The Black Plague struck Europe between 1347 and 1353 killing approximately one-third of the population. It is a disease with horrendous symptoms that kills rapidly and caused a violent disruption in the life of the people of Medieval Europe. However, by radically decreasing the population the quality of life improved for those who were left behind. In his introduction to The Decameron, Boccaccio provided a vivid description of the Black Death when it struck Florence. In a Common Core approach to the Black Plague, the students will do a close reading of this primary source to describe the Black Death in a concise diary entry and illustrate the symptoms on the cover. In thinking as historians, they will also describe the world ten years later and how it has changed because of this disease.