Outbreak: Plagues That Changed History

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Did the Black Death destroy the feudal system? Did cholera pave the way for modern Manhattan? Did yellow fever help end the slave trade? Remarkably, the answer to all of these questions is yes. Time and again, diseases have impacted the course of human history in surprisingly powerful ways. From influenza to small pox, from tuberculosis to yellow fever, Bryn Barnard describes the symptoms and paths of the world's worst diseasesand how the epidemics they spawned have changed history forever. Highlighted with vivid and meticulously researched illustrations, Outbreak is a fascinating look at the hidden world of microbesand how this world shapes human destiny every day.
Curriculet Details
32 Questions
28 Annotations
3 Quizzes

Designed for students in seventh grade, this free digital curriculum contains annotations explaining how epidemics and their treatment have shaped history. It also contains interactive videos and informational graphics that support comprehension of relevant historical topics. Over the course of the book, students will answer Common Core questions and quizzes related to the subjects of analyzing informational texts and author's claims, as well as reading and understanding charts, graphs, and maps. This free online unit will increase student engagement while building reading comprehension.

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The Invisible Hand

The picture below can help you better understand the idea of symbiotic relationship. Look at the picture and use it to answer the question that follows.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.3
How is the symbiotic relationship between an alligator and a bird similar to that between a human being and microbes? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.4
According to the author, which of the following is not true about the term "parasite"? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.5
Which of the following is a true statement about the author's choices regarding the structure of this book? 
Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.8
Which of the following is a claim made by the author in this paragraph? 

Smithereens

Use the image below to help you understand Europe's feudal system as it is described in this passage. Who holds the most power? Who holds the least?  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.3
Which of the following is a way in which the Black Death affected Europe? 
The image below depicts the practice of bloodletting. Why do you believe this practice was eventually discredited?  (This annotation contains an image)
The link below leads to an interactive map of the Black Death. Click through to see the disease's progression from Asia to Europe.  (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.2
Based on details given by the author, what can you infer about most people who fell victim to the Black Death during this time period? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.7
How does the information in the video, "Fleas on Rats," compare with the information in this chapter? Cite specific examples from the text and from the lyrics and images in the music video.  
Watch the video below. Then, answer the question that follows.  (This annotation contains a video)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.2
Based on information within the text, which of the following is most likely to be a true statement about the role that the media can play in the spread of disease? 
Quiz, Part One 

Empires of Infection

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.2
According to the author, which of the following is not true regarding Christopher Columbus's influence? 
This interactive map shows the paths that many European explorers took to "discover" the New World. While exploring the map, apply the information you've learned from the text: where would Native American populations be most susceptible to European pathogens? (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.1
According to the text, where did smallpox originate as a disease? 
The theory of the smallpox "blanket" contends that Native Americans such as the Aztecs were infected by smallpox microbes that lived in the blankets given to them by explorers. How does this idea compare with the author's explanation of Cortes's defeat of the Aztec empire? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.1
According to the text, what did many religious leaders believe to be the cause of smallpox? 
The slideshow from National Geographic, below shows some of the most important milestones in the spread and eradication of smallpox. According to information you've learned from both the text and the slideshow, why do modern scientists routinely conduct drills on how to handle a modern outbreak if one were to occur?  (This annotation contains a link)
Watch the following TedEd lesson about conquering smallpox. How does the information in this video compare with information in the text?  (This annotation contains a video)

The Cost of Doing Business

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.1
According to evidence from the text, the author uses the term "irony" here to describe what unexpected situation? 
Although yellow fever is controlled today, the image below shows that if a traveler is going to visit the so-called "yellow fever belt," he must still present a certificate of immunization. How does this image compare with the description in the text of "the white man's grave"? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.4
When the author writes that yellow fever "scythed through ship after ship," what literary technique is being used? 
Take a look at the illustration below. How does the author use humor to address a real concern? (This annotation contains an image)
The Haitian Slave Revolt established Haiti as the second free republic in the New World after the United States. It also considered by many historians to be the only truly successful example of a slave rebellion. According to the author of Outbreak, what role might disease have played in the rebellion? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.8
Which of the following most accurately expresses the author's central claim regarding yellow fever and slavery? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.7
Based on information that you can gather from both the text and from the chart, why is the mosquito considered to be so deadly? Use details from the text to support your answer.  
The chart below shows "The World's Deadliest Animals." Look at the chart and then answer the question that follows.  (This annotation contains an image)

Harsh Teacher

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.4
Based on how it's used in this sentence, which of the following sentences uses the same definition of the word catalyzed? 
The miasma theory regarding cholera was that the disease was spread through bad air. How does the cartoon below express this idea? What other fears does the artist express, particularly about the disease's transmission?  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.6
Based on this passage, what is the author's view regarding trade and business during this time period? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.2
Which of the following would be an example of utilitarianism?  
A surgeon in the nineteenth century was often trained at barber school. How does the image below relate to information within the text? (This annotation contains an image)
The image below shows John Snow's analysis of Broad Street. How can maps such as this one be useful in understanding epidemics like cholera? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.1
Based on information in the text, which of the following is not a true statement about the spread of cholera? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.6
Why does the author include this statistic about soft drinks? 
The image below shows where in the world people have access to a safer water supply. According to the author, how does this access relate to the control of cholera?  (This annotation contains an image)
Quiz, Part Two 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.4
Based on its context within this passage, which of the following most accurately defines a stopgap? 

Dying Hope

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.1
According to the text, why does tuberculosis stand out from other diseases discussed in this book? 
The illustration below is meant to be of the poet John Keats shortly before his death of TB. How does his appearance in this illustration support the author's claims about TB and its popularity? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.6
What is the author's primary reason for including examples of several well-known sufferers of tuberculosis? 
There is a legend in Japan that states the hototogisu bird sings with such feeling and intensity that it coughs blood in the end. How does this image relate to the perception of tuberculosis during this time period? (This annotation contains an image)
The sign shown here was posted on passenger trains during this time period. What had scientists learned about tuberculosis by this time?  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.4
How is this statement an example of foreshadowing? 
The graph below shows tuberculosis in Cuba. How does this graph compare with information given by the author about tuberculosis since the 1990's?  (This annotation contains an image)

Purple Death Watch

The video below describes the Influenza Pandemic. Based on details within the video and within the text, why does the metaphor "the sausage machine" make sense?  (This annotation contains a video)
Contrast the painting here with the photograph below, which became one of the most iconic images of World War II.  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.6
Why does the author include examples of typhus outbreaks among Serbian and Soviet troops? 
How does the information in this graphic support information from the text? (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.3
Why does the author believe that World War II "was virtually guaranteed"? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.1
According to the text, which of the following is true? 
Watch the following video from The History Channel. How did the pre-antibiotic world contrast with the world following Sir Alexander Fleming's discovery? (This annotation contains a link)

Racing with the Red Queen

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.4
What extended metaphor does the author introduce and then develop in this passage? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.8
Which of the following is an argument that the author uses to help support the claim that "in an evolutionary race, (microbes) always win"? 
The following slideshow demonstrates some common concerns about bio-weapons. Click through the slideshow. Compare the images and information with information you've learned about epidemics throughout this book. Based on what you've learned, do you think the world should be concerned about bioterrorism?  (This annotation contains a link)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.1
According to the author, what is the simplest way to prevent the spread of infectious disease? 
As the photograph below shows, many modern farmers living in the Cuzco region of Peru are returning to the farming methods of their Incan ancestors. According to the text, how do these ancient methods compare favorably with modern techniques when it comes to treating or eliminating epidemics?  (This annotation contains an image)
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.8
Which phrase in this passage shows the least amount of author bias? 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6-7.6
Why does the author include information about the cost of modern drugs and therapy? 
Quiz, Part Three