CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: A Century of Canadian Women in Sports

History, Social Studies, Physical Education
1 lesson
To explore the history of Canadian women in sports
Students will analyze the progress made by women in professional sports from the beginning of the 20th century to the present.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Have students brainstorm what has changed in the lives of women over the course of the 20th century. Identify changes in home life, professional life and social life. Ask: Have the changes been good for women, for families, and for society as a whole?

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic Fair Game: Pioneering Canadian Women in Sports on the CBC Digital Archives website. Assign half the class to view/listen to the clips 'One of the greatest all-around athletes,' 'The reigning queens of basketball,' 'The first lady of Canadian golf' and 'Barbara Ann Scott: Canada's Sweetheart' and the other half to view/listen to the clips 'Making hockey history,' 'Playing with the big boys' and 'Clara Hughes' passion for the fast ice.'  As they view and listen, students should keep notes on the experiences of the women profiled.

Students should then select a partner from the other group and compare notes. Pairs will write a brief presentation on how the experiences of Canadian women in sports have changed over the last century. Pairs should identify the major milestones and accomplishments of Canadian female athletes in the 20th century.

Revisit and Reflect

Have students present their work to the class. During the presentation, create a timeline of major events on the board or chart paper. Ask: What, if anything, do the female athletes of today owe the female athletes earlier in the century?


Students can select one of the women profiled and reflect in their journal about how she inspires them.

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