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

Procedures for Teachers is divided into three sections:
  • Prep -- Preparing for the lesson
  • Steps -- Conducting the lesson
  • Tips -- Managing resources and student activities

  • Poster board, paints and markers
  • Various art materials for physical models
Computer Resources:
You will need at least one computer with Internet access to complete this lesson. While many configurations will work, we recommend:

  • Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.

  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or above.

  • Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MBs of RAM.

  • IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MBs of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MBs of RAM, running Windows 95 or higher.

For more information, visit What You Need to Get Connected in wNetSchool's Internet Primer.

  • Any Word Processing Program (i.e., MS Word, Corel WordPerfect, AppleWorks, etc.)

  • MS Powerpoint or HyperStudio can be used by students to add a multimedia presentation to their final project. For more information on how to use these programs, see wNetSchool's HyperStudio or PowerPoint Tutorials.

There are many sites available focusing on 20th century public health. A simple search on the Internet will yield many results. The sites listed below represent good sources from which a student can begin his or her research. These sites can be bookmarked, downloaded as a page, or copied as links into a Web page for future student research.


Time Allotment:
Two to three weeks

  • List the following diseases on the board. Ask students if they know what these words mean. Discuss the meaning of a disease.

    • Pneumonia
    • Tuberculosis
    • Diarrhea/enteritis
    • Cholera
    • Influenza
    • Smallpox
    • Poliomyelitis
    • Measles
    • Rubella
    • Tetanus
    • Diphtheria
    • Syphilis
    • Gonorrhea
  • When they understand their meaning, ask the students if these diseases still infect our society today. Why, or why not?

  • Have students break up into research groups and assign a disease to each group.

  • Distribute the Disease Hand Out and List of Web sites Used for Research. Students should follow the hand out and feel free to explore the disease further.

  • For the next few days, each student should find and interview a member of the community (perhaps, a grandparent) to find out what life was like when the disease was prevelant, if the interviewee experienced the disease directly or indirectly, if the interviewee believes that ridding of the disease has improved the quality of life, and if the sacrifices made to rid of the disease were worthwhile.

  • Invite a medical practitioner to come to the class and share some of the work that is being done to cure diseases today. Encourage students to take notes and use what they learn in their disease presentation, eg: compare and contrast.
  • Hold a group discussion with the entire class. Brainstorm ways to present each disease and interview.

  • Each group will have approximately 10 minutes to present. Students are encouraged to create multimedia presentations or project displays, using poster board and art supplies.

  • Assess groups on the following: work in and out of the classroom, project content, organisation, and grammar, spelling, and punctuation, information dispensed, presentation and team effort.

Extended Activities:
  • Find the ten great public health, or medical achievements in the United states from 1900 to 2000. On a separate sheet of paper, write each achievement and the effect it has had on the average life span of people living in the United States.

  • Investigate the life of a doctor who was responsible for finding a way to curb a major disease during the 20th century.

  • Create a time line that includes diseases, medical breakthroughs, achievements and public health issues of the 20th century.


One Computer in the Classroom
If you have access to one computer in your classroom, you can organize your class in several ways. Divide your class into two groups. Instruct one of the groups to do paper research while the second group is working on the computer. Bring in books, encyclopedias, and other materials from the library for the group doing paper research. Lead the group working at the computer through an Internet search or allow the students in the class to take turns. (Always have a set of bookmarks ready for the students before they start working on the computer, in order to show them examples of what to look for.) When the groups have finished working have them switch places.

If you have a big monitor or projection facilities, you can do Internet research together as a class. Make sure that every student in your class can see the screen, go to the relevant Web site(s), and review the information presented there. You can also select a search engine page and allow your students to suggest the search criteria. Again, bookmark and/or print the pages that you think are helpful for reference later.

Several Computers in the Classroom
Divide your class into small groups. Groups can do Internet research using pages you have bookmarked. Group members should take turns navigating the bookmarked sites.

You can also set up the class so that each computer is dedicated to certain sites. Students will then move around the classroom, getting different information from each station.

Using a Computer Lab
A computer center or lab space, with a computer-to-student ratio of one to three, is ideal for doing Web-based projects. Generally, when doing Web-based research, it is helpful to put students in groups of three. This way, students can help each other if problems or questions arise. It is often beneficial to bookmark sites for students ahead of time.

Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students