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Lesson Purpose

A lesson plan that draws a connection between the threat of smallpox during the Revolutionary War and the influenza pandemic during World War I. In this lesson, students will utilize educational technology to consult primary, secondary, and tertiary sources in the completion of a webquest. Writing across the curriculum is a large focus of this lesson. Students will make interdisciplinary connections between history and science (specifically biology). This resource was created by 2013-2014 Life Guard Teacher Fellow Hannah Markwardt. 



  • Students will analyze the connection between war and the spread of disease
  • Students will read and interpret primary, secondary, and tertiary sources
  • Students will appraise George Washington’s handling of the smallpox threat during the Revolutionary War

Related Standards

  • Reading and Writing Literacy in History/Social Studies
  • Analysis of Primary Sources
  • Reading Informational Texts
  • Writing Standards
  • Time, Continuity, and Change
  • Science, Technology, and Society