The following simulation is intended to familiarize students with the devastating impact of flu around the world in 1918.
In this activity, students will play history detective and attempt to identify which diseases caused certain symptoms/scenarios.
A fun way to do this is to cut out each scenario and give it to a student. Each student will read what happens to him or her. A set of scenarios for that activity are included at the end of the presentation if you want to use them. You can even designate a part of the room as the graveyard for those who die.
The 30 scenarios were all taken from the book, The Great Influenza by John M. Barry. So, this activity could be a way to introduce this book to students.
After postulating which diseases caused which symptoms, students will then be surprised to learn that flu caused all these symptoms.
Then, challenge the information again by analyzing primary sources. Students will read primary accounts from plague and mustard gas poisoning.
After analysis, students will respond in writing to decide if they believe more than one disease affected the many people in 1918.