Medical Mysteries: Readings and Resources on the Fight Against Disease

Medical Mysteries is a one to two week lesson unit with readings and associated comprehension questions, a web quest, video links, optional writing assignments, and other resources on the impact of diseases on history and people’s efforts to understand and control them.

It’s an introduction to the diseases that made scientific research both urgent and difficult, and to the human stories behind medical progress.

It includes 3 reading selections followed by comprehension questions: The Impact of Disease on History, Solving the Mystery of Yellow Fever, and Scurvy and Sailing Ships.

The first reading selection has a side bar explaining some key disease vocabulary, and a crossword puzzle provides additional practice.

There is a web quest with instructions, suggested questions, and two useful links (not including Wikipedia) for each of 11 scientists so student groups can choose one to investigate and then introduce to the rest of the class.

The contents and lesson plans also suggest links to excellent short videos on the Black Plague, smallpox, cholera and the London ghost map, the Spanish flu, and pellagra.

Recommended for middle school up, as well as home schools and intermediate or advanced ESL students. 26 pgs including 4 answer sheets and a bibliography.

If you would prefer a shorter unit and are not interested in a student web quest, see “The Impact of Disease on History” ($5.25) for the two main reading selections from this packet, with their comp questions and all the optional video links, or “The Mystery of Scurvy” ($3.00) for one two-page article, comp questions, and links to videos and information on the difficult search for the causes and treatments of what we now know are deficiency diseases. “Disease Detectives Webquest” ($4) has the introductory videos and yellow fever article leading up to the group webquest activity.

26 pages. CCSS RI.7.1, RI.8.1, CCRA.SL.2, RH.6-8.1, 6-8.3, & 6-8.7, RST 6-8.4 and 9-10.4.

Save for later
  • MedicalMysteries2019.pdf

About this resource


Created: Oct 28, 2015

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

Lesson Plan

pdf, 1 MB


Report a problem

This resource is designed for US teachers. View UK version .

Tes Paid Licence

How can I re-use this?