plan: Tuberculosis and society
plan is an example of how the web exhibit Getting Better can
be integrated into the classroom, as part of a unit on Medicine,
Technology and Society. The lesson plan can be adapted to
older or younger students, and for longer or shorter units.
· To explore the relationships between medicine and
society though a specific example: tuberculosis in Canada
· To examine a human disease in its biological, technological,
medical, social and historical contexts - reinforcing the
multiple connections between science and society
· To employ different strategies and methods to research
· To use various techniques and formats to share
with others specialized knowledge gained through research
· To link the biology of bacteria to the phenomenon
of "infection" and disease in humans
· To compare the different treatments available to
people with TB over the course of the 20th century
· To distinguish between diagnosis, treatment, detection
and prevention as different activities of medicine, in terms
· To describe the various ways a disease, and the
tools available to fight the disease, can affect the experiences
of an individual and the institutions of a society.
Four class periods of 40-60 minutes each
introduction to the unit, have the class read a current
newspaper or magazine article on TB, its resurgence in North
America and its tenacity in developing countries. Some suggestions
Yanick. "Le retour de la peste blanche." L'actualité
vol. 19, no. 2 (1 février 1994), p. 67.
Fabien. "Alerte à la tuberculose." Le
Nouvel observateur no. 1477 (25 février 1993),
Jean-Yves. "L'OMS invite les malades tuberculeux
à ne plus prendre l'avion." Le Monde, 9 janvier
Adrian. "TB diagnosis often missed: Study finds doctors
not used to seeing deadly lung disease." National
Post, 3 May 2002, p. A5.
André. "Canada 2005? The sanatoriums are long
gone, but tuberculosis is not." Globe & Mail,
Metro edition, 18 May 2002, pp. F4-F5.
Dan. "Toronto hospitals alerted after TB outbreak:
One dead, four infected all homeless, Board of Health
says." National Post, 22 December 2001, p. A3.
with the class some of the questions that the article raises.
Set as a class project researching the history of TB in
North America, to better understand its relevance today.
have the class explore the online exhibit Getting Better:
20th Century Hospital Health Care in Canada. This can be
done either as a class in the computer lab, or staggered
over a day or two, if computer facilities are limited. The
exhibit is designed to encourage self-guided exploration,
and includes online games and activities. Encourage students
to look all over the exhibit - noting favourite objects,
curious little-known-facts, and especially noting any information
about tuberculosis (TB). Point out that there is an online
activity about tuberculosis that they should look for. The
information about TB (scattered throughout the exhibit)
will be used in subsequent activities.
students require more direction, instruct them to return
from this activity with one question regarding TB: something
they would like to know more about.)
up: As a class discuss what the students discovered about
TB. Make a list. Then brainstorm questions that students
would like to know about TB. Write this list on flip chart
paper - you'll need to return to it later.
by reading a piece of fiction relating to people living
(and dying) with TB. (This could tie in with other Language
Arts activities, such as studies of Molière, Franz
Kafka, Emily Bronte, Robert Louis Stevenson, Anton Chekov,
or John Keats, who all died of TB.)
Bernice Thurman. Le choix de Marguerite / A Place for
Brooks. "Wild Strawberries" and "In Orbit"
in her book Paradise Café and Other Stories / "Les
fraises sauvages" et "En orbite" dans son
livre Café Paradiso et autres nouvelles
Brooks, A Hill for Looking (a memoir of growing up near
a TB sanatorium in Saskatchewan)
of older or more independent students can read the story
as homework. Younger or less independent students can read
it in class, either silently or aloud.
the role TB played in the story.
list of questions about TB developed previously. Any questions
to add, after reading the Brooks story? Group the questions
into sub-topics that the students will research in small
break-out groups, each to cover a different sub-topic. The
groups will research the sub-topic, become "specialists",
and later report their findings back to the class.
How does TB make a person sick?
· Do people still get TB today? Who, how, and why?
· If antibiotics cure TB, why do we still get it?
What is antibiotic resistance?
· What is a sanitorium? What would it have been
like to be a patient at a sanitorium? What was the name
of the sanitorium in your region of Canada?
· What was a pneumothorax and how did it work?
· Are there other books and stories about people
with TB? What do the stories tell us about living with
· Who are some famous Canadians who treated TB
patients? Who are some famous Canadians who suffered from
· What is difference between diagnosis, treatment,
detection and prevention, in relation to TB?
3: "Research Period"
groups work on their questions. This can be done during
class time, or begun during class time and then continued
The teacher should provide some resources: the web exhibit
Getting Better, other web links, reference books, etc. (See
the Sources section for examples).
students should be instructed on how to take notes while
researching. One technique (which discourages copying whole
passages of text) is to use index cards, on which only five
words can be written to express one idea gleaned from the
format of reporting back can be assigned by the teacher,
or each group can decide how they will report back: PowerPoint
presentation; dramatic sketch; question and answer session
(with the other groups posing the questions to the new "specialists").
groups report back to the class in whatever format was decided.
looking at the list of what was known before the research
activity, and at the questions the students had, ask the
class to assess what/how much they have learned. What questions
remain? How might these questions be answered? What resources
weren't used (eg. asking a doctor, interviewing someone
with TB)? What could have been done better?
on the history of medicine
Barbara. The story of medicine. Milwaukee: G. Stevens
Children's Books, 1992. (grades 4-6)
Lionel. Frontiers of medicine. New York: Gloucester Press,
Jenny. The history of health and medicine. Austin, Texas:
Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1996.
Antonio. Great discoveries & inventions that improved
human health. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 2000.
Paul. Medicine. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2002.
Kathy. The story of medicine. Hove, Eng.: Wayland, 1977.
Phil. The history news: Medicine. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick
Press, 1997. (ages 9-12)
Phil. Medicine. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 1997.
Gael. Bloody moments: Highlights from the astonishing
history of medicine. Illustrated by Roland Harvey. Toronto
: Annick Press, 2000. (ages 8-12)
John C. The history of medicine. New York: Lothrop, Lee
& Shepard, 1988.
John C. Holy secrets: A history of medicine from shaman
to surgeon. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1988.
Steve. Medical advances. 20th Century Inventions series.
New York: Raintree Steck-Vaughan, 1998. (grades 4-6)
Steve. Medicine. Eyewitness Science series. Toronto: Stoddart,
Steve. The history of medicine. Milwaukee, WI : Gareth
Stevens Children's Books, 1992.
Angela. 100 greatest medical discoveries. Danbury, Conn.:
Grolier Educational, 1997.
Kathryn. Medicine: Doctors, demons and drugs. New York:
F. Watts, 1993.
Jane. Health and medicine. Oxford (England): Heinemann
Brian R. The story of medicine: Medicine around the world
and across the ages. London: Lorenz Books, 2000.
Lisa. The history of medicine. San Diego: Lucent Books,
about people's stories
Terry. Seeing the invisible: The story of Dr. Irene Uchida.
Toronto: Umbrella Press, 1998. (ages 11+)
Sharon. Kate's story. Edmonton: OZ New Media, 1995. (ages
Shaun. Leaders in medicine. Women in Profile series. Niagara-on-the-Lake:
Crabtree Publications, 1998. (ages 9-12)
John. Norman Bethune: A life of passionate conviction.
Montreal: XYZ Publishing, 1999. (ages 13+)
Dave. Tommy Douglas: Building the new society. Montreal:
XYZ Publishing, 1999. (ages 13+)
Roderick. Norman Bethune. The Canadians series. Don Mills:
Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1974.
Michael. Norman Bethune: Doctor under fire. Scientists
and Inventors Series. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1993.
Michael. Frederick Banting: Discoverer of insulin. Scientists
and Inventors Series. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1991.
Michael. Louis Pasteur: Disease detective. Scientists
and Inventors Series. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1991.
Michael. Maude Abbott: Studying blue babies. Scientists
and Inventors Series. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1991.
Barry. Great Canadian scientists. Victoria, B.C.: Polestar
Book Publishers, 1997. (Also available on CD-ROM.)
Rod. A Doctor's life: A visual history of doctors and
nurses through the ages. New York: Dutton Children's Books,
Gena K. Heart and soul: The story of Florence Nightingale.
Toronto: Tundra Books, 2000.
Carlotta. Scientists. Women in Profile series. Niagara-on-the-Lake:
Crabtree Publications, 1998.
Zandt, Eleanor. Twenty names in medicine. New York: M.
Lisa. Disease detectives. History makers series. San Diego:
Lucent Books, 2000.
on human biology
Celeste A. Allergies, asthma, and exercise. Calgary: Weigl
Educ. Pub., 2000. (9-12)
Stephen. The bones book and skeleton. 1992
Jeff. To the limit: The extraordinary workings of the
human body. Toronto: Somerville House, 1992.
Mick. Malaria. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001.
Brent H. and Carter Smith III. Mapping epidemics: A historical
atlas of disease. New York: Franklin Watts, 2000. (Young
Holly. AIDS. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001. (Gr.
Tom. Smallpox. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001.
Fred. Influenza. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001.
Allison Stark. Polio. New York: Rosen Publishing Group,
2001. (Gr. 4-6)
Fred. Tuberculosis. New York: Rosen Publishing Group,
2001. (Gr 4-6)
Anne. Grist for the teacher's mill: Facts and figures
on tuberculosis for classroom use. Ottawa: Canadian Tuberculosis
and Respiratory Disease Association, 1969.
Harry, et al. (ed.). Triumphs of Medicine. London: Paul
Elek Ltd., 1976.
way things work: An illustrated encyclopedia of technology.
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1967. (Includes entries
on electrocardiograph, anaesthetic apparatus, artificial
heart, artificial kidney, heart-lung machine, x-rays,
radiotherapy apparatus, and iron lung.)
few topical websites:
a showcase of Canada's medical heroes, by the Canadian
Medical Hall of Fame
Bacterial Diseases Network / Réseau canadien de
recherche sur les bactérioses
Fun with bacteriology / La bactériologie en s'amusant
Blood Services / Société canadienne du sang
Role in Fighting Tuberculosis, by the Saskatchewan Lung
Through Time, an interactive site on the history of medicine,
presented by the BBC
Architecture in Montreal, a digital resource
Museum of the Iron Lung
Canadian Encyclopedia online / L'Encyclopédie canadienne
vaccin pour ma mère (Armand Frappier). Un film
de Nicole Gravel, production de Éric Michel. Montreal:
Office national du film du Canada, 1998. 24 min, 47 s.