Lesson PlansBack to lesson plans archive September 19, 2014
Ebola outbreak mission instructions and resources – Digital Student Guide
By Katie Gould, PBS NewsHour Teacher Resource Producer
Your Mission: to become an expert on the deadly Ebola virus and design a strategy to contain the rapidly growing outbreak in Western Africa
Background: The current outbreak of Ebola in Western Africa has already claimed the lives of 2,000 people and leading international health organizations predict the number may reach ten times that amount before the virus has run its course. There is currently no cure or vaccine for Ebola and it is doubtful that one will be discovered during the outbreak. Local and international health workers are being pushed beyond their limits as they attempt to save as many lives as possible by identifying the sick (who are often reluctant to leave their homes), treating the infected patients with limited resources, and attempting to prevent the further spread of the virus through on-the-ground public health education campaigns.
Tasks: Review the materials listed below that have been assembled for you by a team of experts. Then use what you’ve learned to create a strategy to stop the outbreak.
1. Read about the Epidemiologic Triangle. It will help you understand the method public health scientists use to stop an outbreak and will come in handy when you are creating your own strategy to halt the spread of Ebola.
2. Explore as many of the resources below as you can. Keep in mind that the more materials you are able to watch, read and explore, the better chance you will have at creating a successful plan. The information is organized into three categories:
- Agent – the microbe that causes the disease
- Host – the organism harboring the disease
- Environment – the external factors that allow disease transmission
3. After you have finished your research, use what you have learned to complete the Ebola outbreak: strategic plan – assessment which includes an Epidemiological Triangle, a graphic organizer for key facts and prompts to help you create your evidence-based recommended strategy to contain the Ebola outbreak. Good luck!
The Epidemiological Triangle the strategic model designed to contain outbreaks
The CDC is the nation’s premier public health organization and are world-renowned for their work in the field of epidemiology. Start your research by reading this informational text to learn about the method the CDC developed to fight viruses, the worlds tiniest killers, and other disease-causing microbes. For more information from the CDC about Ebola visit their website.
Agent the microbe that causes the disease
Learn virus basics from National Public Radio (NPR) with this animated video. Come along for the journey of an invading virus from transmission to infection.
Watch this engaging and informative four minute video clip from Sci-Show that covers key topics such as the history of Ebola, how it is transmitted, possible cures and more.
Host the organism harboring the disease
Learn about the devastating symptoms humans infected with Ebola experience in this excerpt from the frightening true story The Hot Zone written by Richard Preston. For a printable version of the text please click here.
Ebola Outbreak is a 27-minute documentary film from Frontline that brings the viewer into the center of the health crisis burning through West Africa. The story follows the lives of the patients, doctors and volunteer workers joined together by the deadly virus Ebola in its worst recorded outbreak in history. For an interactive map on the spread of the disease click here.
Learn more about the patterns in the outbreak and better understand the spread of the Ebola virus in its human hosts by analyzing the latest data from the World Health Organization. Click here to access the worksheet
Environment the external factors that cause or allow disease transmission
Use this culturally-focused background information on Western Africa from National Geographic to learn about the role traditions play in the lives of those currently faced with the deadly Ebola outbreak. Pay special attention to importance of the funeral rites and consider how they may conflict with medical procedures now being used to halt the spread of the virus.
2. World Health Organization | Ebola situation in Liberia: non-conventional interventions needed | Informational text
Use this situation assessment from the World Health Organization for the most up to date analysis on the crisis. For a pdf version of the text, click here
Watch this PBS NewsHour video report to hear President Obama’s plan to help fight the crisis, and a discussion from public health experts on the rapidly escalating epidemic in Western Africa.
Use this PBS NewsHour article written by Larisa Epakto to help contextualize the challenges faced by the affected African country of Liberia and partner health organizations. Click here for a printable version of this informational text.
Strategic plan the way you will contain the outbreak and save thousands of lives
Now that you’ve completed your research, it’s time to take on the Ebola outbreak and end it once and for all! Click here to access the Strategic plan, the world is counting on you. Looking for a great example of how social media can be used to share critical public health information? Check out KQED Edspace and PBS NewsHour Extra’s Do Now: How can we help fight the Ebola outbreak?
Special thanks to Meredith Keybl, MPH for her extensive guidance and support on this project.
Tooltip of related stories
More Lesson Plans
Tooltip of more video block
Tooltip of RSS content 3
Lesson plan: Veterans Day and the meaning of sacrifice
Use this PBS NewsHour lesson plan to help students understand the significance of Veterans Day and the meaning of sacrifice. Students will identify important veterans in their lives, examine an interactive timeline of military history and study issues facing veterans today. Continue readingAmerican HistoryGeographyGovernment & Civicsmilitarymilitary serviceservicememberSocial StudiesU.S. historyU.S. militaryVeteran's DaywarWorld War II
How media literacy helps teachers and students talk about gun violence
Use this lesson to talk with your students about the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks. Calif. Continue readingBorderline barcaliforniaCalifornia shootingextended magazineGavin Newsomgun controlgun violenceGunsmass shootingMedia LiteracyMedia Literacy Weekmental healthmilitary serviceNAMLEpittsburgh synagogue shootingPTSDSocial IssuesSocial Studiestrauma
How to talk with children in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting
On Wednesday night, at least 12 people including a sheriff’s deputy were killed in a mass…Borderline Bar and GrillcaliforniaColorin ColoradoELLEnglish language learnersgun violenceLydia Breisithmass shootingMedia LiteracyPBSPepperdineresourcesschool safetystudentsThousand OakstraumaWETA
Student Voices: Here are the election issues most on teenagers’ minds
NewsHour Extra asked middle and high school students across America: What issue would you like to hear 2018 candidates discuss where you live and why? Read their responses below and check out the election videos produced by Student Reporting Labs on how to turn out the youth vote. Continue reading#MonitoringTheMidtermsarizonaborder controlborder securityBrett KavanaughChristine Blasey Fordclimate changedemocracyElection DayElectionsenvironmentgun violenceGunshomeworkimmigrationmidterm electionsmidtermsmidterms2018Monitoring the Midtermspollutionschool safetyschool securitySocial IssuesSocial StudiesSRLstudent reporting labsStudent VoiceTexasundocumented immigrantsundocumented workersvotingyouth journalismyouth media
Teen reporters interview Senate candidates about gun control and immigration
If you were born in 2000, there’s a good chance you will be eligible to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. The PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab’s Mason Berger reports on how organizations in Florida are trying to mobilize young voters around issues like the cost of college and gun violence. Continue reading#civicsisback#civxnow#MediaLitWk#MonitoringTheMidtermscollegeCorey StewartdemocracyDemocratsElectionsfirst-time votersFloridaGovernment & Civicsgun rightsgun violencehigher edhigher educationlesson planMedia LiteracyMedia Literacy Weekmidterm elections 2018midtermsmidterms 2018news mediaNext Gen AmericaNext Gen Floridapublic policyracial equalityRepublicansSocial IssuesSRLstudent reporting labsTim KaineVirginiavoter turnoutvotingYoung Republicansyouth vote