In this lesson, students will read an article from the National Science Foundation. The article discusses the rise of pandemic disease outbreaks across the globe and how these outbreaks can affect world economies. The article further describes how economic models were used to assess different strategies on their effectiveness. The strategy of identifying the underlying cause of emerging diseases was considered to be most cost-effective and beneficial long-term. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, a vocabulary handout, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.
Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 11, 12
Computer for Presenter, Computers for Students, Internet Connection, Speakers/Headphones
2 Hour(s) 30 Minute(s)
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Keywords: infectious disease, pandemic, epidemiology, text complexity, informational text
Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Explain the relationship between environmental factors, humans, and the transmission of infectious disease.
- Discuss the use of economic models to address the threat and the response to pandemic disease outbreaks.
- Cite specific and relevant textual evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Determine the meaning of selected academic and domain-specific words in the text.
- Determine the central ideas of the text.
- Construct a written response that clearly establishes the main point(s), contains relevant textual evidence to support the main point, utilizes transitions to maintain flow, effectively uses domain-specific vocabulary, and provides an appropriate conclusion.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
With regard to science content knowledge:
- Students should have a basic understanding of how environmental conditions can lead to the spread of disease, focusing on the interaction between humans and the environment. This from National Geographic provides some examples of human impact on the environment.
- Students should have some prior knowledge of epidemiology and how it is used by scientists in regards to studying infectious diseases. This resource from the CDC provides instruction to educators regarding the science of epidemiology. The field of economic epidemiology is also addressed within the NSF article that is used in this lesson. If interested, this link will access one of the journals (Ecohealth) referenced within the article. The journal article would probably not be useful for students because of the level of text complexity, but students could look at the abstract.
- Students should have some knowledge on what defines a pandemic and some of the strategies currently being used against pandemics. The World Health Organization (WHO) site can provide background on this topic.
- Students should have a general understanding of the relationships between epidemic, pandemic, outbreaks, etc. The WebMD page "What Are Epidemics, Pandemics, and Outbreaks?" explains the differences between the terms and can easily be understood by students.
- Students should have a general understanding of the diseases being discussed in the article (e.g., Ebola, dengue fever, Lyme disease, West Nile virus. The CDC as well as the WHO have fact sheets on each of them.
With regard to literacy skills:
- Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. For this lesson, prior experience in using context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial, as would use of word parts and dictionary skills.
- Students should understand the term "central idea" and be able to distinguish central ideas from key details.
- "Central idea" means the same thing as "main idea." The central idea is the author's main point about the topic or topics in a text. The central ideas are the dominant, most important, or chief ideas that emerge from all the ideas presented in a text. Students should be aware that the author can have several main points he or she wants to make about the topic or topics in a piece of writing, and as a result, there can be multiple central ideas in a text, especially in longer more complex pieces.
- Key, or in other words, important, details in a text help an author support and develop his or her central ideas.
- Students should be aware of text features that can help them locate and learn information when reading a text. The text features in the National Science Foundation article used in this lesson include: title, subtitle, headings, and one photograph with a caption.
- Based on the rubric provided with this lesson, students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), a body paragraph(s) that support the main point(s) and includes relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion or concluding statement that supports the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next. Teachers might wish to provide students with a sheet of transitions to help them with their writing response for the summative assessment. This site provides transitions teachers might provide.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- Why is it important to identify the environmental risk factors that lead to the transmission of emerging infectious diseases?
The current approach and strategies that are being used in the fight against global outbreaks have not been cost-effective nor have they been good at predicting possible outbreaks. New strategies that have been analyzed focus on identifying the underlying environmental threats that are involved in the spread of emerging infectious disease. These new strategies are expected to be more beneficial from both a cost and health perspective.
- How are models being used by scientists (as described in the article) to ;approach the threat of an infectious and/or emerging disease outbreak?
Economic models were used to analyze the two different approaches in handling a global pandemic in terms of cost as well as human health. The first approach analyzed follows a business-as-usual approach, which is to wait and see where new diseases emerge, and then react. The second strategy analyzed focuses on identifying and reducing the driving factors involved in the emergence and the spread of the diseases. The underlying factors included the interaction between humans and the environment. The modeling demonstrated the second approach would be most beneficial and cost-effective long-term.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
- Begin the lesson by asking students to brainstorm in groups what they know about Ebola, dengue fever,Lyme disease, or West Nile virus.
- Expected responses may include they are viruses, bacterial diseases, they are spread by mosquitoes or other insects. Take a few moments to discuss some of these diseases. The teacher may wish to explain if the disease is viral or bacterial, how it is spread, symptoms, and long-term effects. (Information on each of these may be found on links provided in the Prior Knowledge section of the lesson).
- Next, ask students what happens when there is an outbreak or an episode of an infectious disease. Students should be able to say there is an increased amount of news or media coverage about the event. They will most likely remember the Ebola Outbreak of 2014 and can discuss what happened globally in regards to a response and the aftermath.
- At this point in the lesson, show the students this CNN titled "Ebola Could Cost West Africa $33 Billion." After the video, explain to students not only is global health a concern when a disease outbreak occurs, but the economic impact on the region can be greatly affected as well. Inform students that it is predicted in the future there will be 5 new disease outbreaks per year. Let the students know one concern regarding the spread and emergence of infectious diseases is human activity involving events such as climate change, deforestation, and changes in agricultural practices. Show the following NSF video titled "Butterflies and Bats Reveal Clues about Spread of Infectious Disease" that discusses this idea and its impact.
- Finally, tell students they will be reading an article from the National Science Foundation that describes a study conducted by economists as well as disease ecologists to analyze the global response to infectious disease outbreaks. The article also discusses the driving factors that are responsible for these emerging diseases.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
- Pass out to each student a copy of the article titled "Ebola, Dengue Fever, Lyme Disease: The Growing Economic Cost of Infectious Diseases" or make it available to students electronically.
- Teachers should have students number each paragraph of the article. If using an electronic copy of the article, students can use a PDF mark-up tool (several tools are available as free downloads).
- Teachers may want students to use text coding to help them identify or take notice of the following as they read the article for the first time. Consider using the following text coding:
- I = Infectious disease
- E = Economic factors
- M = Use of economic models
- C = Causes of the spread of the diseases
- Explain to students whenever they come across information about infectious disease, they can write an I in the margin of the text. When the article references economic factors, they can write an E in the margin of the text. They will do this for each of the items listed (teachers can add more items or remove certain items to meet the needs of their students.)
- Before students begin reading, direct them to pay attention to the text features of the article to help them learn and locate information:
- Title: Ebola, Dengue Fever, Lyme Disease: The Growing Economic Cost of Infectious Diseases
- Subtitle: Five new such diseases expected each year; strategies to reduce climate change adaptable to infectious diseases
- Headings: Growing economic cost of global disease outbreaks; Environmental change causing increase in number of new diseases; Ebola epidemic highlights need to address infectious disease threats; Five new diseases each year into the future
- Captions: Located under the opening photograph
- Have students read and mark the text (have the text coding items displayed for students). The teacher should monitor students as they work and provide support and guidance as needed.
- Provide each student with the vocabulary word list and the note-taking guide. Students can work on the vocabulary first and then re-read the article using the definitions to help them as they work on completing the note-taking guide. Make sure to provide print or online dictionaries for students to use for the vocabulary terms. Students can work individually, in pairs, or with a small group.
- Note: Based on the needs and skills of the students, teachers can decrease the number of academic or domain-specific vocabulary students will define on the vocabulary word list.
- For academic vocabulary, students will likely be able to use a variety of vocabulary strategies to define the meaning of the words (e.g., context clues, word parts, dictionary skills). For domain-specific (in other words, subject-specific) vocabulary, students will typically need to draw on prior knowledge and use a dictionary to define the words.
- If students use dictionaries to look up the meanings of academic vocabulary words with multiple meanings, encourage students to continually refer back to the text to see how the word is used in context. This can help them eliminate definitions that just don't work in context, and this will help them narrow down their choices to select the most appropriate definition. Also, if students can determine the part of speech (e.g., verb, noun, adjective) for the vocabulary word used in the text, it can help them eliminate definitions that won't apply.
How will you check for student understanding? (Formative Assessment):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by having students share out what they text coded on the article, and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion. This should be done before students work on the vocabulary terms handout. After completing the vocabulary terms, students can share out their answers to the defined vocabulary words, and the teacher can provide corrective feedback when needed. Students can then work on the note-taking guide and once completed, the teacher can collect their work, provide written feedback and a grade, or the teacher can provide verbal feedback as students share out their responses.
- Teachers can use the sample answer key included at the end of the vocabulary worksheet to help them assess students' answers for the vocabulary words. The answer key also provides tips teachers can use to help students use context clues and word parts to help them define some of the words.
- For discussion on students' answers to the defined vocabulary words, teachers are encouraged to not only ask students to explain the meaning they determined for a word, but the strategy they used to arrive at that meaning. This will allow the teacher to give alternative suggestions on ways the student could have arrived at the correct meaning of the word.
- Teachers can use the sample answer key included at the end of the note-taking guide to help them assess students' answers on the note-taking guide.
Common errors or misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
There are several terms that are similar in meaning students should be aware of:
- Explain to students the difference between infectious vs. emerging diseases. The following definitions are provided by WHO. Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi; the diseases can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another. Zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases of animals that can cause disease when transmitted to humans. An emerging disease is one that has appeared in a population for the first time, or that may have existed previously but is rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range. Inform students a disease can be an emerging and infectious disease.
- Explain to students the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic. An epidemic is a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time. A pandemic is a global disease outbreak.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Provide each student with a copy of the text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
Formative assessment can come in the form of the following:
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, and maybe grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Teachers can use the sample answer key included at the end of the text-dependent questions to assess students' answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: Please see the answer key for the text-dependent questions.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
- Before students complete the writing assignment for the summative assessment, review the responses to the text-dependent questions completed earlier by the students. Make sure the misconceptions are corrected and the key points (as found in the sample answer key) are discussed.
- After students' written responses for the summative assessment have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to use the provided sample response with the class. Students who are struggling writers can benefit greatly from seeing a detailed written response. The teacher could show the sample response on an overhead or withanLCD projector and discuss some of the following:
- Have students identify effective use of textual evidence from the article throughout the written response.
- Have students identify effective and accurate use of domain-specific vocabulary (e.g., infectious disease, economy, economic model, environment, pandemic disease, economic epidemiology, parasitic, bacterial, deforestation, invasive species, biodiversity, habitat) and academic vocabulary (i.e., emergence, emerging, outbreak, proactive, reactive, cooperation).
- At the end of the lesson: Have students sketch out 3 of the concepts addressed within the article. Allow approximately 5-10 minutes for this assignments and then ask for volunteers to share their work. At this time, address any concepts that students are still having trouble with.
- Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. If using the attached rubric to assess students' work, they should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response, with a clear introduction, body section, and conclusion. They can refer back to the text as they construct their response.
- Provide students with a copy of the rubric and go over it with them so they will know how their written response will be assessed.
- Go over the writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address.
Prompt: Explain how human interaction with the environment is probably the cause of the increase of emerging infectious disease outbreaks across the globe. In addition, explain what some economic models recommend about dealing with the health threats from these environmental changes. Use evidence from the text to support your response.
- Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson.
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for providing Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond."
Accommodations & Recommendations
For students struggling with science content:
- Have students view the pictures from the article using the of the article as well as accessing the related websites at the bottom of the page to help with the main ideas of the article.
- Have students read this article titled "Science Uses Models to Explain Aspects of the Real World," in which the use of models in science is explained.
- Depending on the retained prior knowledge of their students, teachers may need to review some of the following science terms used in the article: environment, ecosystem, deforestation, climate change, terrestrial, biodiversity, habitat, invasive species, ecological, contamination, disease transmission. The article also briefly mentions viral, parasitic, and bacterial diseases; students may need more teacher support on these terms.
For other content:
- Teachers may wish to directly pre-teach the following social studies words used in the article: economic, economic cost, economic benefits, world economies, recession.
- Teachers may wish to use a map or globe to show students where West Africa is located.
For struggling readers:
- It might benefit students to break the text into sections. Have students independently read one section, and then have several strong readers read that section aloud.
- Then the teacher can model how to use text coding in section one.
- Students can then independently read section two, and strong readers can read the section aloud afterward. Next, have students text code this section for themselves and then share out their text coding and receive feedback on their work. This process can be repeated for the remaining sections of the text.
- When students begin to work on vocabulary, the teacher might wish to model ways to determine the meaning of a few words. Modeling use of the dictionary (suggestions are provided in the Guided Practice section of the lesson) may benefit some students, and modeling use of context clues or word parts might help as well (suggestions are provided for some words in the vocabulary answer key). Students could work together to define the remaining words independently of the teacher.
- Note: Depending on the needs and skills of the students, the following academic vocabulary words were not included on the note-taking guide and students may need support with these words: adaptable, collaborated, incidence, invasion, outweigh, connectivity.
- On the note-taking guide, it may help struggling readers if the teacher works with the class to fill out the guide for the first section of the text. Students can then work alone or with a partner or small group to complete the other sections. Teachers may want students to complete a section and receive feedback on their work before filling out the next section.
- For struggling writers: It might help struggling writers to provide them with an outline to help them structure their written response for the summative assessment. The outline might include places for them to record:
- Ideas on how to introduce the topic
- A few specifics from the text they might want to use to support or explain the topic
- A place to write down their main point(s)
- Topic sentence (the first sentence of each body paragraph that will reveal the point of the paragraph and will connect to the paper's overall main point)
- Specific evidence from the text for support in each body paragraph
- Ideas for transition words
- Ideas for use of selected vocabulary
- Ideas on how to wrap up their piece and connect back to the main point(s)
- Have students research the different diseases mentioned within the article. Have them report back to the class with their findings. They can use the links to the disease fact sheets found in the Prior Knowledge section of the lesson.
- Have students choose one of the other articles that are part of the NSF's collection of Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Disease. They may access other articles on the of the article. Have them read and write a summary of the article they choose.
- Have students investigate the links between deforestation and Ebola or deforestation and other infectious diseases. There are a variety of online resources available on this topic. Emphasize to students the importance of finding sources that have reliable and unbiased information.
- This link accesses the EcoHealth Alliance webpage. It can be used to pursue other areas of interest by the students. Students can explore topics of their choice and report back to the class.
- Students can refer back to their note-taking guides and look at column two. For questions that were not already answered during discussions that took place throughout the lesson, students could conduct research to answer these questions and then report their findings.
Suggested Technology: Computer for Presenter, Computers for Students, Internet Connection, Speakers/Headphones
For teachers who would like more support in understanding and implementing Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects into their science curriculum, please see the teacher tutorials featured in the section of this lesson's CPALMS resource page labeled "Attached Resources."
The text's grade band recommendation reflects the shifts inherent in the Florida Standards and is based on a text complexity analysis of a quantitative measure, qualitative rubric, and reader and task considerations.
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: Ellen Muse
District/Organization of Contributor(s): Brevard
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.