Every March, I make it a point to celebrate Women's History Month with my students. Instead of assigning a typical biography report, I have students choose a woman in history they want to research. In this article, you'll learn how to celebrate women throughout history with a simple research activity. Plus, download and print my Interesting Women In History Research Activity worksheet for students.
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.”
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.