learned about the impact of disease on the human spirit and society as revealed through literature in both oral presentations and a formal paper in language arts.
Design a Pathogen Describe how the attributes of a pathogen affect the body. Devastating Diseases! (Smallpox & malaria in history)

Literacy circles

Take Your Medicine
Calculate the amount of a specific antibiotic remaining in a body.
Antibiotics for Everything?
How do antibiotics work?
Medical Misconceptions: What do you know?
The Historical
Medical Community Contributions

Book Review
Five paragraph theme paper on how literary elements are used to portray the impact of the disease.


Exploring Vaccines
Historical background to one vaccine.
What am I?
Week 8
While in science students reviews historical documents to study vaccines, social studies looks to the future of medical breakthroughs and the essential component of informed consent. Math analyzes the absorption of medication by the body. Language arts surveys the realm of public service announcements and what constitutes an effective one.
Take Your Medicine II
Explaining Vaccines
Historical documents mean students use qualitative observations toward understanding immunization.
It’s a matter of Consent. Medical breakthroughs and who made them happen

Reaching Your Audience
How do you tailor your message to a specific audience?

Medical Research and your Future What Messages are out there?
Students analyze public service announcements.
Week 9
Science classes examine serious diseases that plague us today as well as the rise of superbugs from improper use of antibiotics. Students in social studies look at the effectiveness of posters used in public health campaigns in the past while they continue to explore the possiblities of future medical research. Language arts classes concentrate on compiling information to create a public service announcement for current ills.
A Deadly Disease Among Us Medical Research and your Future continued.. The Facts and Figures
Students gather information to create a public service message.
Protecting the Herd
Students run a bacterial growth experiments using antibiotics and analyze the results.
Timeline of Medical Innovations and Breakthroughs
A Poster is Worth a Thousand Words
Can Diseases be Prevented?
Week 10
Students ask whether disease can be prevented in all their classes. In science they look at creating an accurate public service announcement. In social studies they examine all the factors in society that must be addressed to change human behavior. And, in language arts they take what they have learned from science and social studies and combine it with week nine’s research to create a bookmark of substantial and accurate scientific information about a current public health issue that will captivate the public and encourage behavioral changes.
Developing a Public Service Message Can Diseases be Prevented?
A Little Reminder to Take with You
Students make a bookmark with information about a public health issue that becomes part of a bigger health issue.
Let’s Put the Information in Infomercial: Designing a PSA
Taking it to the Community