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Bring Women's History to
Life in the Classroom

Educate and inspire tomorrow's men and women with activities relating to important women of the past and present! Included: Cross-curriculum activities for all grades!

Congress has declared March to be Women's History Month and now is the perfect time to make students more aware of the important contributions women have made throughout history. The activities below will help you seamlessly incorporate those lessons into many different areas of your curriculum.

CELEBRATE WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH!

ABC order. Provide students with a list of historically important American woman, such as those found at the Distinguished Women Web site. (That site's list includes Rosa Parks, Jeannette Rankin, Amelia Earhart, Elizabeth Blackwell, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, and Eleanor Roosevelt.) Ask students to put the names in alphabetical order (by last name)..

Write a letter. Invite students to read about Michelle Obama to learn about our current first lady. Encourage students to write her a letter or send an e-mail. Students can tell her about an issue that concerns them. Younger students might ask a question about the role of the first lady.

Geography. Invite students to go to the Amelia Earhart Web site to learn about her life. Provide students with a map of the world and ask them to trace the path of her final flight.

History/art. Encourage students to design a U.S. postage stamp in honor of this year's Women's History Month.

Career education/art. Arrange students into groups and assign each group a career category, such as technology, medicine, or entertainment. Ask students to research as many jobs as possible within their assigned category and create a poster encouraging other students to enter that career field. Remind older students to research and include specific information on their posters, such as job descriptions, educational requirements, and salary ranges.

History. Write the name of each first lady on a separate index card and ask each student to pick a card. (Some students might pick more than one card.) Have students research the first lady they chose and write a brief description of that first lady on the card. (Students might use the First Ladies' Gallery as a resource.) Arrange students into teams and have teams take turns reading the descriptions and guessing the identity of each first lady. When the game is over, invite students to name the president married to each first lady.

More geography. Invite students to go to the Goals Online site featuring Karen Thorndike, the first woman to sail around the world alone. Print the map under Positions and have students plan a trip around the world that includes the places they would like to visit. Ask students to calculate how many countries they would visit, how many miles they would travel, and how long their trip would take.

Write a biography. At the Encyclopedia of Women's History, kids can read biographies of famous women and submit an original biography of a famous woman they admire. Younger students might write a biography of an important woman in their lives.

Geneology. Have students use this tool to create their family tree. Younger students might just include their parents and grandparents.

Take a quiz. Invite students to test their Women's History I.Q. (Here is an another quiz.)

Literature/drama. Read aloud a fairy tale to students and ask volunteers to act out the story. Discuss with students how the girls or women in the story behaved. Were they strong or weak, happy or sad? Ask: If you were the girl in the story, what would you have done? Encourage students to perform the story again, showing how else it might have happened.

Article by Linda Starr
Education World®
Copyright © 2010 Education World

 

Originally published 03/01/2002
Last updated 03/04/2013

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