This five-section block of lessons about the Black Death (1348-50) is targeted at Stage 4, but could profitably be done by a lower Stage 5 class. Each section contains a short narrative about an aspect of the Black Death, followed by writing tasks which build reading skills, writing fluency, historical knowledge, source-critique, historiographical awareness, and research skills. Clear, relevant illustrations from medieval texts, and links to appropriate research material online allow teachers to make the lessons multi-modal, and are suitable for home- or distance-schooling media.
1. How did the plague reach Europe?
2. Observing and explaining the disease
3. Reactions to the plague
4. The aftermath
The activities target a range of student abilities; teachers can choose those questions which best suit their students. The tasks can be done individually, in small research/presentation groups, or as a class. The lessons also complement any good documentary about the medieval bubonic plague.