Women’s History Month has been celebrated since the 1980′s in honor of those that cleared a path for today’s young women. Traditionally history has highlighted only a few women of our past including Susan B. Anthony, Marie Curie, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sally Ride, Sandra Day O’Connor, first ladies and a few others. Bringing more attention to the important women in our nations growth has been an primary cause for the National Women’s History Project.
The NWHP offers materials to help schools celebrate Women’s History Month. This year the theme is: Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment. There are honorees celebrated at a dinner and a celebration poster is produced for purchase. To see them and a biography of each one, click here. This site should be your first stop when searching for information on how to celebrate Women’s History Month.
Additionally you can do many things to add HERstory (not history) to your classroom. Let’s get started:
- There are over 480 resources in the DiscoveryEducation library of assets if you search for women/history. Be sure to use them!
- Whatever you are teaching find a way to interject a woman who contributed to that field.
- Create a bulletin board of famous women and have students choose one to add.
- Have your students suggest women they know who were important.
- After they make a suggestion, they can make a 1 minute biography to share with the class.
- Bring a current newspapers, magazines, newsletters and have students scour them for any women who have made positive impact on their community.
- Interview female teachers in the school to discover what contributions they have made to the school, their college, or community. Highlight them in a special edition of a school newsletter.
- Try to find mom’s, aunts, grandmothers of students or staff who have done something important and share their story.
- Make a video collage of the female winners of Oscars from this year. Label what their contribution was to the industry.
- Make a list of women’s firsts such as first women in space, first gold medal winner, first admiral, first governor, first senator, and more.
- If you have female politicians, have your class write them letters of appreciation.
- Let students debate which women’s contribution was had the most impact on our country.
- Make a presentation with each student contributing a slide with a photo of their selected woman along with a very short biography. Keep this, and each year add more.
- Make a display of books in the library that are biographies of women.
- Create podcasts of student created biographies and use them in following years.
Oh yes we could make 100 or 200 ideas for Women’s History Month. Does your school do anything special? Every few years we have a Women’s History Day and ask teachers to dress and be a historical woman for the day. Students try to guess their personality based upon the costume, and some facts they tell.
Even if you do not have time for a big celebration, print a photo of someone your students may not come in contact with and put her picture on your classroom door. Teach them about just ONE important female in our history. Leave a comment/suggestion of what can be done during Women’s History Month.