History Storytime - For Kids

Medicine: The Cow and the Smallpox vaccine (and the Coronavirus)

April 19, 2020

Sophie (aged 7) and Ellie (aged 4) tell the story of the Smallpox vaccine. They are bored at home with the Coronavirus. They cast their mind to the Smallpox virus which devastated civilisations and killed millions of people all over the world. We learn how we defeated smallpox through the bravery of people like George Washington and the genius of Edward Jenner with some help from Blossom the Cow. This positive and uplifting story gives hope and trust that we have beaten viruses like smallpox and can do it again.

We learn:

  • How smallpox killed millions
  • How smallpox is a virus like coronavirus but much more dangerous
  • We learn how some think that China gave smallpox to the Roman world through trade
  • We follow Cortez and the Spanish as they conquer the Aztec Empire with the help of Smallpox
  • We come across an evil British general who wants to use smallpox as a biological weapon
  • We see how George Washington in the American War of Independence is brave enough to try a new prevention treatment for smallpox
  • Sophie tells the science of how vaccines work to build up immunity for viruses like smallpox and maybe one day Coronavirus
  • We meet Blossom the Cow and Edward Jenner. We learn about Edward Jenner’s experiments to develop a vaccine against smallpox.
  • We find out about the scientific method and how experiments are the foundation of science.
  • We celebrate Edward Jenner’s great success in developing a vaccine to prevent smallpox.
  • We see how smallpox has now been completely eradicated by modern science.
  • We hope for and foresee a world where other viruses like Coronavirus can be eradicated too.

This episode works well with the Florence Nightingale episode on the foundation of modern nursing:


And with the Black Death episode the on the pandemic of the 14th century:



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