Activity Introduction

This lesson is designed to be completed independently by students. 

Students will consider the similarities and differences in past pandemics by reading a short article from The Conversation about global pandemics. First they will complete a set of questions to understand the content of the article. Next they will explore the language of comparing and contrasting and complete activities that explore the similarities and differences between past pandemics. Finally they will write sustained paragraphs that compare and contrast past pandemics. 

Topic: COVID-19

Time required: 60 minutes

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 7 English

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret, analyse and synthesise ideas and information, critiquing ideas and issues from a variety of textual sources (ACELY1723)
  • Edit for meaning by removing repetition, refining ideas, reordering sentences and adding or substituting words for impact (ACELY1726)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)

Year 8 English

  • Interpret the stated and implied meanings in spoken texts, and use evidence to support or challenge different perspectives (ACELY1730)
  • Apply increasing knowledge of vocabulary, text structures and language features to understand the content of texts (ACELY1733)
  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and evaluate texts by reflecting on the validity of content and the credibility of sources, including finding evidence in the text for the author’s point of view (ACELY1734)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate (ACELY1736)

General capabilities: Literacy

Background information

We are living through unprecedented times and our lives have been forced to change almost overnight as a result of COVID-19. Understanding how past pandemics have impacted the world will allow us to have a greater understanding of COVID-19.

Tips for Parents and Carers

Students can feel a range of emotional responses when researching and discussing COVID-19. If you need further support for students please refer to: https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/

Resources Required

  • Access to a computer for research
  • A pen

Learning@Home from Cool Australia

Learning@Home resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our Learning@Home series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in a remote or school settings.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with The Conversation. The Conversation’s mission is to be known as a prominent and trusted publisher of new thinking and evidence-based research, editorially independent and free of commercial or political bias. The Conversation hopes teachers will use their content as a source of truthful information, and that teachers can show their students the importance of trusted, evidence-based information in understanding the world around them and making informed decisions about their actions. Please follow the republishing guidelines when using The Conversation’s articles.

 

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Student Worksheet

Has There Been Anything Like Coronavirus Before? - Activity Instructions

Learning intentions:

  • You will understand the language of comparing and contrasting
  • You will understand the facts of different pandemics.

Success criteria:

  • You can use language to describe how things are different
  • You can use language to describe how things are similar
  • You can write full sentences explaining how two pandemics are both similar and different to each other.

READ THE CONVERSATION ARTICLE BELOW

This isn’t the first global pandemic, and it won’t be the last. Here’s what we’ve learned from 4 others throughout history

David Griffin, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and Justin Denholm, Melbourne Health

The course of human history has been shaped by infectious diseases, and the current crisis certainly won’t be the last time.

However, we can capitalise on the knowledge gained from past experiences, and reflect on how we’re better off this time around.


Read

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