The impact of the theory of the four humours on medicine: the case of the three tadpoles!

This lesson was conceived, taught and evaluated by Simon Harrison, when he was an Advanced Skills Teacher, Swanmore Technology College in Spring 2007. Students have to consider ways of representing people’s beliefs in the  4 humours as they developed over time and then attempt a past GCSE question which they have modelled for them .

Learning objectives

  • to introduce / develop understanding of the 3Cs
  • to reinforce the key stages in development and use of the four humours
  • to assess impact of the theory of the four humours
  • to apply skills to source based questions of the type found in section A of paper.

Step 1

Start with Slides 2,3,and 4 of the ‘Four Humours PowerPoint presentation’. Slowly reveal the 4 Humours diagram, explaining the difference between Hippocrates’ original idea, Galen’s additions and then further medieval developments.

Step 2

Then briefly recap the views of individuals involved in the story, using slide 5.  Explain the importance of this topic in their exam (35/75 marks, definitely in the exam etc.) using slide 7 to cover the key aspects they need to focus on.

Step 3

Then Use ‘Source Table’ and ‘Impact of the 4 Humours; sources’ (expanded to A3) to complete

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