Lesson Plan on Influenza and its Threat to Mankind
Using the Film Contagion
SUBJECTS — Health (infectious disease; influenza; pandemics);
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Surviving;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Responsibility.
Age: 13+; MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for disturbing content and some language); Drama; 2011, 106 minutes; Color.
This movie describes a fictional influenza pandemic: the origin of the virus, the human toll, the response of the public health agencies, and the various reactions of people to a public health emergency. The film is a reasonable prediction of what would occur in the event of a moderately lethal influenza pandemic.
Subject: Health - infectious disease; influenza; pandemics.
Level: Grades 9 - 12.
Learner Outcomes/Objectives: Students will understand the risks to modern society from the influenza virus and see a realistic scenario of what might occur in case of moderately lethal influenza pandemic. Students will learn to use the Internet to obtain information on illnesses from various web sites, including www.cdc.gov from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and www.flu.gov from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).
Rationale: An influenza pandemic is one of the greatest threats to modern global society. Working through scenarios of catastrophic situations help students think in advance about how to react to them. The web sites of the CDC and HHS contain important information about health issues and will be a resource for students throughout their lives.
The lesson plan uses the familiar "Into", "Through" and "Beyond" method of organization. It contains seven separate steps involving activities such as research, class discussions, assignments and a comprehension test on subjects covering the causes, symptoms and prevention of influenza, as well as the 1918/1919 Spanish Flu pandemic. A movie worksheet is also provided.
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Contagion allows students to work though what they will do in a public health emergency, such as an influenza pandemic..
Learning Guide Excerpt
To give you a sense of how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to develop lesson plans, and by parents to supplement school curriculum or for home schooling we have set out below step 2 of the lesson plan, the very brief introduction to the movies.
Step 2: Get Students Thinking: Ask students, as they watch the movie, to think about how they would react in the various situations shown in the film.
TWM's Lesson Plan on Influenza and its Threat to Mankind Using the film Contagion uses the "Into, Through and Beyond" lesson plan organization.
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