Lesson Plan: Pioneering Canadian Women in Sports
Ask students to brainstorm names of famous Canadian athletes from both the past and present. Record their responses on the board or chart paper. Discuss the number of male athletes they named compared with the number of female athletes. If not mentioned by the students, identify several successful female athletes.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Fair Game: Pioneering Canadian Women in Sports on the CBC Digital Archives website. Allow them time to browse the clips 'One of the greatest all-around athletes,' 'The reigning queens of basketball,' 'The first lady of Canadian golf,' 'Pint-sized teen becomes the first to swim Lake Ontario,' 'He's a girl,' 'Lucille Wheeler, Canada's first ski champion,' Anne Heggtveit wins slalom gold in 1960,' 'Barbara Ann Scott: Canada's Sweetheart,' 'A success on and off the slopes,' 'Making hockey history,' 'Playing with the big boys' and 'Clara Hughes' passion for the fast ice.' As they browse, students will work in pairs to complete a chart with three columns, titled "Name of Female Athlete," "Type of Sport," and "Time Frame."
Revisit and Reflect
Have students offer information from their chart as you collate a master chart. Ask:
- Who did you find most interesting? Why?
- Did you learn anything new or surprising?
- Which obstacles, if any, did these female athletes have to overcome that their male counterparts did not?
In their pairs, students can perform a mock interview with one of the female athletes listed. Questions can include:
- Why did you choose your particular sport?
- Who or what were the positive influences in your life that led you to your success?
- What message do you have for female athletes?