Although students have read about the impact of the plague, it might be difficult for them to imagine the catastrophic effects of the Black Death. In this activity students will gain some sense of the degree of Europe's devastation by reading accounts of the illness and its effects on the economy, attitudes and beliefs, and daily life.
Students will go to the Black Death Web site to read about the plague in Europe and its effects on the economy, attitudes and beliefs, and daily life. They will answer four questions about the Black Death. Students will then write a letter to the future in which they describe events in one city.
- Students will be able to explain how the plague arrived and then spread in Europe.
- Students will be able to describe the effects of the Black Death on the cities and countries in Europe.
- Students will be able to apply their knowledge of conditions in Europe during the plague by writing a letter in which they document the experiences of inhabitants of one of the cities affected by the Black Death.
Student Web Activity Answers
- The plague spread along trade routes rather than concentrically from the point of origin.
- One of the symptoms of the plague was a swelling of the lymph nodes. These areas had a blackish color when they protruded.
- The overall loss was about one third of the population. Doctors and clergy suffered more than other professions.
- Since local outbreaks of the plague continued, parts of Europe did not recover their pre-plague population until the 17th century.
- Students' letters will vary but should include detailed information on the loss of lives, lack of activities, and effects into the future.
Go To Student Web Activity