Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

Activities for the germ theory of disease

Here are activities to help with the teaching of this topic.

Introduction to germ theory
This short set of power point slides presents data on changing causes of death in the UK since 1850 and invites discussion on these changes. It then introduces a comparison with Kenya today. It is a good way of introducing themes that will be important through several topics.
PowerPoint presentation (56 KB)

LSS chartLSS: Believe it or not
Students examine the claims to truthfulness of statements of different kinds. The aim is to become more critical of the use of language and to develop a constructive scepticism when assessing primary and secondary information.
Teacher notes and student sheets (796 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (128 KB)
PowerPoint presentation (507 KB)

John Snow and epidemiology
This activity extends the textbook account of John Snow’s work with a description of his epidemiological work in South London, including quotes from Snow himself. It encourages group discussion of his methods and some of the data he collected.
Teacher notes and student sheets (212 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (54 KB)

Lss 50 Pix

LSS: Information revolution
This activity is about information storage and retrieval, about books and journals, and about comparing print with electronic information storage. Information storage is in the process of transforming how we behave, both because of the ongoing explosion of the quantity of information available and because of increasing ease of access.
Teacher notes and student sheets (787 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (124 KB)

Koch and tuberculosis
This account describes Koch’s discovery of the TB bacillus and introduces Koch’s postulates. It provides another example of the use of experiments to extend understanding of germ theory. The comprehension questions could be used as homework, review or revision.
Teacher notes and student sheets (265 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (278 KB)

Lss 50 Pix

LSS: Using the internet to find information
Students first carry out an Internet search to find web sites that would be helpful to answer specific questions about a science topic. In the second part of the activity, students refine their search using a Boolean-style approach, outlined in the briefing sheet. The students then complete a related homework task.
Teacher notes and student sheets (771 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (110 KB)

Development of the germ theory of disease
This activity could be used as a summary at the end of the topic or as a revision exercise. It provides useful summary notes for exam revision when complete. The aim is to provide an overview and to show how the scientists they will have studied in more detail fit into a general scheme. It will encourage use of the textbook and other resources to find information.
Teacher notes and student sheets (366 KB)
Teacher notes and student sheets (112 KB)