In this WebQuest, students conduct Internet research to Investigate Disease and Prevention. After they conduct their research, they will answer questions about cholera, the flu epidemic of the 20th century, malaria, polio, and smallpox. Students also will research how scientists have investigated the causes of these five diseases and how to prevent them. Students will select one of the diseases to create a timeline of important historical dates to describe how that particular disease has been studied.
While students are doing their Internet research, they
will answer the set of questions given. Each Web site has
some of the answers to the questions, but several of the
questions may require information from two or more of the
web sites. Students should be able to compile information
to answer the questions as they read through each Web site.
As students research the answers to the questions, they
will also gather information to use to create a timeline
about one of the diseases investigated in the WebQuest.
The timeline will show the course of history as scientists
studied causes of the disease. The timeline will include
other dates to provide a historical context for the periods
- Investigate how scientists have researched causes
and prevention of five diseases: cholera, the flu epidemic
of the 20th century, malaria, polio, and smallpox
- Create a timeline to represent significant events
in the process of investigating a preventable disease
Students will use the Internet links provided to find out all about five diseases: cholera, the flu epidemic of the 20th century, malaria, polio, and smallpox. They will learn about the strategies different scientists used to study these diseases, the misconceptions that people had about these diseases throughout history, and how different ways to treat these diseases were researched. In order to extend their understanding of one of these five diseases, students will use their research to create a timeline showing important dates in the study of the causes and prevention of that disease.
2-3 days to answer the set of questions and produce the timeline and its descriptions
As students progress through the list of Web sites, you
may help them focus on what they need to know to answer
the questions. Several of the Web sites have links to other
web sites with relevant information. If time allows, you
may want to allow students to further explore subjects related
to the five diseases investigated. Students will then continue
with their Internet research to create a timeline about
one of the five diseases they investigated. They should
use their research as well as visiting additional Web sites
to find more information in order to create a timeline.
This product shows important dates in the scientific investigation
of disease as well. The timeline will include other historical
events that framed the course of events during that period
of time as well as a summary of how the disease currently
Have students review the rubric to understand how their
final product will be evaluated.
| Include at least four points on the timeline related to scientific investigation about the disease.
Include at least four points on the timeline relating other historical events to the timeline points about the study of the disease.
Write a description for to each point on the timeline related to the study of the disease.
Write a description for each point on the timeline related to historical events.
Write a description about the current state of prevention of the disease.
*You may assign 10 points to each of
the 5 questions for a total of 50 possible points. Possible
answers to the questions are given below. You may rate
the answer to each question by the following scale: Excellent
– 9-10 points; Very Good – 7-8 points; Good
– 5-6 points; Satisfactory – 3-4 points; Poor
– 1-2 points; and Unsatisfactory – 0 points.
Possible Answers to Questions about Investigating
Disease and Prevention
- Student Answers will vary.
- John Snow used maps to locate where people who died
during the 1854 outbreak of cholera lived. Using medical
geography allowed Snow to determine that cholera was spread
through water from one particular source.
- One of the many theories that people believed about
the flu epidemic of 1918 was that Germany was responsible
for starting the outbreak as a result of the outcome of
World War I. Students should list other misconceptions
- A first round of testing in April 1954 was exceptionally
effective, preventing 60-70% of people from developing
polio. Students should also mention the setback and how
the vaccine was improved.
- One strategy to prevent contracting malaria involve
the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Since most
bites from malaria-carrying mosquitoes frequently happen
at night, sleeping in a mosquito net treated with insecticides
directed at these insects may deter them from biting people.
Students should list other strategies as well.
- Students should indicate that Edward Jenner found that
people who had been exposed to cowpox, a weakened version
of smallpox, were protected from contracting smallpox.
Be sure students include how the vaccine affects the immune
system and how the system responds in their answers.
Evaluating the Worksheet
Use the evaluation rubric or other means to assess each student's timeline. Evaluation of the timeline should include self-assessment and teacher assessment.
Using information gathered from the Internet, students should be able to answer the questions about five different diseases and their prevention. Student should gain an understanding of how different diseases have been studied. They should also understand that these five diseases can be prevented. After completing their research, students should apply their knowledge to create a timeline that demonstrates their awareness of how the causes and the prevention of a disease are investigated.