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Table of Contents

Lesson plan: Tuberculosis and society
For further information
- Books on the history of medicine
- Books about people's stories
- Books on human biology
- Books on diseases
- Sources for teachers
- Websites
Bibliography (available as a PDF, requires Acrobat Reader)


Lesson plan: Tuberculosis and society

This lesson 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 a topic
· To use various techniques and formats to share with others specialized knowledge gained through research

Learning Objectives:
· 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 of TB
· 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.

Grade level: 6-8

Format: Four class periods of 40-60 minutes each

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Day 1:

As an 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 are:

Villedieu, Yanick. "Le retour de la peste blanche." L'actualité vol. 19, no. 2 (1 février 1994), p. 67.

Gruhier, Fabien. "Alerte à la tuberculose." Le Nouvel observateur no. 1477 (25 février 1993), pp. 46-47.

Nau, Jean-Yves. "L'OMS invite les malades tuberculeux à ne plus prendre l'avion." Le Monde, 9 janvier 1999.

Humphreys, Adrian. "TB diagnosis often missed: Study finds doctors not used to seeing deadly lung disease." National Post, 3 May 2002, p. A5.

Picard, André. "Canada 2005? The sanatoriums are long gone, but tuberculosis is not." Globe & Mail, Metro edition, 18 May 2002, pp. F4-F5.

Rowe, Dan. "Toronto hospitals alerted after TB outbreak: One dead, four infected all homeless, Board of Health says." National Post, 22 December 2001, p. A3.

Discuss 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.

Next, 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.

(If students require more direction, instruct them to return from this activity with one question regarding TB: something they would like to know more about.)

Wrap 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.

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Day 2:

Begin 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.)

Some suggestions:

Hunter, Bernice Thurman. Le choix de Marguerite / A Place for Margaret

Martha 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

Martha Brooks, A Hill for Looking (a memoir of growing up near a TB sanatorium in Saskatchewan)

Classes 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.

Discuss the role TB played in the story.

Review 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 groups.

Make 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.

Some sample sub-topics:

· 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 TB?
· Who are some famous Canadians who treated TB patients? Who are some famous Canadians who suffered from TB?
· What is difference between diagnosis, treatment, detection and prevention, in relation to TB?

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Day 3: "Research Period"

Break-out groups work on their questions. This can be done during class time, or begun during class time and then continued as homework.
The teacher should provide some resources: the web exhibit Getting Better, other web links, reference books, etc. (See the Sources section for examples).

The 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 reference.

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").

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Day 4: Reporting back

The groups report back to the class in whatever format was decided.

Assessment: 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?

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For further information

Books on the history of medicine

Behm, Barbara. The story of medicine. Milwaukee: G. Stevens Children's Books, 1992. (grades 4-6)

Bender, Lionel. Frontiers of medicine. New York: Gloucester Press, 1991.

Bryan, Jenny. The history of health and medicine. Austin, Texas: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, 1996.

Casanellas, Antonio. Great discoveries & inventions that improved human health. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 2000.

Dowswell, Paul. Medicine. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2002.

Eldon, Kathy. The story of medicine. Hove, Eng.: Wayland, 1977.

Gates, Phil. The history news: Medicine. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 1997. (ages 9-12)

Gates, Phil. Medicine. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 1997.

Jennings, Gael. Bloody moments: Highlights from the astonishing history of medicine. Illustrated by Roland Harvey. Toronto : Annick Press, 2000. (ages 8-12)

McLoughlin, John C. The history of medicine. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1988.

McLoughlin, John C. Holy secrets: A history of medicine from shaman to surgeon. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1988.

Parker, Steve. Medical advances. 20th Century Inventions series. New York: Raintree Steck-Vaughan, 1998. (grades 4-6)

Parker, Steve. Medicine. Eyewitness Science series. Toronto: Stoddart, 1995.

Parker, Steve. The history of medicine. Milwaukee, WI : Gareth Stevens Children's Books, 1992.

Royston, Angela. 100 greatest medical discoveries. Danbury, Conn.: Grolier Educational, 1997.

Senior, Kathryn. Medicine: Doctors, demons and drugs. New York: F. Watts, 1993.

Shuter, Jane. Health and medicine. Oxford (England): Heinemann Library, 1999.

Ward, Brian R. The story of medicine: Medicine around the world and across the ages. London: Lorenz Books, 2000.

Yount, Lisa. The history of medicine. San Diego: Lucent Books, 2001.

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Books about people's stories

Watada, Terry. Seeing the invisible: The story of Dr. Irene Uchida. Toronto: Umbrella Press, 1998. (ages 11+)

Oosthoek, Sharon. Kate's story. Edmonton: OZ New Media, 1995. (ages 11-16)

Hunter, Shaun. Leaders in medicine. Women in Profile series. Niagara-on-the-Lake: Crabtree Publications, 1998. (ages 9-12)

Wilson, John. Norman Bethune: A life of passionate conviction. Montreal: XYZ Publishing, 1999. (ages 13+)

Margoshes, Dave. Tommy Douglas: Building the new society. Montreal: XYZ Publishing, 1999. (ages 13+)

Stewart, Roderick. Norman Bethune. The Canadians series. Don Mills: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1974.

Webb, Michael. Norman Bethune: Doctor under fire. Scientists and Inventors Series. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1993.

Webb, Michael. Frederick Banting: Discoverer of insulin. Scientists and Inventors Series. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1991.

Webb, Michael. Louis Pasteur: Disease detective. Scientists and Inventors Series. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1991.

Webb, Michael. Maude Abbott: Studying blue babies. Scientists and Inventors Series. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman, 1991.

Shell, Barry. Great Canadian scientists. Victoria, B.C.: Polestar Book Publishers, 1997. (Also available on CD-ROM.)

Storring, Rod. A Doctor's life: A visual history of doctors and nurses through the ages. New York: Dutton Children's Books, 1998.

Borell, Gena K. Heart and soul: The story of Florence Nightingale. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2000.

Hacker, Carlotta. Scientists. Women in Profile series. Niagara-on-the-Lake: Crabtree Publications, 1998.

Van Zandt, Eleanor. Twenty names in medicine. New York: M. Cavendish, 1988.

Yount, Lisa. Disease detectives. History makers series. San Diego: Lucent Books, 2000.

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Books on human biology

Peters, Celeste A. Allergies, asthma, and exercise. Calgary: Weigl Educ. Pub., 2000. (9-12)

Cumbaa, Stephen. The bones book and skeleton. 1992

Crelinsten, Jeff. To the limit: The extraordinary workings of the human body. Toronto: Somerville House, 1992.

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Books on diseases

Isle, Mick. Malaria. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001. (Gr. 4-6)

Hoff, Brent H. and Carter Smith III. Mapping epidemics: A historical atlas of disease. New York: Franklin Watts, 2000. (Young adult)

Cefrey, Holly. AIDS. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001. (Gr. 4-6)

Ridgeway, Tom. Smallpox. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001. (Gr. 4-6)

Ramen, Fred. Influenza. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001. (Gr. 4-6)

Draper, Allison Stark. Polio. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001. (Gr. 4-6)

Ramen, Fred. Tuberculosis. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001. (Gr 4-6)

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Sources for teachers

Grant, Anne. Grist for the teacher's mill: Facts and figures on tuberculosis for classroom use. Ottawa: Canadian Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association, 1969.

Keen, Harry, et al. (ed.). Triumphs of Medicine. London: Paul Elek Ltd., 1976.

The 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.)

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A few topical websites:

Medi-Centre, a showcase of Canada's medical heroes, by the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network / Réseau canadien de recherche sur les bactérioses
Fun with bacteriology / La bactériologie en s'amusant

Canadian Blood Services / Société canadienne du sang

Canada's Role in Fighting Tuberculosis, by the Saskatchewan Lung Association

Medicine Through Time, an interactive site on the history of medicine, presented by the BBC

Hospital Architecture in Montreal, a digital resource

Virtual Museum of the Iron Lung

The Canadian Encyclopedia online / L'Encyclopédie canadienne en ligne

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Un 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.

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