007 - Death and


Factual Question

What types of diseases did people suffer from in the Middle Ages?

Debatable Question

All 'cures' for diseases in the Middle Ages made you worse. Discuss

Approaches to Learning

Communication Skills - The focus for today will be on your ability to read, write and use language to communicate information in the form of an information leaflet.

Investigation - Media Literacy Skills - For today's activities you will be focusing on synthesising information from a variety of sources - both online and from printed resources.

Key Terminology

            • Disease
            • Smallpox
            • Black Death
            • Leprosy

Write a definition of what the four key diseases above are using the useful links below. Remember to write in full sentences and on lined paper.

Useful Links

Activity One - See/Think/Wonder

For this activity you are going to interrogate an image. Collect a copy of the grid below to fill your answers in to. You will initially fill in the questions on your own and then we will discuss them as a group after each step.

      • You are going to describe what you 'See'.
      • Then 'Think' about what you see - this is a statement.
      • Then finally 'Wonder' about the image. The wondering can be completed as a series of questions.

See, Think, Wonder

Activity Two - Watch

Diseases were as prevalent throughout the middle ages as they are today. The majority of diseases where what we call communicable which means that they are often spread from person to person. This can be in the form of droplets from coughs or blood transferred by a host from an infected person to another person. Which diseases were people the most fearful of and how did they spread? Watch the clip below and answer the following two questions.

      1. What is the plague and how is it spread?
      2. What captured your attention about the clip?

Activity Three - Leaflet

You are working for the public health advisory board in England in the Middle Ages and you have been given the task to write a health information leaflet to inform the public of the diseases that were rife during the Middle Ages. Images are crucial in this task as many people could not read or write. Your leaflet needs to be A4 in size and produced by hand. Yes hand written and hand drawn diagrams! Things that you should include:

      1. An introduction on raising the awareness of disease.
      2. Eye catching slogans and illustrations.
      3. Information about how it is believed the disease is spread. Remember you are in the Middle Ages and do not have the modern knowledge of today.
      4. Description of the symptoms.
      5. Methods of prevention. Again this is not being written today but from the past.
      6. Methods to cure the disease. Think Middle Ages and not today.

Useful Resources

How will I be assessed?

For this task you will be assessed using Criterion A - Knowing and Understanding and Criterion C - Communicating.

Medieval Diseases Leaflet Assessment Criteria

Activity Four - Read

Now you have all developed a leaflet of information about a specific type of disease we are going to use them to learn about about two other communicable diseases that people suffered from during the Middle Ages. The room will be divided into three stations for the three key diseases and your leaflets will be placed on a table that corresponds to that disease. Collect a copy of the table below and move to your first station. You will have 10 minutes to read about the disease and to fill in the table.

Diseases in the Medieval Times

Activity Five - Headline

Write a headline for a newspaper report that informs the public about whether cures for diseases during the Middle Ages were always bad.


This task could also be completed via a role play by including the following questions in your skit.

If your group has decided to put on a play what roles do you need? Think about having a doctor as an expert and a family who are dying or suffering from a specific disease.

              1. What is the disease?
              2. How does it spread?
              3. What impact does it have on people?
              4. What remedies did they use in the Medieval Era to 'cure' the disease?
              5. How effective was the 'cure'?