Starter: What adjectives spring to mind? "Awful"? "Frightening"? How many more can students come up with in a minute (or five, consulting a dictionary)?
Main: Compose a text containing key facts about avian flu and other pandemics and read it to the class. Students fill in a chart to record dates, numbers infected, death toll and symptoms. They use this to write a few sentences focusing on the comparative and superlative. They practise tenses and modal verbs. How many people died, will die, might die? What can, could, should we do?
Follow-up: Creative work such as role play or a poem written from the perspective of a victim. Include symptoms and emotions.