Every March, I make it a point to celebrate Women's History Month with my students. Instead of assigning a typical biography report, I make it a point to try a new activity instead.
Some years, I read a short bio about an important woman in history at the start of every school day, and other times I give my students a specific important woman in history to research about and then post data on a bulletin board for the entire class to learn from.
But this year I would like to give my students more of a choice. So I’ve created a simple activity that will let my students choose which women in history they want to research.
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH RESEARCH ACTIVITY STEP-BY-STEP
STEP 1: At the beginning of the month, task students with reading about a minimum of five women. These women can be important historical figures or ancestors from the students’ own family tree.
If students choose to use an ancestor as one (or more) of the women they will learn about, they must be able to present documents or family tree verifying the historical accounts or stories.
I found the website: WomensHistoryMonth.gov to be very useful. It has biographical information, lesson ideas, videos, exhibit locations, etc. This is their explanation of the origin of Women's History Month that I will share with my students: Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28, which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week." Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as "Women’s History Week." In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9, which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month." Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month. Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”
STEP 2: After researching at least five women, students will use the Interesting Women In History Research Activity worksheet to reflect on who inspired, surprised and intrigued them the most.
This research activity and worksheet offer a more interesting way to study women in history than simply recording biographical information that will soon be forgotten.
STEP 3: Have students share their worksheets with their classmates and have them note any commonalities (e.g., four students were inspired by Gloria Steinem; eight students were surprised by Anne Frank; three students were intrigued by Emily Dickinson, and so on).
STEP 4: Have each student give a 60 second presentation sharing which women intrigued him/her the most.
Women's History Month is a great time to engage students in reading biographical texts. Have your students research at least five women in history and then complete an Interesting Women In History Research Activity worksheet.
Download the worksheet so your students can complete this research activity about important women in history this March.