Teacher's Notes

British Library Learning aims to inspire people to develop their own research skills and think creatively. This resource is based on a variety of 17th century sources from the British Library collections on plague in this period. There are extracts from a medical text, a literary journal, a local government document and an advertisement. Some of the material is of a sensitive nature and concerns loss of life.

Activity One

This allows students to develop their analytical skills and fact finding skills by looking at a source in detail. It would be a good idea to split students into small groups, so they can co-operate in forming a presentation on the source. Some of the sources are slightly harder than others due to 17th century grammar, vocabulary and spelling variations.

Activity Two

This is a creative writing exercise which aims to get students to think about the sources which they have just analysed and engage with them in a more creative way. It provides opportunity to do some wider reading around the subject if needed. It also allows them to use their imagination and develop their skills of empathy.

The character personas are suggestions, but students are free to make up their own characters, or even use the characters here in other ways in a short play about the plague, or a poem etc.