CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Too Much Fluoride?

1 to 2 lessons
To develop an understanding that the fluoridation issue is a very complex one with evidence to support both sides
Students use a K-W-L chart to prepare and present a summary of the key debate points on the fluoridation issue.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Divide students into groups of three. Each group will work for 10 minutes to complete the first column of a K-W-L chart. They can use questions 1 through 5 on the download sheet Too Much Fluoride? to guide their thinking. Begin a class K-W-L chart, recording points from each group.

Then ask students to identify several points they want to learn about the topic of fluoridation. They can use questions 6 through 8 on the download sheet to guide their thinking. Record questions in the W column of the class chart and have students record them on their own charts.

Outline the Opportunity

Have each group of students view the clip "How much is too much?" on the topic The Fluoride Debate on the CBC Digital Archives website to gather information to answer questions 9 through 13 on the download sheet. Groups discuss the answers and complete the L column of their chart.

Revisit and Reflect


Gather as a class and use student responses to complete the class chart. Ask students to identify any inconsistencies between their K and L columns. Have students discuss the sources of any inconsistencies. Identify any questions that were not answered and develop strategies to locate the answers.

Assessment Tip
Give each student an index card and ask students to summarize the key arguments for and against fluoridation.



Students can respond in writing to the following:

Opponents to fluoridation refer to the fluoridation of water and other foods as "mass medication." Ask: What does this phrase mean? Does the state (government) have the right to "mass medicate"? Are there situations where "mass medication" is not acceptable and situations where it is acceptable? If so, give examples. If not, why not?

Download PDF

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