This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The article from the National Science Foundation discusses research conducted on the origin of tuberculosis in the Americas. Scientists discovered tuberculosis in skeletons which pre-dated the arrival of Europeans to the New World. Through the analysis of tuberculosis DNA, it was discovered that the New World tuberculosis showed a clear relationship to lineages found in seals and sea lions, suggesting they carried the disease to the Americas pre-Columbus. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.
Subject(s): Science, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 11, 12
Document Camera, Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Keywords: infectious disease, tuberculosis, hypothesis, New World, Columbus, TB, text complexity, lesson plan
Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Explain how scientific knowledge can change based on new evidence or new interpretations of existing evidence.
- Explain how seals and sea lions may have served as carriers of tuberculosis to the Americas.
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Determine central idea(s) of the text.
- Determine the meaning of selected academic and domain-specific words in the text.
- Explain unanswered/unresolved issues in a 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 or concluding statement.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
- To help students fully understand the text, students should be familiar with the historical background of the arrival of Europeans and the diseases they brought to the New World.
- Students should understand the process and science behind genomic sequencing. This by Wiley and Sons is a comprehensive explanation of DNA and genomic sequencing.
- Students should be familiar with the diseases discussed in the article. The following links provide information by the CDC for smallpox, whooping cough, influenza, and tuberculosis.
- If teachers choose to go into more depth about tuberculosis, this Khan Academy tutorial is very thorough on the topic.
- Students should understand the migratory capabilities of pinnipeds: the taxonomic group seals and sea lions belong to. This website discusses their migration and has hyperlinks in the text that provide more information.
- Students should have general knowledge of the idea of zoonotic diseases as well as the idea of reverse zoonosis. This link to the CDC website can provide information on these topics (you can download PDF, .doc, and PowerPoint files from this site).
For 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 using context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial, as would knowledge of word parts and dictionary skills.
- Students should be aware of text features that can help them locate and learn information when reading a text. The text features in the NSF article used in this lesson include: title, subtitle, 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. This site provides transitions teachers might provide.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- How do scientists believe uberculosis reached South America before the Europeans arrived?
Scientists believe seals and sea lions carried the bacteria from Africa to South America as they migrated across the ocean. When pre-European contact tuberculosis DNA was analyzed, it showed a clear relationship to the tuberculosis lineage found specifically in seals and sea lions.
- How does this research change previous theories on the introduction of tuberculosis to Native Americans?
It was previously believed that Europeans were responsible for bringing the tuberculosis bacteria to the Americas. There is now evidence showing tuberculosis was present in the Americas before they arrived. It is still not known at what point the European strain of TB became prevalent over the marine mammal strain. As a result, it is difficult to identify how American Indian populations were affected by the different strains.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
- Begin the lesson by showing this by National Geographic, titled "Smallpox Mystery," showing the effects of smallpox and other infectious diseases on Native American populations. Inform students that smallpox is probably the most well known infectious disease brought over by Europeans, but there were other ones as well, such as whooping cough and influenza.
- Let students know the focus for their lesson will be on the disease tuberculosis, which is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tell students that tuberculosis was a disease that also affected Native Americans.
- Ask students what they know about TB. Some might be aware that it is caused by a bacteria, and many of them might have had TB vaccinations. Provide some basic information about the disease: it is spread through the air, there is the possibility of animal-to-human-to-animal transmission, etc. Teachers may utilize the information found in the Prior Knowledge section if needed.
- Show this video by the CDC titled "Tuberculosis Trasmission and Pathogenesis Video" (1:41). Explain that TB is a very infectious disease, so it can easily spread throughout populations and has a high death rate. Inform students that the spread of tuberculosis to Native Americans in both South and North America has largely been associated with the arrival of Europeans in the New World.
- Finally, tell students there has been new research indicating TB was present in the New World before the arrival of Europeans. As a result, the long-held assumption that Europeans introduced the disease to Native Americans is likely incorrect. Let the students know they will be reading an article by NSF that describes the research identifying seals and sea lions as the animals that first carried tuberculosis over to South America.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
- Pass out to each student a copy of the article "Unusual Discovery Leads to Fascinating Tuberculosis Theory," or make it available to students electronically.
- For discussion purposes, the teacher may want to 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).
- Provide each student with a note-taking guide. Have students complete this guide during or after their first reading of the article. Make sure to provide print or online dictionaries for students to use for the vocabulary section. Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups.
- Based on the needs and skills of students, teachers can decrease the number of academic or domain-specific vocabulary students will define on the note-taking guide.
- 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.
- Diagnosis (Paragraph 3): a statement or conclusion that describes the reason for a disease, illness, or problem. Students should use the paragraph the term is found in to determine the meaning of the word. The words devastated and tuberculosis may help students relate diagnosis to a disease or illness.
- Influx (Paragraph 4): the arrival or inward flow of a large amount of something. There are context clues that may help students determine the meaning of the word. Students should specifically focus on "tuberculosis had a hand in American Indian deaths prior to..." This suggests TB was there before European diseases arrived.
- Unequivocal (Paragraph 6): very strong and clear; showing no doubt. If students are not familiar with the term, they should use a dictionary to determine the meaning. They should substitute definitions into the sentence and see which fits best. In context, the word is used as an adjective to describe evidence, which may help determine the meaning.
- Distress (Paragraph 12): a time of hardship or rough situation. Students should be able to determine the meaning of the word based on context clues found in the sentence. The text states "The European strain is more virulent... good at spreading during times of social crowding and distress." This suggests that TB is easily spread in unfavorable situations.
How will you check for student understanding? (Formative Assessment):
- Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' completed note-taking guides, checking their work, providing written feedback, and possibly grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Teachers can use this sample answer key provided at the end of the note-taking guide to help them assess students' answers.
- For discussion of 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 as to how student should have arrived at the correct meaning of the word.
Common errors or misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
Tuberculosis is found in a variety of animals, not just mammals. Birds and reptiles can be infected by the bacteria as well. In 2015 there was an outbreak found in captive elephants, and it became a concern for public health in regards to zoos and circuses.
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 their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
- Teachers can use this sample answer key provided 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 students. Make sure the misconceptions are corrected and the key points (as found in the sample answer key) are discussed.
- After students' written responses 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:
- How the topic is introduced in the opening sentences of the introductory paragraph; have students identify the main point of the piece. Brainstorm with students other ways the writer could have opened the piece.
- Have students examine each of the body paragraphs and explain how each supports the main point of the piece.
- Have students identify where the writer effectively uses textual evidence from the article for support of his or her points.
- Have students identify the use of transition words or phrases that make the ideas flow.
- Ask students to identify effective and accurate use of domain-specific vocabulary (e.g. hypothesize, pathogen, genome, strain, lineage) and academic vocabulary (i.e., assess, influx, culprit).
- Have students read the final paragraph to see how the writer wrapped up the piece and connected back to the main point established in the introduction.
- Have students read the following and watch the video from Medical Daily (on top) addressing concerns that tuberculosis might become an epidemic in the future.
- UsingtheNSF article and the information from the Medical Daily video, have students respond to the following prompt:
- The article you read explains that tuberculosis has been around for a very long time and has been responsible for millions of deaths throughout history. TB in the Americas most likely originated from marine mammals, but eventually those strains were replaced by the strains brought over from Europe. Even after all this time, tuberculosis is still a major concern. Why does the public still need to be aware and concerned about this infectious disease?
Tuberculosis has been around for thousands of years. It was thought to have originated in Africa, and it has since spread worldwide. Millions of people have died from the disease throughout history, and over 1.7 million people per year still die from this disease.
Tuberculosis is an extremely infectious and virulent disease. It is spread through the air, so areas where people are crowded or have close contact with each other are extremely vulnerable. Although there are treatments available, tuberculosis continues to affect large numbers of people. Many of the people infected are not treated properly in the first place, and those who are often become complacent and do not finish their treatment. This is contributing to the bacteria becoming multi-drug resistant. Treating drug-resistant TB is very expensive. In areas of the world where tuberculosis is prevalent, health care systems often lack resources, which makes the spread of the disease more probable.
It is important to continue research into how TB can spread and evolve resistance to antibiotics. The World Health Organization is concerned enough to suggest the possibility of a pandemic in Western Europe. As of 2015, there were approximately 440,000 new cases worldwide. Although there are treatments available, tracking the spread of the disease has proved difficult. It is necessary that the public is aware of the health threat this ancient disease still poses.
- 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 or concluding statement. 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 responses will be assessed.
- Go over the writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address:
- How does this study challenge previous views and assumptions held by scientists and historians about the role of tuberculosis in the deaths of Native Americans? Answer use specific details and evidence from the text.
- 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 where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for conducting Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Accommodations & Recommendations
For students struggling with the science content:
- Have students view the images from the article using the of the text.
- For students who have had limited exposure to the science content covered in the article, the teacher may wish to pair them up with a student who has had advanced biology classes or advanced life science classes.
- Teachers may want to show this Khan Academy tutorial on tuberculosis so that students have a better understanding of the disease. This is an in-depth tutorial, and the link can also be found in the Prior Knowledge section.
For struggling readers:
- It might benefit students to break the text into sections. Have students independently read section one, and then have several strong readers read that section aloud. Teachers can determine how they want to break the text into sections, since text headings are not provided.
- Then, have students highlight (on their copy of the text) the vocabulary from the note-taking guide that appear in the first section. The teacher can work with students to model ways to define a few of the vocabulary words to get them started. Then students can work independently to define the meanings of the remaining words for that section. Students can report out their meanings and receive feedback from the teacher. This process can be repeated for the other sections of the text if needed.
- Depending on the needs and skills of students, the following words were not included on the note-taking guide but might need to be added for students to define: enable, adapt, sequencing, evolution. Teachers may also want to help students with the idiom "shed light" in paragraph 2.
- Finally, have students complete the main idea questions, share out their answers, and receive feedback on their work.
For struggling writers:
- PBS has a video series called "Guns, Germs, and Steel." Teachers might want to show some portions of the video series and then have students discuss the portions that relate to the article they have read. (Teachers will have to acquire the video through their local library, as the series is not available for streaming.) The video was made based on the book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.
- Have students read this National Geographic on the use of rats to detect tuberculosis, titled "Giant Rats Trained to Sniff Out Tuberculosis in Africa." Have students summarize the article.
- Have students research multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and the concerns public health officials have about this problem. Have students report back to the class their findings. Students may use these sites from the CDC and WHO to begin their research.
Suggested Technology: Document Camera, Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones, Microsoft Office
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 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.