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Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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Women's History Month: Interactive Notebook Activity

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"Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
—Eleanor Roosevelt  

In 1978, a school district in California, organized a “Women’s History Week.” By 1981, Congress passed a resolution establishing National Women’s History Week and in 1987, Congress created a month to honor the contributions of women and to promote the teaching of women’s history.

The following information may be helpful for Women’s History Month. The 2017 theme for Women’s History Month is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.”

At one time, women weren’t able to do many things because of their gender. Here are some women trailblazers. Being the first, made it easier for other women to follow in their footsteps. Every year, new firsts continue to be made by women. Here is just a sampling of firsts made by women.

Lucy Brewer
First woman marine

Elizabeth Blackwell
First woman to receive a medical degree

Amelia Jenks Bloomer
Publisher/editor of first prominent women's rights newspaper

Harriet Tubman
First woman to run underground railroad to help slaves escape

Lucy Hobbs
First woman to graduate from dental school

Arabella Mansfield Babb
First woman admitted to the bar to practice law

Frances Elizabeth Willard
First woman to become a college president (Evanston College)

Victoria Chaflin Woodhull
First woman to be presidential candidate

Helen Magill
First woman to receive a Ph.D. degree (Boston University)

Belva Ann Lockwood
First woman to practice law before U.S. Supreme Court

Clara Barton
Founder of the American Red Cross

Suzanna Madora Salter
First woman mayor (Argonia, Kansas)

Marie Curie
First women to win a Nobel Prize AND first person awarded TWO Nobel Prizes (as of 2016)
1903 AND 1911

Mary McLeod Bethune
First woman to establish secondary school that became 4-year accredited college

Blanche Scott
First woman to fly an airplane

Jeannette Rankin
First woman U.S. House Representative (Montana)

Bessie Coleman
First African American Female pilot in USA and first AMERICAN to receive an international pilot’s license.

Hallie Ferguson
First woman governor of U. S. state (Texas)

Amelia Earhart
First woman to be a passenger on an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean (1928)
and first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

Jane Addams
First American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize

Hattie Wyatt Caraway
First woman elected to U.S. Senate

Amelia Earhart
First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova
First woman to fly in space, aboard Vostok 6.

Mary Clarke
First woman to be named major general in U.S. Army

Sandra Day O'Connor
First woman a justice of the U. S. Supreme Court

Sally Kristen Ride
First American woman to reach outer space.

Ann Bancroft
First woman to walk to North Pole

Christa McAuliffe
First woman citizen passenger on a space mission

Lt. Col. Eileen Collins
First American woman to pilot a Space Shuttle

Madeleine K. Albright
First woman Secretary of State and highest ranking woman in the U.S. government

Condoleezza Rice
First African American woman to be appointed Secretary of State

Nancy Pelosi
First woman to become Speaker of the House

Hillary Clinton
First woman to be in a presidential primary and caucus in every state

Michelle Obama
First African American First Lady

Kathryn Bigelow
First woman to win the Best Director Award

Mary Barra became the first female CEO of General Motors

Women were allowed to compete in ski jumping events at the Winter Olympics for the first time!

Katie Higgins became the first female pilot of the Blue Angels (US Navy Flight demonstration squad)

Megan Brennan
First female United Sates Postmaster General


  1. Are there any areas in which women still have yet to make a contribution?
  2. What are three character traits of women who have been trailblazers? What would you list as three of your best character traits?
  3. There is a Hispanic Heritage Month, a Native American Month, a Black History Month and a Women’s History Month. Why do you think such months were established? Do you think there is a need for such months to highlight different groups? Why or why not?
  4. If you could interview a woman trailblazer (past or present), who would it be and why? What might be two questions you would ask of that person?

Sites of interest for additional materials

  1. Women's History Month: A Collection of Teaching Resources
  2. Women’s History Month, Grades K-5: Lessons, Activities, Background Reading, and More
  3. Women on Pedestals
  4. Quiz your history knowledge women adventurers and women leaders.
  5. The National Women’s Hall of Fame, opened in 1979, in Seneca Falls, NY. Check out the inductees to the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
  6. Learn about the First Ladies of the White House.
  7. Another great source of women past and present.
  8. Time for Kids - Women’s History Milestones
  9. Women’s History Month: Strong Girls in Kids’ Books
  10. Did you know that Congress has voted to create a Women’s History Museum to be built in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.? 


Women’ History Month: A Webquest on 12 women that made a difference
Famous First Ladies Webquest

Reader’s Theater Scripts

Katherine Johnson
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Blackwell
Hillary Clinton
Bessie Coleman
Michelle Obama
Eleanor Roosevelt
Amelia Earhart
Revolutionary War Female Spies
Marie Curie

Check out this free Reader's Theater Script on First Lady Edith Wilson.

Gail Hennessey