Key Concept: SYSTEMS

Global Context:

Fairness & Develompment

Fairness and development

Unit Question:

Why are systems important to health-care?

Setting the Scene:

Overview of Ancient Medicine (youtube)

In our introductory lesson we need to start thinking about Healthcare – what does it mean? who does it relate to? when does it happen? why do we need it? how is it practiced?

We also need to know what life was like before the field of medicine really existed. This will give us a starting point from which to track the development of medicine. So what was illness and medicine like before medical developments began to occur?

An Introduction to Prehistoric Medicine: Read the information on pages 4 -5 and complete questions 1 -4. (History of medicine)


Task – Ancient Medicine

Each group will be assigned one of the major civilizations, your task will be to create a way to share the BIG IDEAS from each of the civilizations with your class. To teach us about the important medical developments which occurred in ancient times. You will need to teach the Big Ideas for Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome and Ancient China.

How did ancient civilisations contribute to the development of medicine

  • Every member of the group MUST do the reading first – Silently – TAKE NOTES
  • Each member contributes at least 3 questions and the answers that go with it (right and wrong)
  • Create a Kahoot with at least 15 questions to play with your class

Your group has ONE BLOCK to read the information and ONE BLOCK to prepare the Kahoot and ONE BLOCK to play with each other.

BIG IDEA No. 1 –The Egyptians – the beginning of medicial developments and the introduction of doctors.

These are the pages we will be using as our resources for understanding medicine in Ancient Egypt:

From the blue book: Egypt

From the white book: Egyptians – white book


Read p22-23 of the WHITE BOOK (link above) and answer these questions in your workbook:

1. Egyptians continued to use ideas and methods to treat illness which had been used by prehistoric peoples. These included: magical treatments, belief that the gods and spirits caused illness, herbs as medicines, priests or medicine men as healers. Describe the ways Egyptians continued to use old ideas about medicine (give examples from your learning).

2. Egyptians also developed new ideas and methods which helped to improve medicine. These were: doctors, metal surgical instruments, new knowledge of anatomy, believing that disease had a logical cause (not religious). Describe the Egyptians’ new discoveries by explaining how they helped to improve medicine.

3. Why were these changes important? How did they contribute to the development of medicine?


BIG IDEA No. 2 –The Greeks – the causes of illness had alogical explanation, it wasn’t all the fault of the Gods!

The big idea was that there was a logical reason for getting sick. The idea was that there were four humours in the body….no, that’s not supposed to be funny.

Our Sources – scans of the books

Greek Medicine in the BLUE BOOK: Greece

Greek Medicine in the WHITE BOOK (pages. 26-31): Greeks – white book

Hippocrates in the WHITE BOOK (pg 32-33): White Book – Hippocrates

Check out this website for a summary of what we have learned. Ancient Greek Medicine


Finally, you are going to watch this video clip about Hippocrates:

 BIG IDEA No. 3 – The Romans

The big idea from the Romans was prevention – public baths and clean water could stop people from getting sick in the first place. They spent a lot of time and money providing clean water for people in Roman towns.


Blue book –  Romans.

Galen – Blue Book Galen

White Book (this has all the pages we have looked and a a few more if you want some extra info) – White Book Rome

Map of the Roman Empire: click here

Make a simple version of this map in your notebook.

Using the internet find examples (pictures) of the following

Roman aqueduct
Cistern and public fountain
Roman Bath

Copy them or print and paste them into your notebook. Under each picture, explain why this important in the development of medicine.



Romans – Galen

Who was Galen?

Using the information in page 28-29 write notes about Galen and his contribution to medicine.


BIG IDEA No. 4 – The big idea in China was medicine/remedies.

How did they use natural resources to cure ailments?

USE these links:

Facts About Ancient Chinese Medicine

Ancient Chinese Medicine

Ancient China 

The Origin of Chinese Folk Medicine