Great Resources & Reading Collections to Use in Your Classroom
Since 1910, March 8 has been observed as International Women’s Day by people around the world. That is why March was chosen to be National Women’s History Month in the United States. Research to recover women’s “lost” stories began on college campuses in the early 1970s. But in elementary and secondary school history textbooks, the imbalance remained glaring: women were outnumbered eleven to one.
In 1978, the founders of the National Women’s History Project began asking the historical question, “But what were the women doing?” And they’ve been sharing about women’s historic and contemporary contributions with the public ever since.
The March 2016 Theme for Women’s History Month is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government”. The month provides a wonderful opportunity to explore and dig deeper into women’s contributions, struggles and triumphs throughout history.
Below is a great collection of resources to use in the classroom for Women’s History Month.
- National Women’s History project: Students can explore this year’s theme, “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government. “Plus, in this list, you’ll find some great resources for incorporating women’s history into lessons this month and beyond, as well as resources for exploring gender roles and stereotypes with students.
- 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.
- Online Exhibits From the National Women’s History Museum: Let students explore women’s history with these hands-on digital exhibits and accompanying lesson plans. Plus, the NWHM has produced a number of other valuable resources, including biographies, videos, and interactives.
- EDSITEment Women’s History Resources: Produced by the National Endowment for the Humanities, these resources include 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.
- Women’s History Resources for Teachers: 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.
- Science NetLinks Women’s History Collection: This Science NetLinks collection provides some interesting lesson plans that look at women in STEM fields. The page features science lesson plans and teaching resources for all students of all ages. Plus, teachers can filter results by grade level, and there is also a great list of science-specific outside links to lesson plans.
- ReadWriteThink’s Women’s History: 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.
- Time For Kids: Women’s History Month Printables: Here, teachers can download free printable activities to teach students about women’s history. Printables are available for grades K-6.
Reading Lists and Additional Collections for Students
There are so many great women’s history reads and resources online, and it’s hard to select just a few for students. But, hopefully, these reading lists and additional resource collections will help spark curiosity in your classrooms.
- Women’s History Teaching Resources, Smithsonian Education
- Women’s History Resources, Zinn Education Project
- A Collection of Teaching Resources for WHM, Scholastic Teachers
- The Origins of Women’s History Month, HISTORY
- Women’s History Lesson Plans, Share My Lesson
- The Best History Websites for WHM, EdTechTeacher
- Women’s History Month Reading Resources, TIME for Kids
- Women’s History Month Reading List, Reading Rockets
Remember, women’s history does not rewrite history, but it does add very different perspectives about what is historically significant. Traditionally, history has focused on political, military, and economic leaders and events. That approach has virtually excluded women, both leaders and ordinary citizens, from history books. In addition to exploring the contributions of leaders in the public sphere, women’s history also examines women’s activities in the private sphere, and women’s experiences at the crossroads where the two spheres meet and interact and it is crucial that we teach our students the contributions women have made throughout history.
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