CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers - Healthy Living: How Does this Website Impact Medicare?

Social Studies, Political Science
2 to 3 lessons
To assess information, debate various viewpoints, and support an opinion in writing
Using a variety of web-based resources, students will assess the information on Health Canada’s Healthy Living website, present and debate the issues around using taxpayer money to publish such information, and write a position paper supporting an opinion on the matter.

Lesson Plan


This activity is best suited for senior students taking Sociology, Physical Education, or Political Science. The Health Canada website includes a section called Healthy Living. Students will have the opportunity to assess the information on this section of the website and to determine whether such information should reasonably be paid for with tax dollars, as well as whether the publication of such information has an impact on medicare.

The Task

Direct students to the topic The Birth of Medicare on the CBC Digital Archives website. They should review all 10 clips, keeping in mind why medicare was created and why there was opposition to the initiative.

Divide the class into eight groups. Assign each group one of the following topics: Food and Nutrition, Physical Activity, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Family Violence, Mental Health, Safety and Injury, Sexuality, and Smoking. Have groups visit the Health Canada website and make notes about the information they find on their topic.

Students will then create a visual interpretation of their information. Have students share their presentations before holding a class discussion about the following questions:

Why has the federal government paid to make this information available to all Canadians?

Is the Health Canada Web site a good use of taxpayer dollars?

What is the impact of, if any, on the medicare program, of providing this information to the public?

The Process

Students will work in their assigned groups. They should take detailed notes from their section of the website. Students' presentations should be clear, with good descriptions to support their visuals. Students should be prepared to discuss or debate the questions listed.


When all of the presentations have been completed and the debates have taken place, have each student write a position paper on the following statement: "Canadians are responsible for ensuring that they live a healthy lifestyle in order to be eligible for state-funded medicare."

Following submission of the position papers, you may want to hold a formal debate in class.


Necessary materials for visual presentation (poster board, art materials)

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