The purpose of the unit is to teach the students at Jepson Magnet School the long-term effects of the Columbian Exchange on the continent of North America. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the causal relationships between the Age of Exploration and the unfortunate set of circumstances that led to the reduction of indigenous Native American populations. Students will also have the opportunity to identify the diseases that were transmitted from the Europeans to the Native American populations. In addition, students will learn the difference between a virus and a bacterial illness and how each is formed. Lastly, students will be able to identify when a disease becomes an epidemic and what the human responses are to such an occurrence.
(Recommended for U.S. history, grade 8; Geography and Cultures, grade 7)