CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Key Figures in the Birth Control Debate

Social Studies
2 lessons
To identify key points and key figures associated with the use of birth control in Canada
Students will create a visual display to share information about a key figure involved in the history of birth control in Canada.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Before they begin work on this activity, students will need to define both Canada's Criminal Code and Planned Parenthood in Canada. Consider having students research the information for a homework assignment, and then bring a workable definition to class the next day. Alternatively, provide class time for students to find the information. As a class, agree on a workable definition of each term.

Outline the Opportunity

Have students read the information about, and then view, the clip "Looking back" from the topic The Birth Control Pill on the CBC Digital Archives website. As they read, students should note the key facts and issues that are presented.

Divide the class into five groups. As a class, develop criteria for the visual display that each group will prepare. Assign each group one of the key figures mentioned in the clip: Dorothea Palmer, Harold Fine, A.R. Kaufman, Barbara and George Cadbury and Dr. Carl Djerrasi. Have each group member research the person's life. Group members will then gather, pool their information, and create a visual display that tells about their individual and his or her role in the history of birth control in Canada.

Revisit and Reflect

Have students share their visual display with the class, highlighting three to five key pieces of information. Students should be prepared to ask and answer questions. Display the visuals in the classroom.



Students can role-play an interview with the figure they studied, or with another key figure that interests them. Questions should focus on that person's role in the history of birth control in Canada

Related Content

The Birth Control Pill

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Dr. Carl Djerrasi ('mother of the pill') refl...

Dr. Djerrasi talks about his contribution to the birth control pill.

Longer interview with Dr. John Rock on the pi...

An in-depth visit with Dr. John Rock, considered the inventor of the contraceptive pill.