Background:

More than 47 million Americans were uninsured in 2008, according to data from the United States Census Bureau. That all-time high came as more individuals and employers decided that they could no longer afford health insurance premiums.

Following the "a picture is worth a thousand words" adage, this activity engages students in learning about the problems of the uninsured in America and asks: who are the uninsured; why are they uninsured; what problems do they face; and what are some possible solutions to those problems. Materials Needed:

Procedure:

1. Assign as homework the student/adult Insurance Survey. Students should attempt to interview as many people as possible, with a minimum of three. Ask students to share some of the responses to the survey with their classmates. What surprised them? What did they learn from the survey? Did they see any problems that they hadn't thought of before?

2. With the survey projected from the overhead, or written on a blackboard, ask a student to tally class responses to the survey questions.

3. Explain that students will be exploring a growing problem in American that affects each of us, and the problem is explored in the Online NewsHour site Uninsured in America.

4. Ask students the following questions:

  1. Who do you think the uninsured might be?
    b. Are they working?
    c. Unemployed?
    d. Poor?
    e. Adults?
    f. Children?
    g. Why do students think these people are uninsured?
    h. Are there currently any programs to assist the uninsured?
    i. How do the problems of the uninsured affect us as a society as well as individuals.
5. Students will work in six groups to create posters or life-size cutouts depicting the topic of the uninsured in America. They should use Internet and other resources for their research. The group topics:

  1. an adult profile of the uninsured
    b. an uninsured child's profile
    c. a profile of programs designed to help the uninsured
    d. a profile depicting problems facing those responsible for administering programs for the uninsured
    e. a profile of possible solutions to the uninsured problem in America
    f. a profile depicting the fears or worries confronting the uninsured
6. Each group will also generate five multiple choice questions about their cutout to be used as part of a student-generated written test after all the presentations.

More health lesson plans from PBS Teachers

Correlation to National Health Standards:

NPH-H.9-12.2 HEALTH INFORMATION, PRODUCTS AND
SERVICES
NPH-H.9-12.4 INFLUENCES ON HEALTH
NPH-H.9-12.5 USING COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO
PROMOTE HEALTH
NPH-H.9-12.1 HEALTH PROMOTION AND DISEASE
PREVENTION
NPH-H.9-12.2 HEALTH INFORMATION, PRODUCTS AND
SERVICES
NPH-H.9-12.3 REDUCING HEALTH RISKS
NPH-H.9-12.4 INFLUENCES ON HEALTH
NPH-H.9-12.5 USING COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO
PROMOTE HEALTH
NPH-H.9-12.6 SETTING GOALS FOR GOOD HEALTH
NPH-H.9-12.7 HEALTH ADVOCACY
NPH-H.9-12.6 SETTING GOALS FOR GOOD HEALTH
NPH-H.9-12.7 HEALTH ADVOCACY

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