March is Women’s History Month with March 8th being International Women’s Day. Although society has come a long way in terms of gender equality, there is still much work to be done at home and abroad.
With only 25% of the jobs in STEM being held by women, we owe it to the next generation of powerful women to educate them about the contributions women have made to the world. Here are five resources that can help you bring women’s history (or her-story) into your classroom.
Children’s author, Isabel Sanchez Vegara, has written a series of books that focuses on some of history’s most influential women. Each book tells the life story and the major accomplishments of a famous woman in history including Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, and Marie Curie. These books tackle topics like women’s suffrage and gender inequality in a manner that is accessible to, and appropriate for, kids as young as five years of age. For the older students, they also contain a more biographical version of their story at the end of each book. This series is a must-read for the next generation of powerful women.
International Women’s Day has a website that houses a wealth of downloadable resources for all ages. They include women in history case studies, coloring sheets, fact sheets, and even school-wide competitions. Whether International Women’s Day is being incorporated into existing lesson plans or your school plans to make it a huge celebration out of it, this site can help you raise awareness of how awesome women are.
Before “Click” meant pushing a button on your mouse, it signified the awakening of the feminist movement. This site provides resources that can make any educator a subject matter expert on the struggles and triumphs of women in history. It contains several short videos, a list of essential readings, and a concise history of women in different facets of society. It even has an interactive timeline focusing on key events in feminist history from World War II to Hillary Clinton’s democratic presidential nomination.
Created in 2013 in partnership with more than 500 girls in 14 countries across four continents, this girl-power pledge can be used in the classroom to help your students understand their worth and sing it loud and proud. Print this beautifully styled oath and have your class stand and recite it. Better yet, have them scream it at the top of their lungs. They are women – hear them roar!
It is difficult to talk about women’s and children’s rights these days without talking about Malala Yousafzai who literally took a bullet for standing up for her beliefs and rights. She has become an inspiration for women young and old and this set of resources are a great way to introduce her to your students. With articles, activities, and a culminating classroom debate, this lesson gets students thinking about human rights in a new and exciting way.
How do you empower the girls in your classroom? What resources have you used to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month? Share your experiences and resources in the comments below.
Written By: Matt Murphy
Matt Murphy is the Educational Designer for Zorbit’s Math Adventure, a K-3 game-based learning platform for the classroom. Matt has a Masters degree in Curriculum Design from the University of New Brunswick and has over five years of experience working in educational technology as an Instructional Designer, and Gamification/Game-Based Learning Consultant.