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diabetes activity

Vegetable Lab
Diabetes Unit


oral health

Oral Health Unit


Banting, Best, and All the Rest: The Diabetes Hunters

diabetes unit

Topic: Diabetes

Part of:
Unit: Bittersweet: Diabetes

Entire Activity Download (12 pages - 2 MB)


Individual Downloads


diabetes, research, timeline

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Key Concepts

history of diabetes research, relating cultural milieu to scientific spirit of historical periods


Process Skills

Predicting, Sequencing, Concluding, Defending


Intended Grade Level - 6-8



Using information in tabular form, students will be able to:

  • Make predictions with regard to time periods by analyzing headings
  • Place events concerning diabetes research in chronological order
  • Defend placement of events by citing specific evidence
  • Draw conclusions as to the “big” picture of diabetes research

Activity Description

Students like to understand topics globally before delving into details, and they are intrigued when they can use prior knowledge to solve mysteries. This activity allows students to examine headings on research and specific events and then conclude where they belong on a time-line.The class discusses which words or ideas aided in proper placement, and individual members profit from discussion as well as self-correction about mistaken ideas.


Activity Materials (per student)

  • Student Information Page
  • Student Data Page
  • Library cart of books on each time period (optional)
  • 1 set of cards (per group)

Activity Management Suggestions

Most students might need to do one event with teacher direction (or as a sample) and complete the activity with a partner. You might ask the school librarian to compile a cart of books about each time period in this activity (not about diabetes research, however) in case students do not have enough basic historical knowledge to proceed. The activity is designed to develop analytical thinking skills, and as such, students should not simply look up each event in diabetes research.


Modifications: Special education and ESL students may profit by having part or all of the clues filled in for them. Then, they too may be guided to discern the correct time period and discuss answers orally with their peers.


Extension: Provide students with a timeline of science technology development during the same time periods and ask students to make inferences about the connection between the advancement of technology and scientific research.


References Used

American Diabetes Association. (1998, November 1). Milestones in Diabetes Treatment. Diabetes Forecast, 76-80.


American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th edition). (2004). New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.


Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. (2005). National Diabetes Fact Sheet: General Information & National Estimates on Diabetes in the U.S., 2005.Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Papaspyros, N. S. MD (1964). The History of Diabetes Mellitus, 2nd edition. Stuttgart, Germany: Gerog Thieme Publishers.


Sanders, L. J. DPM. (2002). From Thebes to Toronto and the 21st Century: An Incredible Journey. Diabetes Spectrum, 15(1), 56-60.


Sanders, L. J. DPM. (2001). The Philatelic History of Diabetes: In Search of a Cure. Alexandria: American Diabetes Association.


Skinner, H. A. (1961). Origin of Medical Terms. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins Co.