The unit begins with an in-class activity and discussion prompted by a letter written to the student from “Mom.” This letter provides the introduction and background knowledge for the student, as well as giving the student a sense of purpose for participating in the virtual world. Accompanying the unit, and introduced in the in-class activity, is a student journal for Plague World. Students complete the first page of their journal in class before entering the computer lab, and will continue to use the journal throughout the unit.

This unit is designed for students to: understand the role that ethics play in science and technology, begin to consider whether “the ends justify the means” in a particular situation, begin to think about the importance of companionship, and about what it means to be “human.” This Unit meets state standards for both persuasive writing and decision making.

Learning objectives and competency goals
By participating in and completing the Plague World Unit, students will:
• Begin to develop decision-making techniques
• Compose a persuasive essay
• Develop a sense of personal ethics in science and technology
• Learn how to determine whether “the ends justify the means”
• Feel a sense of activism for promoting and protecting healthy communities.