Constitution's crew are a healthy lot. Few catch the infectious diseases that on other ships are more deadly than enemy cannon. And if a sailor does fall ill, he is soon treated. In the sickbay surgeon Amos Evans and his assistants usually care for a dozen or more patients. Rest, cleanliness and a better diet cure most of them, but the medical treatment they get is little help. Lacking modern drugs and medical knowledge, the surgeon's prescriptions harm patients as often as healing them.
Describe the scene in Sickbay with your students. Sickbay was on the Berth Deck, the same deck where healthy sailors slept in their hammocks and ate with their messmates. Why would we frown on housing our sick friends in the same room as our healthy friends today? Can your students find any precautions against spreading disease by looking closely and reading the conversations in the active "Sickbay" scene in Explore Old Ironsides?
Scurvy is a disease resulting from a deficiency of vitamin C. Play this simple guessing game with students to identify which of their fruits and vegetables would help them prevent scurvy! Simply print the activity double sided, cut out the cards, laminate them for durability if you'd like, and place them image side up. Challenge your students to guess which ones have vitamin C. Flip them over to find out the answer - some of them may surprise you!