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Distance Learning Reading Comp Passages and Activities Typhoid Mary Epidemic

A Plus Kids
Formats Included
  • PDF
42 pages
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A Plus Kids


Your students will be engaged reading about Typhoid Mary and the epidemic of typhoid fever raging in America over 100 years ago. Typhoid Mary's story is especially relevant in today's #COVID-19 world. Activities will facilitate class discourse regarding the rights of those who spread infectious disease vs. healthy people who don't want to get sick.

This rigorous reading comprehension story about Typhoid Mary is broken down into smaller passages with focusing questions after each section to encourage students to process the content step-by-step without becoming overwhelmed. Engaging activities encourage students to collaborate and use higher level problem solving skills to participate in the activities. Speaking, listening and writing skills are highlighted. Asking questions and citing evidence from the text to support their perspective of Typhoid Mary's guilt or innocence provides authentic practice of using language skills to problem solve.

The text includes high level vocabulary and could be used with higher level 4th graders as a read-aloud. 4th graders would be able to participate in the mock trial, preparing a prosecution or defense case, after comprehending the story.

Activities include:

  • A pre-reading strategy
  • Vocabulary activities with terms and definitions
  • A 9 page story with focusing questions
  • Sequence of events
  • Venn diagram comparing typhoid fever and COVID-19
  • A mock trial complete with instructions and responsibilities for each role/team
    • prosecutor
    • defense attorney
    • judge
    • jury members
    • witnesses

  • Each role requires collaboration by a small group of students, for instance 3-4 prosecutors and 3-4 defense attorneys, who will get their information for the trial from the text. Attorneys will need to use perspective to make their case. Witnesses will refer to the text to determine how they will testify. The judge will collect witness lists and keep order in the court. The jury members will take notes, consider the evidence presented by each side and render a verdict.
  • Forms, for each role/team to complete, will highlight relevant information. Scaffolding is provided by the information requested on the forms for each role/team.

This s a print-and-go resource.

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#asymptomatic carrier

#infectious diseases


#mock trial

Total Pages
42 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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