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Teacher Date & Period Subject

Topic Class Number in class Ability
The Black Death
ECM : 1 = Healthy 2 = Safe 3 = Enjoy and Achieve 4 = Positive Contribution 5 =
Achieve Economic Wellbeing

CONTEXT (where this lesson fits into the sequence of the unit of work) :
Medieval Realms Unit. The Black Death a study its causes, impact and effects on medieval society.



Photocopies of the textbook – Invaders and settlers textbook
Coloured picture sheet
Cards for role play task
Lab coat and stethoscope.

What was the Black Death?
To understand the causes, symptoms and cures for the Black Death

All will be to explain what the words symptom, diagnosis and prescription mean and use them appropriately in
the lesson.
Most will be able to colour code information identifying the causes, symptoms and cures of the plague.
Some will be able to identify the different symptoms of the Bubonic and Pneumonic plagues. They will also be
able to explain the reason for their diagnosis.

As pupils come in to the room they will be asked to define the key words
There is a help sheet for pupils if they want some help with the task. We will then go through the key words as a class and I
will tell the class that we shall be using them in the lesson.

ACTIVITIES / ORGANISATION (with approx timings)


Show pupils the pictures ‘embarrassing bodies’ style. Ask Pupils look at the pictures and feedback their observations.
pupils to identify the symptoms they can see on the patient. They will diagnose what they think the illness is and how it
might be treated by modern doctors.

Explains that we are going to be looking at a disease that hit Ask pupils what the words Black Death tell us about this
England in 1348 that was called the Black Death. Show the disease. Show the pupils the picture of the medieval doctors
medieval picture of the disease. Show the picture of the making a diagnosis – what do they see? What does it tell us
medieval doctors. about medieval medicine?

Explain that we are going to research the Black Death. They Pupils feedback some of their learning. What do we learn
are to colour code the diary extracts, identifying the causes / about the Black Death? What do we learn about medieval
symptoms and cures. They can also add any questions they medicine?
might have to the sheet as well.

Explain that there were in fact two types of plague in 1348 Pupils complete worksheet identifying the symptoms of the
the Bubonic plague and the Pneumonic plague. Bubonic and Pneumonic plague. There are some extra
descriptions in more complex language for the more able.

Explain the preparation for the Doctor role play task. Paired task. Pupils write three questions they would ask a
patient to help them diagnose whether they have the plague
and what type of plague it is. On the illness card provided
they write down the symptoms that could be used to identify

Two pupils will be doctors and three pupils will be patients.

Role play task. Patients will describe their symptoms and Doctors will try
and diagnose. The rest of the class will have coloured cards
to hold up to show whether they agree or disagree with the
diagnosis. Pupils/ Doctors will justify the diagnosis made
and may well suggest treatments.

Pupils will be told at random whether they would have been a plague victim or survivor, seven in 10 people died from the
Bubonic plague. Ask pupils what they think was the death rate for the Pneumonic plague? Then we will role play it!! What
impact do they think this had on the lives of medieval people.


Pupils will be making a warning poster about the Black Death for homework this week.

 Starter task is differentiated as there is a hint sheet for those pupils who require it.
 For the more able, there are more complicated descriptions of the Bubonic and Pneumonic plague for them to


Pupils will hold up their own cards to say whether they agree with the doctor’s diagnosis in the role play task. Therefore I
can visually check pupil understanding.
Knowledge and understanding can be assessed in the homework task.