Lesson Plan: For Teachers: What Does "Medicare" Mean to You?
Ask the students to think about the last time they
visited a doctor or the hospital. (Be sensitive to the fact that some students
might be facing some challenging medical situations.) Write "Doctor's
Office/Clinic" on one side of the board and "Hospital Visits/Stays" on the
Assign a student to be the recorder for each heading. Ask the students to state what their expectations are when they go to the doctor's office or clinic or when they visit or stay in the hospital. Students may suggest cleanliness, friendliness, and punctuality, and they may comment on costs.
Outline the Opportunity
Have students use a Canadian dictionary
to define the term "medicare." Explain to the students the differences between
a national medicare program, a two-tiered system of medicare, and a private
system of medicare.
Have students view the clip "The pros and cons of medicare" on the topic The Birth of Medicare on the CBC Digital Archives website. Students will then write a letter to the Prime Minister to show support for a national medicare program, for a two-tier system of health care delivery, or for private medical programs. Have students present a first draft of their letter to another student for peer editing. They should then submit a revised letter for evaluation.
Revisit and Reflect
When students have completed their letters, they can gather with other students who wrote about or supported the same topic: those who support national medicare, those who think a two-tiered system could work, and those who support a private system. Have each group create a list of the most salient points to support its position. Each group then selects a spokesperson to present its argument to the class. Hold a class discussion where students can defend their position or change their position based on the arguments they heard.
Students can explore the clip "Citizen's Forum discusses the possibility of medicare" on the topic The Birth of Medicare on the CBC Digital Archives website. Ask the students to consider whether the issues are the same as they were a half century ago. Would they have written the same letter in 1955 that they wrote today? Have students revise their letters to reflect the views from 1955.