The Importance of Teaching Women’s History - Keep ‘em Thinking
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The Importance of Teaching Women’s History

In the past 100 years, women have paved the way and earned the right to vote. Women have made great contributions to society. We can all agree that this is huge and so encouraging for every female. We typically honor women in March.  And yes, we should be highlighting in March, but we should also be incorporating women’s history into all disciplines throughout the year.

Women’s History in School

While women’s history is taught in most public schools, statistics show that few standards dictate that women are required reading topics in American schools. Teachers may highlight women during March for Women’s History Month, but it’s much too important to limit to one month out of the school year.   The focus on the important role of women in history in school textbooks is significantly lower than historical male figures. Girls need strong female role models. What better way to do that than highlight contributions made by females all year! 

History Activities

There are so many amazing ways to integrate women’s history in multiple subjects throughout the year! Here are a few of my favorites.

Use Picture Books

There are tons of picture books about women and their contributions. Just do a search on picture books about famous women and you will find several hundred. I personally have over 100 picture books about women.

Celebrate Weird and Whacky National Holidays

Have you ever celebrated some of the weird and whacky national holidays with your kids? I have and they love them. National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is celebrated on August 4th. Did you know a woman named Ruth Graves Whitfield is the inventor of the chocolate chip cookie recipe that is on every package of Nestles toll house chocolate chips? There is even a picture book about Ruth and the history of her chocolate chip cookie in the picture book How the Cookie Crumbled by Gilbert Ford.

There are plenty of other interesting national holidays that provide wonderful opportunities to learn more about strong, independent women such as Nurse Appreciation Week (Clara Barton), National Aviation Day (Bessie Coleman and  Amelia Earhart), and National  Law Day (Ruth Bader Ginsburg,  Sandra Day O’Conner, Sonia Sotomayor), and World Sight Day (Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan).

Visit Great Websites About Women

One of my favorite ways to get ideas to incorporate strong, independent women into my lessons is to visit websites dedicated just to women. By far, my favorite is A Might Girl.  I even follow them on Facebook so I can get the latest info right away. One of my favorite things about this site is that it often highlights lesser-known women, and their book lists are not to be missed. Another tried and true site is the National Women’s History Alliance. Here you’ll find anything and everything related to Women’s History.

Incorporate Women Into Every Subject

Learning about women shouldn’t be limited to just social studies. You will find great information about famous women in every subject – science, music, art, math, and literature. Since so many girls have a math phobia, studying women who excelled at math is a great way to encourage them to develop a love and appreciation of math. You can teach about Raye Montague and Mary Jackson, and yes, there are picture books about both of them. Can’t you see why I love picture books so much?

Biographies Studies

One of the best ways to do this is through this FREE biography study. Students can learn about modern females leading the way like Vice President Harris. She is the first female and first Black vice-president of the United States.

This free product has both digital and print versions, students can learn about the history of Kamala Harris and the steps that led her to the White House. Graphic organizers are included. This biography unit on Kamala Harris has everything you need to keep your students engaged. If you liked this you may also like my black history month resources

Women’s History Bundle

This free resource is part of my Women’s History Reading Passages and Activities Bundle. You can get 35 biographies and activities highlighting amazing American Women.

women's history

This Women’s History product contains biographies, posters, quotes, timelines, a biography foldable, and reading response activities.  Best of all, everything is available in both printable and digital formats.

This is part of a HUGE bundle that includes biography studies of 35 famous American women. With this resource, you can incorporate studies about Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, and even Pocahontas into your classroom. You can turn biography studies into social studies lessons, small reading groups, and even class discussions. 

women's history 

Read-alouds are also a great visual option for incorporating Women’s history into the classroom all year long. Elizabeth Started All the Trouble is one of my favorites. Read-alouds open the door to questions and conversations. They are also an amazing vehicle for opinion-based writing responses.

Why Study Women’s History?

Everyone has been positively impacted by a strong female, be it a mom, grandmother, teacher, friend, or aunt. It is so important to acknowledge the historical impact left by women. We can also make connections to our everyday lives.  It also encourages critical thinking activities all year long. Students will feel empowered. Boys and girls learn that they too can leave a positive impact on society. The Women’s History Reading Passages and Activities Bundle has 35 biographies and activities.  Women’s history can prepare students and bring equality for all.

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hey y'all

I'm Susan!

I’m Susan Morrow and I help overwhelmed teachers create thinking classrooms where students discover the joy in learning and achieving.

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