With the H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine now being distributed to children across the United States, the debate over vaccine safety has resurfaced, according to the New York Times.
If you are looking for a H1N1-inspired lesson plan, the Times offers one today. In the Learning Blog, there are suggestions for helping students debunk myths about the flu and the vaccine.
The Times suggests trying this for a warmup:
Show students the first three minutes of the short video, "Watch Out, Swine Flu!", in which Ariel Kaminer, the Times's City Critic, gauges New Yorkers' reactions to her H1N1 flu prevention garb.
Pause the video just after the man tells Ms. Kaminer that he would wear a suit like hers. Then, have students briefly reflect in their journals on her social experiment. Wearing such protective gear is perhaps an extreme reaction to fears about H1N1 - have students write about what, if anything, they have done as a precaution, such as washing their hands more often or avoiding people who are coughing or sneezing, and why. How concerned are they about contracting swine flu? Are their parents worried?
What do you think? Should students be forced to get the H1N1 vaccine?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.