Epidemic Project
This project was used as a culminating literacy assignment after reading a unit of nonfiction articles on viruses which included the common cold and development of vaccines.  The students were seventh and eighth grade regular and special education students who were struggling and reluctant readers and writers in an academic intervention remedial literacy class.  Essential questions were developed as a class, then answered by each student as a form of prewriting.  Students enjoyed the opportunity to research an interesting topic.  Technology was used to complete research and in the writing process to aid usage of mechanics and physical task of writing, revising, and publishing.


Project Assignment Sheet


The mission:  Your job is to write an historical fiction story set during one of the outbreaks listed below in which the illness is the major problem


            The Black Death 1330-1351

            Smallpox  1518, 1717, 1796, 1979

            Influenza  1918

            Ebola 1995


The prescription:  You will need to complete each of the parts listed below in logical order.

1.    Notes on essential questions

2.    A summary of background information

3.    A fictional story based on the historical information you find

4.    A presentation to the class of both the facts and your story


The timeline:  Each part of the project will have a deadline.

1.    Choose your epidemic and partner by _______________________

2.    Research your epidemic and hand in notes by _______________________

3.    Rough draft of summary due on _______________________

4.    Rough draft of story due on _______________________

5.    Final drafts due on ________________________

6.    Presentations will begin on ____________________


The grade:  Your grade will weigh heavy in the third marking period.  You will be graded on the following criteria:

1.    Did you meet all the deadlines for #1-6 above?

2.    Your work is of the highest quality and creativity.

3.    Your writing is free from errors.

4.    Your story includes excellent description, use of dialogue, and is entertaining!



Essential Questions for Research Notes


What is your virus called?

When did the outbreak occur?

Where did the outbreak occur?

What was thought to be the cause of the illness at first?

Was the CDC in existence at that time?

Who first researched and investigated the new disease?

What was the treatment?

What were the symptoms?

How many people died as a result?

Where did it start?

Is there a cure/vaccine?

Is this virus still a problem?

Who found the cure?

How does the disease spread?



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