UCCI Course Description

Length of Course
Full Year (2 semesters; 3 trimesters; 4 quarters)
Subject Area - Discipline
History / Social Science (A) - U.S. History
UC Honors Designation
CTE Sector
Health Science and Medical Technology
CTE Pathway
Public and Community Health
Grade Level(s)
10 - 12


The purpose of U.S. History and Public Health is to analyze the significant periods of U.S. history while building and establishing a foundation of practical knowledge in healthcare applications.  Students will study thematic events in history as a pathway to understand the context and scope of public health on both the individual level and within the public sector. Students will analyze the cause and effect relationship between events throughout U.S. history, and the country’s approach to health and medical care. Examples include the Great Depression and how the U.S. government changed policies to improve the health of the citizens as well as the impact of the Civil and World Wars and how battlefield medicine improved health care of the citizens. Students will use their analysis of the integrated curriculum that includes traditional texts, primary source health and history documents, as well as public sources to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in U.S. history through the lens of healthcare. On completion of the course, students will be completing their eleventh grade U.S. history requirement while being prepared for the advanced health course in their CTE Health Care pathway.

Recursive Assignments

These are general outlines of assignments which should be completed in each unit.  The directions are purposely open ended so that they can be applied to the content and context of each unit.

Title of Recursive Assignment: Context in Time

A continuous timeline that identifies and evaluates the significance of events, careers, policies and leaders that influence the relationship of U.S. history and public health. The timeline is used to put into chronological and causal order the events that are studied in each unit. Students will record events and their preceding influences, policies and their meanings, leaders and their viewpoints and predict outcomes of policy and medical advances.

Title of Recursive Assignment: Information Distribution of Public Services

A written journal that records and analyzes pros and cons of distribution methods for public services. Students will study the distribution methods that government and private organizations used to get information out about health issues. Identify which jobs’ scope of practice in the healthcare industry are impacted. Students will list/discuss the effectiveness of method of delivery and the effectiveness of the information provided.

Title of Recursive Assignment: Round-table problem-solving presentation

Students analyze and present the class with solutions for proposed problems in small groups of 4-5. Each group is given a healthcare policy or government action/reaction to an event or problem. Each group will brainstorm, and decide a course of action to the proposed problem. The solutions will be presented to the class and should include changes to policies and procedures and emerging careers required to achieve the solution.

Course Content

Unit 1 : America’s Philosophy of Rights and Health

Unit 1 Description

In this unit, students will look at the Enlightenment philosophers and their beliefs of improving society by applying reason and scientific knowledge. Students will analyze the development of an American Philosophy and its application in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Students will then apply these ideas to the American healthcare system and how members of society think about healthcare through U.S. history and in modern time within the scope of public policy. This unit will prepare students for studying the impact of healthcare and policy choices made by government (Unit 2, Unit 4).

Title of Key Assignment: Meeting of the Minds: Enlightenment Thinkers

Using the major Enlightenment Thinkers, Locke, Montesquieu, Newton, Rousseau,  Hunter, and Voltaire, students will create a chart summarizing their major works, ideas, and contributions to the politics and the medical society. In one paragraph, students will write a summary of the impact of their thoughts on the medical industry. Enlightenment thinkers were advocates of scientific approaches in the cause of advancing medicine. They encouraged students to conduct  experiments that would help them understand how the human body reacted under different circumstances, and apply that knowledge to the treatment of patients. For example, medical pathology is concerned with the scientific study of disease processes while helping to find new ways to combat them.

Title of Writing Assignment: Is Healthcare an American Right?

Given Enlightenment beliefs, students will write a 2-3 page paper arguing for or against the statement, “Health care is the right of every American.” Students should examine individual rights as they relate to health and the social responsibility to care for the sick. Using John Locke, Montesquieu, Isaac Newton, Rousseau, Hunter, and Voltaire (among others)  as experts, students will examine their Enlightenment ideas present in the Declaration of Independence with specific emphasis on the role of life, liberty, and property in the pursuit of happiness. The Enlightenment established a much more optimistic outlook concerning the role and benefits of medicine as the Enlightenment also established a more inclusive view of government.  This Unit will seek to examine the nexus and overlap of these two concepts.

Unit 2 : Gods and Drugs - Communicating Across Cultures

America is a diverse nation called home by a plethora of religious, cultural and ethnic groups.  In this unit, students will look at the key role various cultural and religious groups and movements have played, influencing the development of  U.S. healthcare. (i.e. social reform organization like the Christian and Sanitary Commissions). By reading from selections from Check Up!, Epidemics and Ideas, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, websites and blogs from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, The American Medical Association and the Scientific American Guest Blog in conjunction with their textbook students will look at various health developments in the US. Students will also look at the roles religions have played in influencing how immigrants throughout various key points in history have sought out and interacted with the medical system. Examples such as the South American immigrant community and Catholicism or holistic healing for Asian communities would be used to illustrate the concepts. In addition, students will discuss the medical effects of cultural and religious pluralism (due to mass immigration) on the development of healthcare, including: how immigrants and individuals have sought medical attention, the development of religiously funded hospitals, and the effects of Free Exercise clauses of the First Amendment on medical care. Students will also demonstrate understanding of how to relate to diverse cultures in a medical context. With Unit One and Unit Two, students will be prepared to discuss the events in the following chapters.

Title of Key Assignment: Religious Accommodations PowerPoint

Students will gather relevant information, interview medical professionals, organize, write and create 10-15 slides including at least 1 picture and 3-5 bullet points per slide. Through creating a PowerPoint presentation students will demonstrate and understand how current medical practitioners accommodate and modify service and treatment to demonstrate consideration and sensitivity religious-based concerns compared to practices prior to World War II. Examples could include views on pregnancy and/or childbirth, as well as oppositions to: seeking modern medical attention, evaluations by opposite gender healthcare workers, vaccines and/or drug therapies, invasive procedures, transplants using cadaver or animal parts, etc.

Title of Key Assignment: Key Events In American Medical Science Group Presentations

Students will utilize text and lecture notes, individual student research, and previous class work to create a 10-12 minute technology based presentation that is focused on one major American medical discovery and analyze how this discovery has affected the quality of life in the U.S. Students will demonstrate knowledge of how medical practices and the availability of pharmaceuticals have developed since Manifest Destiny (the mid nineteenth century)– especially how certain medical philosophies, such as the eugenics movement, and social and political philosophies like Social Darwinism, have changed or adapted into different medical practices and social applications.  The concept of public health and it’s understanding is critical as students ponder the issue of who is involved in public health and who is entitled to coverage.

Title of Writing Assignment: Disease Informational Pamphlet

Students will use critical thinking and organization skills to create an informative pamphlet for an assigned illness or disease. Students will share how to locate and utilize medical resources for both understanding medical symptoms and where to get proper medical care. Create an informative pamphlet for an assigned illness or disease based on the needs of the community they live in. Students will demonstrate and share how to locate and utilize medical resources for both understanding medical symptoms and where to get proper medical care by addressing specific concerns of those who may not be familiar with traditional western medicine. Students should distribute the pamphlets and conduct a survey to assess their effectiveness. Students will be assessed on their ability to communicate and address the concerns of the prospective patient. Option: translate and print in multiple languages.

Title of Writing Assignment: A Doctor’s Explanation

Students will gather relevant information, organize, write and orally present information about how specific diseases affect different cultures and explain the preventive patient care options and related terminology.  Throughout U.S. history, medical science, terminology, and research has been distributed to medical professionals and the general public--and this has become more apparent with modern communication technology.

Title of Writing Assignment: Manifest Destiny Medical Practices Storyboard

Students will gather relevant information, organize, write and create a 12 - 16 panel storyboard. Through demonstrating knowledge of how medical practices and pharmaceuticals have developed since Manifest Destiny--also including at least one example of medical research and practices common to the United States between 1803 and 1853, the Era of Manifest Destiny, students will understand the importance of ongoing medical advancements.

Unit 3 : Industry of Life and Death: Industrial Age and impact on Personal Health

In this unit, students will study the social, environmental and political impact of the Industrial Era during the mid to late nineteenth century in the U.S. Students will then examine the various responses by government and individuals, especially reformers (Muckrakers), towards the changes occurring in American society, particularly in the workplace.  By examining their textbooks and supplemental materials, students will look at the role environmental factors play on a community’s health as well as the man-made factors. They will read selections from The Jungle, The General Motors Conspiracy, and Why Provide Insurance Protection for Injured Workers. Moreover, students will identify current ethical challenges rooted in the advancements of the industrial or technological age (i.e., cloning and stem cell research) from a personal health lens and develop solutions to address them through researching sites at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Students will develop various forms of communication (i.e., bilingual literature) which will promote better health and influence positive healthy behavior among individuals in their communities, be they recent immigrants or native born citizens. With this awareness, students would move on to the next unit that addresses what the government action should be towards public health.

Title of Key Assignment: Why Provide Insurance Protection for Workers?

Each team will complete a two-minute Public Service Announcement (PSA). The purpose of this assignment is to learn about the inception of Workers Compensation insurance in Europe and its relationship to Marxist thought.  Through reading The Jungle, The General Motors Conspiracy, and Why Provide Insurance Protection for Injured Workers, students will learn about the rationale behind the arguments to provide workers with insurance protection in the event of an injury and collect a benefit or payment in lieu of their wages. Students will learn how Muckrakers, other reformers, and labor unions in the U.S. were influenced by the idea of treating injured workers.  Students will demonstrate knowledge of major specific insurance payment systems such as Medicare and Medical.

Title of Writing Assignment:  Industrialization and Health

In a 4-5 page expository essay, students identify the the major advantages and disadvantages of the Industrial Age’s impact on public and/or personal health. The intent of this assignment is to have students demonstrate their understanding of the relationship between technological advances and health along with an analysis of some of unintended consequences. Students will extend that analysis to potential unintended consequences of current technological progress in the healthcare field.  Examples: Increase in productivity, goods, transportation, technology (including health care advances) and an increase in pollution (land, water, air), unsafe working conditions, black lung disease, and chemicals with adverse effects on public health (DDT, Asbestos, etc.).

Title of Writing Assignment: Advocacy Perspective Writing

Students choose an event from a provided list and write an advocacy letter/editorial from a minimum of 3 opposing perspectives, 2-3 pages each. The intent of this assignment is for students to analyze events that impacted U.S. history and healthcare from the position of various stakeholders including underserved populations. Students will understand different positions and perspectives in a situation, the reasoning behind the respective positions, and the resulting impact on careers in the healthcare industry. Through the advocacy letter/editorial, students will demonstrate their understanding of the various forces at play and that the most ethical outcome is not always a result.


  • Event 1: General Motors Street Car Conspiracy claim -  Perspectives 1- General Motors, 2- Street Car Operator, 3- Street Car Patron 4- Standard Oil ,5- Asthma sufferer 6-Health Industry
  • Event 2: Genetically Modified Organisms: Perspectives 1-Monsanto, 2- Farmers, 3- Consumers, 4- Grocers, 5-Health Industry
  • Event 3: Mechanization of Production- Perspectives 1- Business, 2- Consumer, 3- Labor, 4-Health Industry
  • Event 4: Food Safety (Jungle fallout) - Perspectives 1- Business, 2-Labor, 3- Consumer, 4-Health Industry

Title of Writing Assignment: Journalism/ Muckraking assignment

Students will write an expose journalism/ muckraking series (1 page, 5 times) in one of the areas covered in the unit.  Students will include a solution to the problem they are identifying in the series. Some potential areas students may choose to cover: tobacco cover up, factory working conditions, food processing [Jungle], documented harmful food additives [trans fats-hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring], “terminator seeds” and the alleged threat of Genetically Modified Organism developers (E.g., Monsanto) monopolizing the food supply.   

The intent of this assignment is to have students demonstrate an understanding of ongoing and current, relevant public health concerns facing the country.  Students will also present a strategy to improve the health status of individuals and the community through facts and information presented in the exposé series.

Unit 4 : Public Health 911

In this unit, students will extend their learning on the impact of religion and culture (unit 2) on history and healthcare by analyzing the massive immigration to the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Students will look at the Progressive Movement and the community response to the health care challenges that emerged as a result of the changing U.S. population. By reading Early History of Infectious Diseases, and Why Provide Insurance Protection for Injured Workers, students will understand the disparity in access to health care and the organizations that were developed by Progressives to address the issues of unequal access.  Students will analyze the similarities and differences to the disparity of access to health care in modern times and evaluate what role, if any, the Federal Government should have in providing such care. Additionally, students will use this unit to analyse response to catastrophic events during the Great Depression which caused both economic and health care challenges.

Title of Key Assignment: Travel brochure

Students will gather relevant information such as required vaccinations, potential disease threats and transmission, behavior modifications like “Don’t drink the water”, interview medical professionals, organize, write, and create a double sided trifold brochure. Students should include summative information about regions that require attention to health concerns. Students create an informational brochure for an individual planning to travel to a new region. Brochure would include cultural information and tips, common health concerns and shot recommendations, nutritional and diet availability, and any general travel risks.

Title of Key Assignment: Healthy Living Poster

Students will gather relevant information, interview medical professionals, organize, write, and create a vintage inspired propaganda poster for a 3-5 minute class presentation. Through creating a healthful living poster for the purpose of educating the community, students will understand the benefits of  personal hygiene practices and progressive ideas.

Title of Writing Assignment: Public Sanitation Creative Writing

Students will use relevant information, prior knowledge, and experience to write a 1-2 page paper. Through writing creatively and applying academic knowledge of history and medical technology they will gain perspective of workers involved with the development and/or maintenance of a public sanitation system. Examples of workers and topics involved: sanitation, solutions, toxic cleanup, biohazards, etc.

Title of Writing Assignment: Vaccine Storyboard

Students will gather relevant information, organize, write and create a 12 - 16 panel storyboard. Students will illustrate how and why specific vaccines were created and administered and they impact the overall community health.

Unit 5 : Great Depression and Dr. Government's Rx

In this unit, students will continue to look at government’s role established in unit 4 and look at the challenges presented by the Great Depression and understand the role the Federal government played to address those problems through the relief agencies of the New Deal. By reading The Jungle and The Positive and Negative Impacts of the New Deal, students will examine the expanding role government has played since the Great Depression and the controversy surrounding that role.  Students will analyze how the health and welfare of the public is addressed through government policy and the role law plays in improving the health of its citizens. As the US moves towards a global power, students will analyse the change in healthcare as it applies to a war-front in Unit 6.

Title of Key Assignment: Debating the New Deal - Was It Everything It was Supposed to Be?

Students in small groups of 4 will prepare and present, in a debate format, 3 different opposing perspectives on the impacts of the New Deal and the growing role of the Federal Government in public health affairs. The intent of this assignment is to have students explain the history of health in relation to the New Deal, analyze the environmental, behavioral, biological, and socio-economic forces at play, and understand the situation from the perspective of various stakeholders. Using the research from the Positive and Negative Impacts of the New Deal assignment, groups choose a topic (1. Polio -business, consumer, doctors  2. Relief programs and Socialism- consumers, government, business 3. United States Department of Agriculture -agribusiness, consumers, government) and each student prepares a different perspectives with 2 in favor of and 2 opposed. Students debate their positions in front of the class and are graded by the class with a debate rubric.

Title of Writing Assignment: Positive and Negative Impacts of the New Deal

In a 3-4 page magazine style article, students will describe 3 advantages and 3 disadvantages of the New Deal and take a stand on one of the more controversial aspect of the New Deal. The intent of this assignment is for students to analyze the impact of the New Deal and the controversy surrounding the role of government in providing public health. Students will analyze and synthesize a variety of viewpoints and develop a stance that addresses and responds to student generated opposing arguments.  

Unit 6 : War and Medicine

Students will look at  the evolution of battlefield medicine throughout time in U.S history. Beginning with the Civil War and the development of the Red Cross, students will look at the intersection between war and medicine. Students will examine the key events of the Civil War, Imperialism WWI, WWII through the lens of the impact each conflict had on medical development. Within the context of the government’s expanded role in health care students will examine the text The Policies of Medicare and Health Reform and Into the Light. Students will also address the psychological injuries that were a results of these conflicts. Students will demonstrate empathy for those under mental duress and describe the recovery model in psychology and design a recovery model for a returning soldier. Then students will explore the key theaters of conflict in WWII, the unique medical challenges presented on the battlefield, and the impact the war had on speeding the development of new medical technologies and techniques. These rapid developments set the stage for US intervention in health services around the globe which will be examined in Unit 7 and 10.

Title of Key Assignment: Field Medic Handbook Encyclopedia

Using a provided list of 20-30 common battle injuries from the Civil War, to imperialism and the Spanish American War through to WWII, students will create a 15 page minimum field medic’s handbook/encyclopedia. Each page of the booklet will include a picture and a 4-7 sentence paragraph description on the condition, how it is caused (ie field of battle) and how the medic would have addressed the issue in the time period.  The handbook should demonstrate a progression of field medicine as it evolved from the Civil War up until WWII. Additionally, it should reflect the military technology and strategy that impacted the type of injuries on the battlefield unique to each American conflict. Such conditions might include, malaria, nuclear poisoning, PTSD/shell shock, tetanus etc.

Title of Key Assignment: WWII Key battle and medical map

Describe and identify the key battles of WWII in the Atlantic and Pacific. Identify the key battles that served as turning points in the war. Describe their outcomes, the related medical technology, and locate the battles on a map. Students will address the key fronts and battles in WWII and medical issues faced in WWII.

Title of Key Assignment: Nutrition and the Home-front

Students will create a propaganda poster addressing the idea or importance of rationing food items in order to support the war effort. Rationing was a key part of the American War effort. Propaganda posters and films played a key role in maintaining morale for the war. Students will create a propaganda poster including a slogan that highlights the need for proper nutrition on the battlefield. Students will then present their posters to the “Office of War Information” aka the class. Their goal is to argue why their poster best reflects the ideas of the war effort and nutrition in a 1-2 minute presentation. In light of America’s desire to support their soldiers citizens were encouraged to ration in order to provide the troops with the best nutrition possible.

Title of Key Assignment: Soldier Interviews

Students will transcribe or record (either video or audio) an interview conducted with a soldier lasting at least 20 minutes and then analyze this interview in a 2-3 page psychological evaluation based on their study of mental health recovery. Teachers in gathering this material for students may wish to have soldier participants sign a waiver, but no actual treatment will be administered based on the student’s plan. Students will then write a 1 page thank you note to the veteran for their participation and service.

War is a key part of shaping American history and the combatants often have deep physical and mental recovery ahead of them when they return home. This assignment will help students empathize with those who participated in war throughout time and allow them to gain understanding of the horrors of past conflicts and apply what they have learned about mental health and recovery.  Students will be encouraged to seek out a veteran from the Korean War, Vietnam War or WWII to gain understanding and show appreciation for the contribution elders made in their community through the writing of their thank you note. (An alternate assignment might be to invite a large group of veterans to campus to share with students. Or, students might use previous first hand accounts from mass media or literature to create this assignment.)

Title of Writing Writing Assignment: Soldier Recovery Plan

Using the reading Skills for Psychological Recovery, other psychology based texts and classroom lecture students will be instructed on how to develop a recovery plan. Students will then be asked to write a 2-3 page suggested recovery plan that could be used to help walk a soldier returning from combat process his emotions from a psychological perspective.  

War is a key part of shaping American history and the combatants often have deep physical and mental recovery ahead of them when they return home. This assignment will help students empathize with those who participated in war throughout time and allow them to gain understanding of the horrors of past conflicts as well. Students will also demonstrate their ability to write a working recovery plan.

Unit 7 : The U.S. Hospital and as the World’s Doctor?

In this unit students will examine the US westward expansion from the arrival of Europeans and their interaction with Amerindians to the illusion of isolationism to global interventionism in world affairs post WWII.  Students will look at how U.S. international policy has impacted people’s health domestically and globally. Students will read Epidemics and Ideas for consideration as the US government influences other cultures. Students will also evaluate the methods used to prevent, cure, and minimize the spread and impact of diseases both domestically and globally and look at the impact of disease starting with Columbus’s arrival and moving through U.S. history to post WWII.

Title of Key Assignment: Timeline of World War II Related Medical Events

Create a timeline that highlights the medical advancements that are related to the events and technology of World War II. Time lines should consider personal health and fitness as well as medical techniques and medicines. The military conflicts surrounding the battlefields of World War II create the platform for medical practitioners and researchers to develop new techniques, preventive procedures, and medications that were later used in civilian populations.

Title of Key Assignment: Group Presentation on the U.S. Role in Responding to Global disasters and/or Conflicts

Students will work in groups to research and create a 10-15 minute presentation that provides a summary and explains the relevance of responding to political conflict, natural disasters, or man-made disasters. Students should also be encouraged to interview local medical professionals and public service professionals in regards to natural and man-made disaster response planning. Throughout U.S. history, there has been many natural and man-made disasters that have impacted global health, politics, and economics. The study of these events and their impact on the U.S. population and the world has led to an increased concern and the need to extend aid to other countries.

Title of Key Assignment: Epidemics Article

Students create an information based article that traces the historical impact and development of three different epidemics. The article should include timelines, pictures, key events, and important people for each epidemic which can be gathered from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association. Students may choose to create their article through a variety of formats of technology--such as a Word document, a Powerpoint, or a wiki page. Throughout U.S. history, there has been many epidemics that have impacted global health, politics, and economics. The study of these epidemics and their impact on the U.S. population and the world has led to an increased concern and the need to extend aid to other countries.

Title of Writing Assignment: Flu Epidemic of 1918-1919 Writing Review

Write a 1-2 page summary and review of the 1918-1919 Flu Epidemic and how it was related to the United States involvement in World War I. Students must evaluate the risk factors that led to the spread of the disease and evaluate the public health methods that were taken in order to contain, cure and minimize the severity of the outbreak.

The scale of the Influenza Epidemic was so devastating that nearly all medical response and public health measures have led to more focus on prevention. Since the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic, there have been recurring epidemics in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as emergence concerns in the 1970s, late 1990s, and the 2000s due to the increased frequency of international travel. Students will demonstrate understanding regarding legal and ethical issues related to therapeutic treatments and the concept of prevention as a cure.

Title of Writing Assignment: In Class Write on the Importance of Global Emergency Response

Students write a 1-2 page expository essay based on American involvement and response to political, man-made, or natural disasters. Foreign Aid and Policy is a political necessity, and in regards to the United States it has become increasingly even more important considering the American involvement in World War I,  World War II, and the World Health Organization (WHO). Students will also be exposed to the major health concerns related to chemical and nuclear technology, and how U.S. medical science is applied.

Examples of Possible Topics:

  • Israeli Partnership - 1948 to present
  • Korea - 1950s
  • Iran - 1953
  • Vietnam - 1960-70s
  • Chile - 1973
  • Nicaragua - 1980s
  • Chernobyl - 1986
  • 1st Gulf War - Early 1990s
  • 2nd Gulf War - 2000s
  • Indian Ocean Earthquake - 2004
  • Haiti - 2010
  • Tsunami in Japan - 2011
  • Arab Spring and Revolutions - 2011-2012

Title of Writing Assignment: In Class Writing on Epidemics

Students write a 2-3 pages contrasting two different epidemics in American history (from the time of the explorers until now. Students will analyze and contrast the different ways the epidemics were handled and how they influenced public health measures and health care practices. Throughout U.S. history, and there has been many serious diseases that have ranged from local concerns to widespread epidemics. The study of these epidemics and their impact on the U.S. population has led to an increased concern and attempts to eradicate deadly and disabling contagious diseases, such as the American AIDS epidemic.

Unit 8 : With Liberty and Healthcare for All

In this unit students will illuminate matters of class, race, and gender and how social movements have impacted the efforts to promote equal opportunities to access health services in the U.S.  Students examine America’s journey to realize the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence for all citizens. Specific topics will focus on the history of slavery from colonial times, the abolition movement and its leaders, the reconstruction period and the 13-15th Amendments and the impact of the end of reconstruction.  Additionally, students will examine the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, and the policy and government action in regards to equality for minority groups, women’s health, migrant farm workers, and poverty. Influential people such as Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez and others will be studied as leaders of change whose work later influenced access to health care. By examining the texts The Midwife’s Tale, D’Arrigo Contract Signed, Locating Your California Legislators, Women’s Rights Movement Timeline, Your Rights Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Tuskegee Syphilis Study, students will explore immigration health care, women’s reproductive rights, personal medical rights and informed consent as dealt with in the medical community. These changes of equal opportunity lead to a cultural change that is studied more in depth in Unit 9.

Title of Key Assignment: Civil Rights Timeline

Students will create a timeline of the key events in U.S. history in the African American struggle for civil rights, beginning with slavery and end with the 1960s Civil Rights movements and gain. Using information from the primary text or class discussion, students will identify at least 12 key events in the struggle for Civil Rights and describe each event and its impact in one well written paragraph for each event.  In looking at the event’s impact, students should analyze and describe the health or health policy impact of each event as well as the Civil Rights impact of each event. Events may include the slave trade, the Civil War, the Reconstruction Amendments, Dr. King and the nonviolence movement, and Brown v. Board among others. Through this activity, students should demonstrate an understanding of the Civil Rights struggle and the health implications of slavery and the subsequent struggle for equality.      

Title of Key Assignment: Women Have a Voice Too!

In a 2-3 page paper, students will  analyze both sides of the debate for a woman’s right to choose while focusing on the development of equality and access to medical care and the right to make decisions concerning birth control.

Students will discuss the women’s rights movement during the 1960’s with a focus on the National Organization for Women (NOW), feminists like Betty Friedan, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 while defending health decisions, individual rights and social responsibilities.The largest women's rights group in the U.S., NOW seeks to end sexual discrimination, especially in the workplace, by means of legislative lobbying, litigation, and public demonstrations. In addition, students will examine the  invention, adoption, and legalization of the birth control pill.

Expansion option-Read more online: Women's Rights Movement in the U.S.: Timeline of Events (1921-1979) culminating with a lesson on Roe v. Wade. Students will participate in a debate concerning a woman’s right to choose, the class will create their rally signs to gain support for their perspectives and will be given an opportunity to change sides. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the various groups involved in the civil rights movement that included women as well as African Americans, Native Americans and Mexican Americans/Latinos.    

Title of Key Assignment: United Farm Workers, Their Campaign to Provide and Maintain Health Insurance to Migrant Farm Workers and Letter to Legislators

Students will analyze the United Farm Worker website and learn about recent efforts by the United Farm Workers (UFW) to maintain health insurance for migrant farm workers.  Specifically, students will learn about the Beef Northwest and the D’Arrigo contracts. Students will write a persuasive letter to their State Assembly Representative and/or State Senator that expresses their opinion on health care insurance for migrant farm workers in an effort to use public policies to improve health statuses of individuals and the community.  Students will realize that by contacting their elected representatives, they too have a voice in the political process.

Title of Key Assignment: Informed Consent: Know Your Rights

In groups of 2-3, students will create a public service announcement, PSA , advocating the importance  of informed consent in medical testing and treatment. The 30 seconds PSA will consists of 5 to 7 concise assertions, a written script, and edited filmed footage of the message. Students will write a 2 to 3 sentence response to each group’s PSA.  After viewing and responding to all PSA’s, students will write one paragraph stating their response to the call for action.

In 1932, the Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began a study to record the natural history of syphilis in hopes of justifying the treatment programs for blacks. The problems arose when the study was revealed to have been conducted without the benefit of patients informed consent. Patients were not given adequate treatment, nor offered penicillin in 1947 as the preferred drug, nor given the choice of quitting the program. The study was deemed ethically unjustified; hence highlighting the need for informed patient consent, or the purpose and components of a treatment plan related to a patient’s health status.

Title of Writing Assignment: Dr. King’s Goals in Healthcare Paper

In a 3-5 page paper, explain how health care rights are protected under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Students will analyze the views of Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. They will then research at least 2 current institutions or programs that provide opportunities for minorities to gain equal access to services and assess. Despite this legislation, discuss three common ways that Dr. King’s goals are still not being met in healthcare application. It may be helpful to reference the document Your Rights Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for support information.

Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964,which was probably the most progressive legislation in American history. The act outlawed discrimination in public accommodations, public schools, and health care facilities. It also made possible the Medicaid-Medicare legislation of 1965, which led to improved health status of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minority groups. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 helped in the recognition and respect of various cultures of a community and other factors that indicate its diversity in all aspects of communicating the design and implementation of patient care.

Unit 9 : Sports, Civil Rights and American Culture

In this unit, students will investigate how sports have played a key role in the social transformation of American culture in the early 20th century. As the industrial revolution created many health challenges (Unit 3), it also led to the development of leisure time. Much of this leisure time throughout U.S. history has been invested in sports as recreational activities and as spectator events. Students will see how sports have served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement, providing a platform for class, gender, and racial integration. Sports have played a key role in the social transformation and in defining American culture. Sports have served as a backdrop for some of America’s greatest cultural shifts from the 1920s to the 1950s. Sports have served as a catalyst for the Civil Rights movement as well (i.e. Jackie Robinson). From the knowledge gained in previous units on America’s changing and emerging culture, students will understand how sports were reflective of these changes just like art and music. In addition, as professional sports grew in popularity in America, so did recreational sport activities and with them a new batch of health challenges for the general populous. Students will also combine knowledge gained from previous units to form a better understanding of how sports contributed to the influence of pop culture on social transformation. In addition, Students will look at how athletes have inspired social change through good hygiene, nutritious diet, and regular activity within the community. With the rise of professional sports, athletes started training more specifically for sport performance. As a result, competition increased and sport injuries developed. Students will look at how the well-being of competitive athletes inspired the formation of new occupations, such as athletic training and sports medicine. Students will take on the role of an athletic trainer and learn how to create a therapeutic rehabilitation plan for an athlete and apply this knowledge in the creation of a therapeutic plan (including return to play) for a sports icon.

Title of Key Assignment: Civil Rights Sports Icon Hall of Fame Museum

Using the information from their Civil Rights Sports Icon biographical paper students will then l create a Hall of Fame style display using poster board, or some sort of sports memorabilia. The display should include a “plaque” that summarizes the key accomplishments of the athlete both as a sports figure and as a contributor to the civil rights movement. Sports figures throughout American history have become some of the most memorable cultural icons. Individuals like Jackie Robinson and Billie Jean King played significant roles in providing equality through their athletic pursuits.

Title of Key Assignment: Return to Play of a Sport Icon

2 page Return-to-Play plan for a sports icon: Students will look at how the well-being of competitive athletes inspired the formation of new occupations, such as athletic training and sports medicine. Students will take on the role of an athletic trainer and learn how to create a therapeutic rehabilitation plan for an athlete and apply this knowledge in the creation of a therapeutic plan (including return to play) for a sports icon. It must include a timeline for improvement along with nutrition and physical therapy.

Title of Key Assignment: Athletic Trainer Interview

Students will select a sport (preferably the sport played by their Civil Rights Sport Icon) and interview an athletic trainer or team doctor involved in that sport. The athletic trainer could be a high school athletic trainer, but it would be preferred that the students conduct a 20-30 minute interview of an athletic trainer at the collegiate or professional level. Students should make a recording of the interview and write a 2-3 page summary of the interview. As professional sports grew in popularity in America, so did recreational sport activities and with them a new batch of health challenges for the general populous. In conducting this interview, students should ask questions in regards to common injuries and the rehabilitation of those injuries in order to build the foundation for their therapeutic plan (unit assessment).

Title of Writing Assignment: Civil Rights Sports Icon Hall of Fame Paper

Students will pick one athlete from an approved list of 1920-50s sports icons that played a significant role in challenging the color barrier or changing the face of pro athletes in America. Students will write a 3-5 page biographical paper on the selected sports figure which will include the athlete's personal information, athletic accomplishments, and the athlete's historical significance in the sport and civil rights. As the industrial revolution created leisure time for Americans, sports became one of several incredibly popular way to spend discretionary income and as a form of entertainment (among other forms of entertainment which will be discussed in class). From the 1920s to the 1950s sports figures became some of the first cultural icons and the popularity of the games they played created new pastimes (and health benefits) for kids and adults alike.

Title of Writing Assignment: Read and analyze of The Shame of College Sports, article by Taylor Branch in The Atlantic

Students will read and then respond to the article in a persuasive essay of 2-3 pages either agreeing or disagreeing with the article’s premise that college athletes should be paid for their performance. The students will read the article listed above and respond in a persuasive essay analyzing government and collegiate policy towards “student athletes.” The development of college sports and their popularity drastically increased in the 1920s. In addition to the Civil Right Act of 1964 and with the advent of Title IX, the access for women increased and had made a change that affects both men and women involved in sports. This article takes a look at the history of college athletics in America and where this has led us in the modern era. The article highlights the risk student athletes take when participating in college sports and thus can lead to a discussion on the health risks and benefits of participating in college athletics, including the need to develop rehabilitation plans so athletes can return to the field of play.

Unit 10 : Modern Public Health Epidemics and Challenges

In this culminating unit, students will work in groups to apply what they have learned in community and public health to and create a plan for improving or addressing a modern epidemic or community health challenge. Students will read The Shame of College Sports and use the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association to thoroughly research and analyze the impact of a recent or current health challenge in the United States, work to develop and implement a plant to informing the community on the topic and analyze the government policy on these issues, This plan will then be shared  with the class and community through multiple mediums.

Title of Key Assignment: Service for the elderly poster

Students will interview a senior citizen in their community and discuss what needs they may have from the community or health care providers and then use that information to create a poster advocating a new medical, recreational or health service for older adults.

Gerontology is an increasingly important medical field as the “baby boomer” population ages. This will make students more aware of gerontology needs and careers in the field. Students will also gain a historical perspective as they discuss with citizens who lived through key historical events they have studied.

Title of Key Assignment: Tri-fold public information pamphlet on selected health challenge or topic

1 - 8.5x11 sheet tri-fold pamphlet including pictures and key information about the disease, the government response, and economic impact. This will serve as part of a cumulative project where students synthesize and apply what they have learned about healthcare in U.S. history to modern day health challenges in the United States. Some topics students may cover include but are not limited to: AIDS, SARS, the needs of the elderly, diabetes/obesity, etc.

Title of Key Assignment: Public Health Epidemic and Challenges Presentation

Students will present a 3-5 minute presentation using powerpoint to communicate with the class the key aspects of their findings on the disease, economic impact, government response etc. about their chosen epidemic or challenge. This will serve as part of a cumulative project where students synthesize and demonstrate what they have learned about healthcare in U.S. history and how it applies to modern day health challenges in the United States. Some topics students may cover include but are not limited to: AIDS, SARS, needs of the elderly, diabetes/obesity, etc.

Title of Writing Assignment: Modern Public Health Epidemic and Challenges Research Paper

In groups of 2-3, students will select a topic from an approved list of public health epidemics/challenges. Students will write a 3-5 page paper describing and analyzing the disease and its impact on the body, the economic impact, the government and public response, the impact on society, and how the crisis was/is being addressed. This will serve as the cornerstone cumulative project where students synthesize and apply what they have learned about healthcare in U.S. history to modern day health challenges in the United States. Some topics students may cover include but are not limited to: AIDS, SARS, the needs of the elderly, diabetes/obesity, etc.

Course Materials

Primary Texts:

  • Title: District approved U.S. history textbook
    Usage: Read in entirety or near entirety

  • Title: Introduction to Health Science Technology
    Edition: 2nd
    Publication Date: 2009, Publisher: DelMar Cengage Learning
    Author(s): Louise Simmers, Karen Simmers-Nartker, and Sharon Simmers-Kobelak
    Usage: Read in entirety or near entirety

Supplemental Instructional Materials:

  • Title: The Shame of College Sports
    Edition: Publication Date: October, 2011; Publisher: The Atlantic
    Author(s): Taylor Branch
    Usage: Unit 10. This article explores the link between athletics, politics and economics and will be sued as a discussion starter to analyze the risks and rewards of professional athletic pursuits in this country.

  • Title: The Jungle
    Publication Date: 1906; Publisher: Doubleday, Jabber and company
    Author(s): Upton Sinclair
    Usage: Unit 3, Unit 5. A classic read for U.S. history and allows students to explore the interconnectedness between nutrition, big business, and working environments.

  • Title: A Midwife’s Tale
    Publication Date: June, 1994; Publisher: Vintage
    Usage: Unit 8.

  • Title: Major Problems in the history of American Medical and Health
    Publication Date: October, 2006; Publisher: Wadsworth
    Author(s): John Hurley Warner, and Janet A. Tighe
    Usage: Able to be used throughout the entire course

  • Title: A People’s History of the United States
    Publication Date: November, 2010; Publisher: Harper Perennial
    Author(s): Howard Zinn
    Usage: Able to be used throughout the course, a supplemental traditional U.S. history text

  • Title: Locating Your California Legislators website
    Usage: Unit 8
  • Title: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The fates of human societies
    Publisher: W.W. Norton and Company
    Author(s): Jared Diamond
    Usage: Able to be used throughout the entire course

  • Title: The History of Medicine "1800-1850" website
    Publisher: Wellness Directory of Minnesota
    Usage: Unit 1

  • Title: The General Motors Conspiracy
    Edition: Volume 5, No. 3 Summer 1997 (p.45-66), Publisher: Transportation Quarterly
    Author(s): Ed O' Rourke
    Usage: Unit 3

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