Homepage of SchoolsHistory.org.uk

SchoolsHistory.org.uk - Medicine Blog - Medicine through time - Medicine Revision Guide - Weimar Germany Revision Guide

Egyptian Medicine



Lesson Plan for Great Plague Key Skills activity.

Link to Great plague activity


Lesson title: The Great Plague

Key Stage Four       Year Group  Year Ten     Duration of lessons 3 hours

Aims of lesson This series of activities provides students with evidence that can be submitted towards their Key Skills portfolio. students will develop their use of data, create a presentation using ICT tools and demonstrate their understanding of the great plague through writing a report on it's spread and impact.

Resources required for the activity students will require use of a computer with internet access. Access to a printer would be an advantage for some of the activities. The computer used needs to have Excel installed. Students need access to an encyclopaedia and source materials relating to the Plague, a word processing programme and, where available or thought necessary PowerPoint.

Previous Learning students should have been taught about the state of medicine in Europe at the time of the Renaissance and throughout the Medieval Era. They should be capable of independent research be capable of creating charts using Excel. 

Teaching points

Introduction: Students should be reminded of the requirements for the successful completion of the Key Skills portfolio. See your schools Key Skills coordinator for details. They should be reminded that peoples beliefs at the time of the Great plague were varied and that Science wasn't at a stage where identification of cause and cure was possible. A reminder of supernatural and spiritual beliefs may be of benefit to students.

Main activity: 

(1) From the Medieval Activities page click on excel spreadsheet. Wait patiently whilst this downloads and save it straight away. The spreadsheet is partially completed. open the document in excel and then return to the browser. click on the broadsheet newspaper link. discuss what the newspaper tells us about peoples beliefs at the time of the Plague: it demonstrates that they had a mixture of scientific and supernatural approaches to disease.

After discussing what the newspaper tells us click on statistical data. This shows a close up of the data from the newspaper. Students use this data to complete the excel spreadsheet. The Spreadsheet can be downloaded from this page instead of at the outset if necessary. Ensure that the spreadsheet is saved before returning to the Activities page. 

Students independently find two pages about the Plague. These could come from the Plague Links, an encyclopaedia or text books. They then use these two pages to write a report. 

This report must include:

  • the causes of the disease
  • the consequences of the disease
  • a contemporary account of attitudes towards the disease
  • an image (necessary for the Key Skills portfolio)

The report should be no longer than 300 words long.

Students then use all of the information that they have found, on this site or from alternative sources, to create a presentation. If they use ICT to facilitate this presentation (i.e. PowerPoint) they will be covering more of the key Skills criteria than if they opt for an OHT based presentation. The presentation should include at least one image and ought to make use of the data that they have collected in the Spreadsheet. The presentation can be about any aspect of the Plague. (Its spread or impact proving to be the most popular and successfully completed amongst my students). 

Presentations should be made to a group or the class. evidence of what they have done needs to be recorded for the Key Skills portfolio. This can be done through: saving the PowerPoint slides to disk, using a video recording of the presentation or through making detailed notes of the students presentation: a combination of these is most beneficial for the students submission. 

The teachers input into the construction of the report and presentation should be minimal (similar to coursework in many ways). 

Plenary: In theory the students themselves will provide plenaries to their own presentations. an overview of what the strengths and weaknesses of the cohorts work should be given and feedback on the quality of individual tasks should be recorded using your departmental assessment procedures. 

Examples of follow up activities that have been suggested by users of this activity are:

Asking the students to make the presentation to Year 8 students who are studying the great Plague as part of their Key Stage 3 studies.

If you have any comments about your use of the Great Plague activities please e-mail me to let me know how successful the activity was. feedback will be of great use in the planning of future activities of a similar nature.

Link to Great plague activity


Lesson Plans for Interactive History activities

Lesson Plans are available for the following sections, activities and quizzes on this site. 

D Day activity.        The Protest Movements        The Great Plague


Other Schoolshistory.org.uk units

Greek Medicine
Roman Medicine
Islamic and Chinese Medicine
Medieval Medicine
Andreas Vesalius
Infectious Disease
New units coming shortly
Medicine Games and Quizzes
Medicine Links
Medicine through time Resources
Weimar and Nazi Germany Revision Guide













































Page last updated on 8//10/02