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Lesson Plans
Then and Now. Public Health from 1900 to Today
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students


Throughout the 20th Century, the world has become a healthier place, for example, life expectancy has increased by almost 30 years. These changes can be attributed to improvements in public health, disease control, sanitation, immunization, better maternal and child health, and healthier lifestyles. This lesson plan will examine the public health issues and diseases doctors faced during the 1900's.

Grade Level:

7 - 12

Subject Matter:

Social Studies: The history of 20th century diseases, cures, medicine and public health

Language Arts: writing, reading and presenting research


Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
  • Identify the diseases that were present in the 1900s
  • Identify the different cures that were discovered during the last 100 years
  • Show the importance of disease control, sanitation, immunization, and public health
  • Describe how modern medicine has changed our lives
  • Describe public health issues throughout the 20th century
  • Identify how we can contribute to slowing the pace of spreading disease
  • Show the reasons why the average life span of a person has increased by 30 years

Use of the Internet
  • Investigation/Research
  • Share information
  • Collaboration
  • Publication (web pages within individual schools)
Use of Computer
  • Word processing
  • Presentation software
Use of Communication Technologies
  • Letters
  • Telephone Calls
  • Interviews
  • Reading/Research
  • Discussions
This lesson plan was developed by John Sullivan and Beverly Ginsburg, wNetSchool Master Teacher.