Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out. Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.
To accompany our novel study, students will be participating in a Problem-Based Learning simulation entitled Mystery Disease. It promises to be both exciting and challenging. This unit will offer students the opportunity to learn about contagious diseases, biohazards, public health, disease control, and public speaking. The scenario takes place in an imaginary community called Jamestown, following a fair that has taken place in the area. A disease begins sweeping through the town! As people show up at the hospital, it becomes the responsibility of county health department staff to determine what the disease is and to find its source. The students will examine all the evidence and make recommendations to save the lives of the people who have contracted the disease. They will determine the most probable source and propose a plan to ensure this will not happen again. Students must evaluate competing ideas and values as they grapple with a problem that does not have one clear-cut solution. It will require higher level thinking skills where they must work both individually and in collaboration with others. I look forward to working with your student as we work on this real life drama and uncover the truths of a mystery disease.