Contagiuos Diseases: Drama


Title: Contagious Diseases

Grade level: High School (gr. 10-12)

Time frame: 20-40 hours

Content area:

-       Behavioural and social studies

-    Drama

-       Health

-       History

-       Science

-       Technology


The story


Students are a “Hot Zone” team for the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  They have to research and create an infomercial to be broadcasted on CBC on one of the major contagious diseases that have caused chronic havoc in human history: cholera, tuberculosis, influenza, bubonic plague, yellow fever, AIDS, and smallpox.  Included in this infomercial are the facts about the pathology of the disease, the history of its outbreaks, and a risk analysis of future outbreaks (this should include maps).


Show a film with an outbreak.  For example Outbreak, Night of the living dead, Andromeda Strain, or Panic in the Streets.  After watching the film pass around a box of Tim Horton's or some other treat to share that has some Glow Gel on the packaging.  It an invisible liquid that will stick to the students' fingers.  After they have eaten the treat ask how clean their hands are?  Use UV light to show how the glow gel was passed around the room. 

Now ask the students to take perspective: sociologist, biologist, historian or administrator with the Federal Government.  Engage them is discussions that requires them to remain in their roles. 


Driving Questions


-       How are diseases spread?

-       Why are certain areas much more prone to outbreaks than others?

-       How have contagious diseases shaped history?

-       How have the changes in medical knowledge changed living conditions for most humans?

-    What images will get your message across to the public?

-    What are the vital pieces of information everyone should know?


The Plan



1)   Students understand the pathology of infectious diseases.

2)   Students comprehend and can explain the differences between bacteria and viruses.

3)   Students demonstrate an understanding of advances in medical sciences.

4)   Students are able to integrate their understandings of medical events (pandemics) and social change.

5)   Students use video to demonstrate and understandings of scientific and historic events.


Students will use textbooks, teacher lectures and on-line materials as resources.  They will be accountable for numerous standardized products such as chapter notes, lecture notes, object test and labs.  The final report should be completed in phases, with the first section being devoted to the history/pathology of the disease.  Storyboards must be completed before students can begin filming.


Students will require a great deal of research for this project so access to the internet is paramount.  Each student in a group is required to keep a research log and to provide internet, book and journal resources to the teacher who can post them on-line for collective use.   The groups turn in drafts of their preliminary reports for peer and teacher editing before they are accepted as final copies.

Students will participate in peer editing.  Those who haven’t learned the skills of peer editing will be given training by the teacher in small groups and coached by more experienced peers. 


The most complicated task the students face is the report itself and the evidence that supports it.  Writing mechanics rubrics and critical thinking rubrics will also be covered as these will be used for both the peer editing and final report marking.


Students will be expected to participate in both a project debrief and self-reflection.