Discipline: English/Language Arts 

Grade Level: 10th Grade

Course: English/Language Arts 

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Pandemic: Catch the Fever
Overview
  • Module Description
    • In the Pandemic Module, students will read three articles on the 1918 influenza pandemic genome. The articles discuss the scientific research for reconstruction and the scientific community's decision to publish the complete genome. Students will read and discuss these three articles, noting how the authors develop their arguments. They will conclude the module by writing a 500-word (2- to 3-page) editorial that identifies a problem with publishing this research and argues in favor or against controlling the publication of certain types of scientific research.

      The pandemic module fits into a larger integrated interdisciplinary unit entitled "Catch the Fever," designed to support student inquiry around the essential question: How has the development of society influenced the evolution of microorganisms? In Subunit 3, the subunit that contains this module, students examine the impact of epidemics on society. They examine different views regarding the study of viruses, balancing perspectives aimed at advancing scientific knowledge against concerns about the potential for abuse. Students examine how literature can be used as a vehicle for conveying a realistic sense of the events and the anxiety that accompanies the spread of infectious disease. Students will also compare the actual events surrounding and contributing to historical epidemics. The unit concludes with students preparing an in-depth presentation on a communicable disease of their choice.

  • Tasks
    • Teaching Task Template Task (Design your own lesson)

      (Argumentation/Problem-Solution) Task 8: [Insert question] After reading_____(literature or informational texts) on__________(content), write a/an____________(essay or substitute) that identifies a problem___________(content) and argues for a solution__________(content). Support your position with evidence from the text(s). L2: Be sure to examine competing views. L3: Give examples from past or current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position.

      Which is more important: scientific freedom or the public's right to safety? After reading three articles on the sequencing and publishing of the genes for the 1918 flu pandemic, write an editorial that identifies a problem with sharing potentially dangerous scientific research in the public sphere and argue for a solution to this problem. Support your position with evidence from the texts. 

      L2: Be sure to examine competing views.

      L3: Give examples from past or current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position.

  • About the Teacher
    • Authors: Jennifer Phillips and Liz Arney; Pier Sun Ho (original unit lead writer)

      Course: Health Professions

  • Materials, References, and Support
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