March is Women's History Month! While the month is half over, there is still plenty of time to engage students of all ages in the history, struggles, and triumphs of women. Below is a brief, customizable lesson using images from Smithville Elementary Library's public blog. Images of notable women in history paired with one actionable word provide groundwork for biographical research and discussion leading into the contemporary.
- Observe: Jane Goodall
- Run: Wilma Rudolph
- Teach: Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Speak: Susan B. Anthony
- Write: Ann Frank
- Create: Frida Kahlo
- Defy: Rosa Parks
- Discover: Marie Curie
- Explore: Sally Ride
- Fly: Amelia Earhart
- Inspire: Julia Child
- Lead: Barbara Jordan
Divide students into groups and assign each group a photo. You can find and save each individual photo here. Either give each group the name of the woman pictured, or provide a list so the students do some digging on all the names before finding their pictured individual (if they don't recognize the woman immediately).
The grade level of students and the time you would like to allocate for this lesson will determine the extent to which students research and report.
One day lesson for lower grades: Have students research the notable woman assigned to their group. Explain that at the end of class or the next day they will present a brief biography, explain the significance of her work and actions, and why the specific word was chosen for her.
For extensions and upper grade levels, consider the following questions:
- Had you heard of this person before today? If so, what had you heard? If not, why do you think you haven't heard of her?
- Can you trace her impact to an example in society today?
- What challenges did she face?
- What is another word you would use to encapsulate her historical significance?
- If you could meet her, what one question would you ask?
- Research 21st century women who continue to break down barriers and work to promote gender equality. Who could be considered a contemporary of the woman you have researched?
The women pictured are only a few examples of remarkable women in history. If you want to assign each student a photo and need more examples, simply find a photo of each woman you would like to introduce and assign a word you feel strongly correlates to her work or goals or mission.
We converted the image above into a PDF so you can print and display in your classroom during the discussions. The quote may spur additional conversation. Use the PDF-to-Poster feature in your VariQuest software and print to your Perfecta. We found that printing to size 18" to 24" worked best in terms of resolution.
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