For Educators

AIDS: Responding to a Health Crisis – Procedures For Teachers

PrepPreparing for the lesson
StepsConducting the lesson
ExtensionAdditional Activities


Prep

Media Components

Computer Resources:

  • Modem: 56.6 Kbps or faster.
  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 4.0 or above or Internet Explorer 4.0 or above.
  • Personal computer (Pentium II 350 MHz or Celeron 600 MHz) running Windows® 95 or higher and at least 32 MB of RAM.
    Macintosh computer: System 8.1 or above and at least 32 MB of RAM.
  • RealPlayer
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher. Download the free Adobe Acrobat reader here:
    http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.

Bookmarked sites and video resources:

TIP: Prior to teaching, bookmark all of the Web sites used in the lesson and create a word processing document listing all of the links. Preview all sites and videos before presenting them to the class.

RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY Web sites:

Other sites:

  • AIDS Warriors
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/shows/angola/index.html
    This site offers an inside look at life in Angola and its military and an overview of the spread of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. An Interactive Challenge quiz tests users’ knowledge of AIDS and its social impact.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control information site for HIV-AIDS
    http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/Facts/afam.htm
    This governmental site includes a fact sheet on HIV/AIDS among African Americans.
  • Gay Men’s Health Crisis
    http://www.gmhc.org/health.html
    The Gay Men’s Health Crisis Web site provides a wealth of information on HIV/AIDS facts, prevention, and intervention.
  • The World Health Organization’s Web site on HIV/AIDS.
    http://www.who.int/hiv/en/
    The World Health Organization’s site offers information and research about AIDS, including a December 2003 publication on the global epidemic of HIV/AIDS.

Materials:

Teachers will need the following supplies:

  • Board and/or chart paper
  • Ideally, a screen on which to project the Web-based video clips
  • Handouts of Web resources if computers are not available in the classroom

Students will need the following supplies:

  • computers with the capacities indicated above
  • notebook or journal
  • pens/pencils


Steps

Introductory Activity: What We Know about HIV/AIDS and What We Want to Know

  • To begin, work with students to chart “What We Know about HIV/AIDS.” On chart paper, write HIV/AIDS. Ask students to think about things that they know about HIV/AIDS and call them out as they come to mind.
  • Write all responses on the chart without comment, even those that you know to be incorrect: for instance, “HIV/AIDS is a gay man’s disease.” (In fact, there is a high and growing rate of infection among heterosexual women.) Incorrect statements can be corrected later, as students learn more about HIV/AIDS.
  • When students have generated as many ideas as they can, review the list and generate another list of “What We Want to Know about HIV/AIDS.” Leave both lists posted for the duration of this project. Modify the lists as new information becomes available or new questions arise.

Learning Activities:

Activity 1: AIDS and the Black Church in America

1. After the introductory activity, have students break into small groups to read and view (where video is available) the following bookmarked RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY segments:

Introduce the segments by pointing out that they address responses of African-American churches to AIDS. Ask students to pay attention to information about the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the African-American community, the role and responses of African-American churches, and the conflicts that clergy and religious people struggle with in trying to frame their response to this public health issue.

2. After students have viewed/read the segments, ask them to take a minute to free-write any thoughts and reactions and then, remaining in their groups, to discuss the segments, using the guiding questions on Student Handout A. Follow the small-group discussions with a whole-class discussion of both segments.

Be sure to refer back to students’ original lists of What We Know and What We Don’t Know and ask if there are additions or modifications based on information in these segments.


Activity 2: AIDS and the Developing World

1. Divide students into small groups and have each group read and view (where video is available) one of the following bookmarked RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY segments. Groups can choose the segments they wish to work on or you can assign them.

Ask students to pay attention to information about the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the featured countries and to focus on how the demographics of HIV/AIDS, as well as the responses to the epidemic, differ from the United States. In particular, ask which cultural and religious values and attitudes shape the approach to dealing with AIDS and fighting its spread?

2. After students have viewed/read the segments, ask them to take a minute to free-write any thoughts and reactions and then, remaining in their groups, to discuss the segments, using the guiding questions on Student Handouts B, C, and D. Then ask groups to report out to the whole class on the segments they worked with.

Be sure to refer back to students’ original lists of What We Know and What We Don’t Know and ask if there are additions or modifications based on information in these segments.


Activity 3: Learning More About HIV/AIDS

1. Explain to students that they will be working in pairs or groups of three or four to do Internet research on HIV/AIDS in order to complete a true-false quiz (Student Handout F). All the information needed to answer the quiz can be found on the Web sites listed on the handout.

2. Divide students into groups and ask them to decide what each student’s role in the group will be. Talk about what roles are available. For example, each student could research one question, or each student could research one Web site.

3. When groups have completed the quiz, they should review their findings together so everyone in the group has the same information. Groups should then present their completed quizzes to the class, and should describe their processes and results.


Activity 4: Learning More about HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa

1. This activity can be done as homework or in-school work. Individually or in pairs, students can visit the following PBS site, which provides an inside look at life in Angola and its military and an overview of the spread of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • AIDS Warriors
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/shows/angola/index.html
    This site offers an inside look at life in Angola and its military and an overview of the spread of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. An Interactive Challenge quiz tests users’ knowledge of AIDS and its social impact.

2. After reviewing the site, students should take the Interactive Challenge quiz that tests users’ knowledge of AIDS and its social impact in Africa.

3. Follow up with a discussion of students’ impressions and thoughts after reading the site, as well as any questions they have. Be sure to refer back to students’ original lists of What We Know and What We Don’t Know and ask if there are additions or modifications based on information on what they have learned from the Interactive Challenge.


Activity 5: Interviewing Guest Speakers

1. Invite someone who is on the “front lines” of HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, research, or education to speak to the class about his or her work (paid or volunteer). Possible sources for speakers include:

  • Hospitals (especially large, urban, teaching hospitals) that treat a full range of patients — from newly infected to those with terminal AIDS
  • Research groups (hospital-based, university-based, or private) that are working to develop medications and vaccines to alleviate, prevent, or even cure AIDS
  • Health clinics that do pre-counseling, testing, and post-counseling for individuals who want to know their HIV status
  • Educational organizations that teach young people about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention
  • Hospices that work with end-stage AIDS patients
  • Local religious groups and social service organizations that have ministries or services specifically to help AIDS patients

Speakers should plan on a presentation of 10-15 minutes followed by “Q and A.” The tip sheet Interview Planning Sheet can be given to students in advance.

2. When your speaker or speakers are scheduled, tell the class who will be coming to speak with them, giving names and a brief summary of their work, and help students develop general questions to ask each speaker. Possible questions are:

  • What is your job and what is your organization’s mission?
  • Are there any stories or cases that particularly stand out for you?
  • What are some of the challenging aspects of your work with HIV/AIDS?
  • What are some of the rewarding aspects of your work with HIV/AIDS?
  • What do you see for the future regarding HIV/AIDS? What are your fears and your hopes?

If possible, students should videotape or audiotape the presentations. Students should write thank-you notes to the speaker.


Activity 6: Creating an HIV/AIDS Directory

1. Students can develop a roster of local organizations that provide information, education, treatment, and care related to HIV/AIDS. A Google search (http://www.google.com) of “AIDS services ” should yield useful results. Other search engines, such as Yahoo, can also be helpful. Other sources of information include guidance counselors, local government, hospitals, hospices churches/temples, and social service organizations.

Students can use the Organization Description Sheet, Student Handout G, to record information on the organizations they research. (Encourage them to list volunteer opportunities in the space provided.) The completed handouts should then be hung on the wall as a display, or should be collected in a binder. Students should then create publicity posters, handouts, Web sites, or other media for service opportunities in the organizations they most admire.

Culminating Activity: What We Can Do:

Using the list of organizations they gathered for the directory, students should identify service opportunities related to HIV/AIDS for young people in their community.

Based on research done for the directory and the publicity materials, students should select one project that can be done as a whole-class activity, like organizing the preparation and delivery of a meal once a month for a group of AIDS patients at a care facility. If students are interested, they may also undertake individual service projects, like working in a hospice. As part of this culminating activity, students should keep journals of their service activities, and should publicize their service project in school and local papers.