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The Black Death

If the Black Death happened today, which would have been worse: COVID-19 or the Plague?

Students will need to explore the context of the Black Death and consider how various factors affected its spread and impact.


This will include developing an understanding of what life was like during the 14th Century in Europe, specifically England.


They must then compare it to the current COVID-19 pandemic to understand how various countries have been affected by it and how our response differed because of increased historical and medical knowledge   


Key tasks

  • Investigate the Black Death and Middle Ages life. Students will explore primary and secondary sources to understand the nature of life in the Middle Ages and how this led to the genesis and spread of the virus. They will consider how incomplete medical knowledge informed the approaches and beliefs of the time to try and prevent the Plague 

  • Compare the Black Death to COVID-19. Students will examine the way COVID-19 spread today and the measures which were put in place to prevent its spread. They will compare this to the Black Death to assess whether we have learned lessons from history 

Key facts:

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Curriculum information

History – Makings of the Modern World - Medieval Europe

ACDSEH008, 015, & 69-71 | VCHHK116-120 | HT 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, 4-7, 4-8, 4-10



15 - 20 lessons

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