The Black Death Epidemic of the 14th Century

By: Sara Patricia Chavarria

Time: 2 days
20 minutes
Handout 1: _ class set of 12 page booklet or overheads of the booklet pages. http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/year8links/greatplague_worksheets.shtml
Handout 2: _ class set of The Black Death, 1348. http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/plague.htm
Handout 3: 1 copy for each student (x number of classes) + 1 overhead of it.
Materials: Handout 1: The Plague in the fourteenth century! http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/year8links/plague/Plaguebooklet.pdf
Handout 2: The Black Death, 1348 http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/plague.htm
Handout 3: Epidemic Disease Matrix
Class textbook or texts covering this period
Overhead 1: The Bubonic Plague in the fourteenth century in England


In this lesson the students will be exposed to the Black Death and its impact on England. They will fill out an Epidemic Disease matrix. In this and subsequent lessons, the teacher will help them fill the matrix out by modeling how to do it. For the following lessons they will do this on their own.
They will address the questions: 1) Why did the Black Plague happen at this time in history? and 2) How did this epidemic happen?

Students will be able to describe the devastation caused by a disease.

Teacher Background
The following websites provide more insight on the topic.
Websites: - http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/year8links/plague/Plaguebooklet.pdf
The 12 page booklet submitted by Mrs. Sims-King
http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/plague.htm -the Black Death, 1348



Day 1
1. Setting the stage. Display Overhead 1. Read the statement and the cause of all the deaths. Inform students that in the next several lessons, beginning with this first one, they are going to try and understand a moment in history: The 14th century in Europe. They will begin by exploring the devastation of the Black Death. Leave on the Overhead with the questions listed under Task 1. (5 minutes)

2. Each student must be able to answer the questions listed in Task 1 on Overhead 1. Have each student write down the questions in their notebooks.

3. Give Handout 1 to _ the class. Handout 2 goes to the other _. Each is to read their handout and answer the questions. (NOTE: Handout 1 was originally written for 7th graders so this might be better for low to middle ability students.)

4. Allow 30 minutes for students to read their text and answer the questions.

5. Now have students work in pairs. Pair students based on having different reading materials. Have them confer and share their information. At the end of this collaboration they should have notes that contain similar content. (10-15 minutes)

Day 2
6. Give each student a copy of Handout 3. Using their notes, students should share answers that help to fill in the matrix. They must be able to clearly explain what their responses mean.

7. Using an overhead of Handout 3 – fill in the class answers as they share their answers. Refer to the Key for possible answers. Not all the answers will be there after this first lesson. The next two lessons will help to fill in the matrix.

Embedded Assessment
Class discussion and student matrices will allow you to assess students ability to describe the devastation caused by disease.

PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:

NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: November 10, 2009
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