Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Should Fitness Be Mandatory?
Ask students their opinions about physical fitness.
Is personal fitness your responsibility, or your option?
Are unfit people a burden on our collective health care system?
Should unfit people have to pay a "fat tax"?
Should fit people get a tax credit?
How should we treat smokers in this regard?
Outline the Opportunity
Divide the class into groups. Present the following statements:
a. Canadians have a responsibility to each other to be physically fit.
b. Canadians who are not physically fit
should have to pay a portion of their increased health care costs.
Direct students to the topic Getting Physical: Canada's Fitness Movement on the CBC Digital Archives website and have them view the clips titled "Exercise is for kids", "Committing armchair suicide", "Eggleton sweats to '80s pop", and "ParticipACTION packing it in?"
From the information they gather, they will make notes that either support statements a. and b., support statement a. but not statement b., support statement b. but not statement a., or oppose both statements.
Groups should then turn their notes into a clear summary of their position.
Revisit and Reflect
Have each group present its
position, and offer a brief opportunity for rebuttal after each group has
presented. Moderate their discussion to be sure that students stay on topic and
that their statements remain impersonal.
After the debating has finished, invite students to share their own personal beliefs and what it was like to advocate a position they may not have believed in.
Students can search for other topics where communal responsibilities and personal freedoms conflict, such as, should people be allowed to :
abstain from voting?
have a firearm?
hunt and fish?
use unlimited amounts of water?
produce unlimited amounts of garbage?
They can research and debate the issue with a partner.