Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Pearson's Legacy
Discuss what the word legacy means to the students. Clarify any misunderstandings around the term. Ask: Do you think leaving a legacy is important? Is it important for political leaders to leave a legacy? Have students form small groups and discuss what they feel have been some of the greatest achievements and legacies made in Canada. They should identify the top five. Gather students and have them share their lists. Discuss the choices made and decide on the top three for the class.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Lester B. Pearson: From Peacemaker to Prime Minister on the CBC Digital Archives website. In their groups, have students browse the clips "Front Page Pearson," "Prime minister, at long last," "Standing up to de Gaulle," "Too intelligent for politics," "Changing of the Grit guard," "Reflections on a life in politics" and "We are all Pearson's children," as well other links provided. Students are to identify any of Pearson's achievements as Prime Minister that have had a lasting impact on Canada. They discuss these achievements and select the one they feel is his greatest legacy. They create a web to show the impact of the achievement on Canada and be prepared to defend their choice as his greatest legacy.
Revisit and Reflect
Gather students and have a representative from each group present the achievement they chose and the web they made. Allow for the opportunity to discuss and question each choice. Have students vote on the one achievement they feel is Lester Pearson's greatest legacy to Canada.
Have students research other Prime Ministers of Canada, identify their achievements, and select their greatest legacy to Canada as Prime Minister. Create a Wall of Fame and post the legacy for each Prime Minister.