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Lesson Plan:

For Teachers: Changing Attitudes

Type: Introductory
Subjects: History, Social Studies
Duration: 1 to 2 lessons
Purpose: To gather information; to present information in a timeline
Summary: In this introductory activity, students will create a timeline identifying changing attitudes toward smoking.

Before Exploring

Place students into groups of two to three and ask them to discuss current ideas about smoking, what percentage of students they think are smokers, and how acceptable smoking in public is today.

Outline the Opportunity

Have students browse through the clips on the topic Butting Out: The Slow Death of Smoking in Canada on the CBC Digital Archives website, paying particular attention to the clips 'Canadian tobacco makes a fine cigarette,' and 'Kicking the habit' and the additional clips 'Harvest time in tobacco country,' 'No smokes for Demi and Sly,' and 'The next non-smoking frontier: outdoors.'

After examining the clips, have the student groups create a timeline that illustrates the events and times that caused changes in levels of smoking in the country.

Assessment Tip: Look for at least six good points on the timeline. Make sure the timeline is proportional so viewers can easily relate one event to another in time. Students should be able to set their points in scale.

Revisit and Reflect

Have students present their timelines to the class. Then create a class timeline highlighting the steps in the process of Canada's efforts to change attitudes toward smoking. As a class, decide on the three most important steps taken by Canada in the fight against smoking.


Students can examine efforts made by other nations to fight against smoking and consider why some nations do fight it and others don't.