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Health Care Crosswords

Subject: Health
Estimated Time of Completion: 1 or 2 homework nights or 1 class period


• To be intelligent consumers by learning terminology associated with the insurance health care industry
• To become familiar with terms used in the video "Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?" as background information for further projects concerning the video.


This activity addresses the following national content standards established by McREL at
• Knows factors that influence personal selection of health care resources, products, and services • Knows local, state, federal, and private agencies that protect and/or inform the consumer (e.g. FDA, EPA, OSHA, local prosecutor's office)
• Understands the cost and accessibility of a variety of health-care services (e.g. health insurance coverage)

Tools Needed

• Video: "Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?"
• The following web sites may be used as references:

• PBS: Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?

• Health Insurance Resource Center

• Wellness Web

• Help for Health

• Healthtouch Online

• Consumer Insurance Guide

Health Insurance Terms Crossword

Health Insurance Terms Crossword 2

Procedures and Activities

• Begin by asking the class what would happen if their teacher started talking to them in Russian. Query them as to how much they would understand. What if the teacher tried to talk to them about a health insurance policy? Would they understand it if their teacher asked them about flex plans, HMO's, and PPO's? Explain that confusion occurs even when people are speaking the same language, but don't know the meaning of words or terms that are used.
• Explain to students that they are about to see a video entitled "Healthcare Crisis - Who's At Risk?" which will help them understand how health insurance works. Ask students how many of them think they will need or purchase health insurance at some time in their lives. Why is it important to have health insurance?
• There may be terminology they couldn't explain or understand.
• Suggest that students take notes when terminology they don't know is used and also to write the definition where possible.
• Explain to them that their homework will be to complete two crossword puzzles dealing with health insurance and healthcare terminology.
• Explain also that without this foundation, the ensuing projects dealing with this topic will be like "Russian" to them if they don't understand the healthcare "language."


Grading will be the number of correct responses to the puzzles.

Extensions and Applications

Students may do this assignment in partners with one partner completing one puzzle and the other the second puzzle. In class, the partners would then explain to each other the meaning of all the terminology on their separate puzzles.

The puzzles could be used as a Parent Talk assignment where they are completed with their parents.

Students might also refer to their notes and determine which terms weren't used in the two puzzles they completed. What other terms might be important for citizens to understand? Visiting the Web sites referenced above may help students identify other important terms. Students may create their own crossword puzzles using these words by visiting the Crossword Puzzle Generator, and then creating their own clues.

This is a good lesson to precede the other lessons in this web site, since the other lessons require knowledge of terminology before researching further.

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