Medieval Times: The Bubonic Plague

Medieval Times:
The Bubonic Plague
Sharon Arnold
West Middle School
Binghamton City School District
[email protected]
Follow the Steps to the
GHPPA to help you analyze the
Step 1: Identify the Problem
Step 2: Gather Evidence
Step 3: Determine the Causes
What caused the Bubonic Plague?
• The Bubonic Plague is caused by the
bacterium, Yersinia pestis, a bacillus with
incredible killing power. One bacillus
alone is enough to infect a human.
What was the Black Plague?
• The Black Plague was a terrible disease that
struck Western Europe many times during the
late Middle Ages.
• Rats with infested fleas helped to carry the
disease from continent to continent, city to
city on trading ships.
The Spread of the Plague
The Europeans were exposed to disease because they
lived in crowded surroundings with very poor sanitary
conditions…which attracted RATS!
• Shortly after being bitten by a flea from a rat, people
would notice swellings and black bruises on their skin.
• In a few days victims died in agony.
• There was no cure
for this disease in
the 1300s.
• Over 75 million people were killed!
Ring Around the Rosie…
“Today, young children enjoy playing “Ring Around the Rosie.” But to
those who first sang it, the rhyme was anything but playful.”
“The song actually describes the deadly bubonic plague.”
• "Ring around the Rosie"--refers to a red mark, supposedly the first
sign of the plague
• "A pocket full of posies"-- refers to sachets of herbs carried to
ward off infection
• "Ashes, ashes" --either a reference to the cremation of plague
victims or to the words said in the funeral Mass..."Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust." Sometimes line three is rendered as "A-tischoo, atischoo"--sneezing, another sign of infection.
• "We all fall down." -- The Plague was not selective in its victims;
both rich and poor, young and old, succumbed.
Results of the Black Plague:
Economic & Social changes
• People fled the cities and towns for the
• Government had less money because fewer
people paid taxes.
• Decrease in population brought increase demand
for workers and higher pay.
• Less people needed food and farmers’ income
became low. They started to revolt against the
king and nobles.
• Some people resorted to magic and witchcraft,
while others questioned their catholic faith.
Evaluate the Policy
• Follow the steps to the GHPPA to help you
analyze the economic and social changes that
resulted from the Black Plague.
It is the year 1375 A.D. about 25 years since the
worst of the Black Death has ended. Looking back
on Europe, you will examine the problem of the
Black Death (as well as the evidence of it and
causes). Then you will examine the economic and
social changes that have occurred since then.
The Black Death Cartoon Project
• Create a cartoon strip (comic) of at least FIVE boxes
that show a story of what you know about the BLACK
• In your cartoon, your boxes must explain what is
going on around you.
• You must include:
Who is affected? Family members? Friends?
How do you feel about the Black Death?
What do you see?
What do you smell?
What are you doing to stop this?
THAT OCCURRED due to the Black Death???
Check out these sites to help you with
your project…
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