Learning Exercise

Evaluating the pros and cons of smallpox vacinnation in response to bioterrorism

Read article that is supportive of smallpox vaccination and compare to article that refutes the benefits of such vaccinations.
Course: Biology/Health

Two articles about smallpox vaccinations in response to bioterrorism threats. One article discusses the benefits and low... see more


Have students read the two articles about smallpox vaccinations in prevention of
bioterrorist attack. Have students read the pro article first and then have a
discussion about their feelings and attitudes to what was said in the article.
Have students state whether they agree or disagree with the stance of the author
who wrote the article. Then have students read the con
article. Survey students to see if any students feel that they are now leaning
in favor of the second article. Have discussion about major points or claims
given to support this authors claim. Split the white board in half and have
students look over article one and list all of the claims made to support
vaccination. On other half of board, list the claims made in second article
that list reasons why vaccination is not the answer.
After looking at the pros and cons of both arguments, have students volunteer
they stand after examining both articles.

Homework: Assign students to find other articles that discuss this topic.
After more personal research about topic, have students write a small essay that
discusses their stance of the topic. Ask them to state further information
that they found that made them come to their conclusion. Attach a works cited
for all websites and text information that was used to support their stance.

Technical Notes

Have students read article off web if computer access available. Or print articles from websites and copy


Understanding of viruses and vacines.


Viruses, history of smallpox eradication, bioterrorism

Type of Task

Learning Objectives

Students debate and discussion current events that relate to topics discussed in biology courses.