Teaching with Primary Sources



sickman“Influenza!” aligns with Scholastic’s READ 180  rBook Workshop program within the unit entitled “Epidemic!”  Although the unit is specifically designed for READ 180 middle school students, it can easily be adapted and used for many history or science classes. The unit focuses on the attainment of the reading skills “cause and effect” and “sequencing.” Also, the unit aligns with both Geography and American History curriculum at the middle school level in that it discusses elements of location and movement, as well as historically relevant events necessary to the comprehension of what it means to be an American citizen.  More specifically, it provides an in depth background to social conditions in an era that is often left out of historical curriculum in favor of other events significant to modern history.


The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 marks one of the worst outbreaks of a communicable disease in the history of the United States.  The outbreak of the (incorrectly named) “Spanish Flu” caused the death of over 50 million people in one year’s time.  Little historical emphasis and recognition has been noted in regard to what will more than likely repeat itself in the future.  In light of the recent developments over the past quarter century with HIV/AIDS epidemic and the recently discovered drug resistant Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), examining the history of infection through such a notably absent event in history books becomes more pertinent.

Click here to listen to the "Flu Song."

Power Point


Governors State University - Teaching with Primary Sources Partner
Kelly W. Place
Crete-Monee Middle School
Last Updated on October 20, 2007