Women’s History Month in March provides an excellent opportunity to dive deeper into women’s contributions and to celebrate female history-makers. Read on for ideas on how to virtually incorporate women’s history in your classroom!
6 Remote-Friendly Ideas and Activities for Teaching Women’s History
Whether you‘re looking for Women’s History Month activities, or ways to incorporate more representation into your curriculum, this list of ideas can serve as a good starting point for your March lesson plans and beyond.
Start with a mini history lesson on the origins of Women’s History Month.
First things first: How did we come to celebrate Women’s History Month every March? Have students read some brief background information on Women’s History Month before jumping into the day’s lesson.
Send your students on a virtual scavenger hunt.
Expand your students’ knowledge by having them learn about the contributions of women through an online scavenger hunt. Ask students a series of questions and provide the links to articles and websites where they can find the answers. (Websites like National Women’s History Museum, National Geographic, and PBS are filled with biographical facts on influential women and can help your students practice their Internet literacy and searching skills.) You can do one question a day for the whole month — or dedicate an entire lesson to this.
If you’d like, you can also use the scavenger hunt to dive deeper into a particular topic or theme in women’s history, such as “Valiant Women of Today’s Vote” (Stacey Abrams, Antonia Hernández, María Teresa Kumar), “Women in STEM” (Grace Hopper, Mary G. Ross, Ellen Ochoa, Dr. Gladys West), and “Glass Ceiling Breakers” (Kamala Harris, Sandra Day O’Connor, Edith Wharton, Shirley Chisholm, Aretha Franklin).
Learn about her-story with books, podcasts, and videos about inspiring women.
Books and biographies are not only engaging and an effective way to present or enhance a lesson, but they can also affirm and inspire. Some recommendations from educators in the TpT community include:
- Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown
- Bunheads by Misty Copeland
- Winners Never Quit by Mia Hamm
- Pocket Full of Colors by Amy Gugliemlo and Jacqueline Tourville
- Shark Lady by Jess Keating
- Ada’s Ideas by Fiona Robinson
- Dinosaur Lady by Linda Skeers
- Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
For young readers in particular, you can do a read-aloud as a class and use books to introduce and discuss concepts like gender inequality using questions like: “What challenges did this person face? Was it fair that they had to face these challenges?” You can extend the assignment by having students write a book report.
For upper grades, using video and podcasts — such as Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls Podcast, the #HerStory Podcast, the PBS Makers series, or this TED Talk playlist — can help contextualize and deepen learning. Before pressing play, however, be sure to set a goal to help keep students accountable and attentive, and encourage students to practice taking notes as they listen or watch. Afterward, you can break out into small groups (or virtual breakout rooms) to discuss and/or have students write a short reflection piece.
Reflect on women’s suffrage and what it means to be able to vote.
In August 2020, women in the U.S. celebrated the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which secured American women’s right to vote. As a warm-up activity, have students vote on a way to celebrate this day. Afterward, discuss why it was important that everyone got to vote and talk about what it means to be able to vote or participate in democracy.
Discuss recent efforts to close the gender wage gap.
Have students independently read an article on recent efforts to close the wage gap — such as the Equal Pay Pledge or the U.S. Women’s soccer team’s lawsuit — and have them write down their comments and questions. Then, break out into small groups (or breakout rooms, if you’re remote) to discuss. To extend the assignment, you can have students research and write an argument essay based on equal pay.
Bonus: Thank a woman who’s made a difference.
Women’s History Month is also an opportunity for students to recognize the contributions of the women in their everyday lives. Have students write a thank you note, text, email, or Facebook message to a woman who has inspired them or who has helped them.
Need more activities to help you celebrate Women’s History Month? Check out this curated list of teaching resources for teaching about women’s history. To discover even more educator-created resources to make your online lessons more engaging, browse digital resources on TpT.