Women's History Month: Seven Lesson Plan Resources for TeachersFebruary 28, 2013 | Matt Davis
March is Women's History Month, and International Women's Day, March 8, is also a part of the celebration each year. For educators and students, the month provides a wonderful opportunity to dig deeper into women's contributions, struggles, and triumphs throughout history.
In The Trouble With Women's History Month from Teaching Tolerance, author Maureen Costello raises a great point, as well. Although it's easy to highlight influential women, Women's History Month is also the perfect time for classrooms to confront gender stereotypes and societal norms, a needed consideration throughout the year.
With that in mind, there's a lot to celebrate and discover in March and throughout the school year. Here we've curated some of the best classroom resources for incorporating Women's History Month into lessons plans, and we've also included a reading list for students of all ages.
- TeachingHistory.org’s Women’s History Resources: This is a one-stop-shop for diving deep into Women’s History Month. Here, educators will find learning resources, lesson plans, and a long list of quizzes and printables for the classroom.
- Women's History Resources from EDSITEment: Produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities, here you'll find featured lesson plans and teaching resources that cover women in politics, the arts, and military and civilian service. The comprehensive plans highlight time required and subjects covered, and they include worksheets and links to required reading and resources.
- National Women’s History Project Teacher's Lounge: The National Women's History Project's (NWHP) teacher's lounge offers ideas for incorporating women's history into lessons throughout the month of March. The NWHP also offers some great tips for including all students in women's history discussions. Along with resources in the teacher's lounge, NWHP features great classroom teaching aides, including math and science quizzes and history lesson ideas.
- Women's History Resources from the Library of Congress: These resources from the Library of Congress encourage teachers and students "to put primary resources to work in the classroom." Featuring packaged lesson plans, this is a great resource. There are also wonderful audio and video resources, thorough primary source collections, and a number of timeless photo projects. You may also want to check out the Library's official Women's History Month page, and here's another list of free WHM resources from federal agencies.
- Science NetLinks Women's History Collection: This Science NetLinks collection complements this year's WHM theme well, which looks at women in STEM fields. This page features science lesson plans and teaching resources for all students of all ages. Here, teachers can filter results by grade level, and there is also a great list of science-specific outside links to lesson plans. The Franklin Institute has also put together an extensive list of WHM science links.
- Women's History from ReadWriteThink: Here, educators will find thoughtful lesson plans, a list of links to online women's history resources, as well as after-school ideas for teaching women's history for parents. There are teacher-written lesson plans available for grades 3-12.
- Women's History Resources from the Zinn Education Project: These lesson plans from the Zinn Education Project incorporate Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States," and they encourage classrooms to delve into American history by looking at our collective past through the eyes of everyday people. Instead of just highlighting iconic historical figures, these lessons look at history through the eyes of common women. (Note: Requires a free registration.)
Reading Lists and Articles for Students
There are so many great women's history reads online, and it's hard to select just a few for students. But here we've compiled links to a few reading lists and works of journalism that we hope will help spark curiosity in your classrooms.
- "The Women Who Bested Men at Math," Smithsonian Magazine
- Women's History Month Reading Resources, TIME For Kids
- "Mary Walker's Quest to be Appointed as a Union Doctor in the Civil War," The Atlantic
- Women's History Month Reading List, Reading Rockets
- Celebrate Women's History, New York Times Learning Network
- Women's History and Children's Books, Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site
There are so many great women's history resources on the Web, and here we've highlighted just a few of our favorites. Did we miss anything? What resources do you plan to use in March?