Teaching Women’s History Month can be inspiring! Check out these ideas for celebrating, using mentor texts, and researching famous women.
Ms. Sneed Finds Ideas for Teaching Women’s History
Our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed, sat at the computer with her teaching partner. “Would you like to look for some ideas for Women’s History Month?” she asked.
“Sure would,” Mr. Frank responded. “Let’s try something new.” He watched as Ms. Sneed clicked away, checking out posts from some of her favorite bloggers.
Celebrating Women in the Classroom
“Here’s an interesting post from Teaching Ideas for Those Who Love Teaching. She offers some ideas for celebrating women while teaching Women’s History Month. First, we could select a specific field, such as math or science, and discover women who made contributions.”
“Hey,” said Mr. Frank, “it would be fun to do a lesson around that.” He thought for a minute, then continued, “For example, Katherine Johnson worked on trajectories for Apollo 11. When my class celebrated the 50th anniversary of the mission, we simulated her challenge. One child walked in a wide circle around another to show how the Moon revolves around the Earth. The child in the center tried to roll the ball slowly to hit the other student. Obviously, it was difficult to hit the moving target. Doing a simple activity like this really showed the difficulty of Ms. Johnson’s calculations.”
“Cool,” said Ms. Sneed. “We could even relate that to our study of forces and motion.”
Celebrating Diversity Every Day
“Scroll to the bottom of the page,” Mr. Frank said. “She’s linked a variety of books that we could use.” He took out a pencil and jotted down the titles:
- Black Women in Science by Kimberly Brown Pellum
- Girls Think of Everything by Catherine Thimmesh
- A Is for Awesome: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen
Using Mentor Texts
As her teaching partner finished writing, Ms. Sneed searched a bit more. “Look,” she said, “Two Boys and a Dad has an entire list of children’s literature on inspiring women.”
Mr. Frank looked over her shoulder and continued his list:
- Susan B. Anthony by Dona Herweck
- Bloomers by Rhoda Blumberg
- Marching with Aunt Susan by Claire Rudolph Murphy
- Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan
- Cool Women by Dawn Chipman, Mari Florence, and Naomi Wax
“I have a few of those books in my classroom library,” said Ms. Sneed. “I’ll pull them, and we can get others at our school library. Reading them aloud will make teaching Women’s History Month fun and easy.”
Researching Famous Women
“Of course. It’s a tradition!” Ms. Sneed smiled as she clicked on that file and hit print. “It’s a great way to empower our girls as well.”
Teaching Women’s History in Your Social Studies Class
“I was just thinking about our social studies book,” said Mr. Frank. “Almost all of the featured people are men.”
“Yeah, that book stinks,” Ms. Sneed agreed. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“Yep. Let’s find some famous women in history and add them to our social studies units. That way we can celebrate women all year long.”
Over the course of her career, Ms. Sneed realized that there were 6 steps to enjoy teaching. In order to survive, she had to organize, plan, and simplify. Then, to thrive, Ms. Sneed needed to learn, engage, and finally – dive in! Follow the Fabulous Teaching Adventures of Ms. Sneed and learn how you can enjoy teaching too.