Free technology for teachers: Influenza Archives

Monday’s highlight from today’s document from the National Archives was “a nurse wearing a mask as a protection against influenza. September 13, 1918.” As is often the case with items in the daily feed, there was a link to additional information about the image. Additional information in this case was a collection of photographs and documents from the 1918 influenza pandemic of the National Archives.

The Influenza Epidemic Collection at the National Archives contains ten documents and six photographs, one of which I have included in this blog post. As I looked at the pictures and documents I couldn’t help but think of the current epidemic situation today and the similarities of 103 years ago.

Applications for education.

As I read the documents (they are all short) and looked at the pictures in the Influenza Epidemic, I began to think about the questions I would ask students when they reviewed the sample. Here is a short list of these questions:
  • How long do you think it took people in Maine (where we live) to learn about the severity of the flu pandemic?
  • What did people living in 1918 think about wearing masks?
  • What are the similarities between the 1918 influenza pandemic and the current COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How did the US government respond to the 1918 influenza pandemic? How is this COVID-19 similar or different from the epidemic response?

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *