Lesson Plan: Who Was T.C. "Tommy" Douglas?
Ask the students to generate as many
names of present-day Canadian politicians as they can. Ask one student to
record the names on the board. Ask another student to record the names of
Canadian political figures from the past.
Political figures can come from all levels of politics in our nation,
from local through federal.
After the names are on the board, have the students identify one major issue associated with each of the names. Alternatively, divide the class into small groups, then have each group select three names and identify an issue associated with each one. When the students have completed the task, explain the focus of the activity will be on one national historical figure, often referred to as the "father of medicare," and introduce T.C. "Tommy" Douglas.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic The Birth of Medicare on the CBC Digital
Archives website and have them thoroughly examine the clip "Tommy Douglas,
Canada's father of medicare". As they browse, they should take point-form notes
that create a biography of Tommy Douglas. Students who wish can supplement
their information using additional print and electronic sources.
Students' biographies should clearly articulate the significant events that led to Douglas being named the "father of medicare."
Revisit and Reflect
When the students have completed their biographies, they can meet in groups of four or five. They should share the information they gathered, and then generate a list of personality characteristics that they would attribute to Douglas. Have groups share their lists with the rest of the class and together discuss what type of person is needed to bring new and different social programs into a province and into a country.
Write the phrase "Tommy Douglas - Father of Medicare" on the board. Students can write a paragraph to support or deny the phrase. Students should present information to defend their position.