The impact women have had on society is immeasurable, and shouldn’t be relegated to one month. Countless battles are currently being waged around the world in the pursuit of women’s rights and equality. That’s why Women’s History Month serves as an appropriate occasion to explore these challenges and to highlight the roles that women have assumed towards gender equity.
The women of today in positions of power and influence forge along a continuum of incredible achievements enacted by their predecessors. These women are the inspiration for young girls across the globe who dare to defy the limitations of self-doubt and discrimination. Every young girl has the potential to reshape the 21st century through the increased focus on STEM education--she just needs to be made aware.
Here are some resources and edtech tools that will help you engage all of your students this month in the exploration of women’s history, especially the young girl who needs the encouragement to know that her gender should never impede her dreams.
Since the early 20th century, International Women’s Day has been observed on March 8 to celebrate and recognize the work that women have achieved throughout the world. This site serves as a hub of news, events, and resources that provide information about the holiday’s history and ways to get involved.
Every year more than 1000 events are held all around the world on this day, and the site enables you to explore them all; you can even upload your own events. The site also contains videos and information of past events, profiles of prominent women, artworks inspired by the holiday, and creative stories that center on the power and importance of women. The ability to actively engage in events and contribute to the rich legacy of womanhood makes this site particularly attractive.
This site is extremely comprehensive and provides links to activities, lesson plans, videos, presentations, exhibits, images, primary sources documents, and historic parks all focused on the contributions of women. Resources of particular interest include: lesson plans exploring Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Are Watching God and Sor Juana de la Cruz, the first great Latin American poet, images of Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings, and interactive links to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. With the sheer number and complexity of resources provided, you can engage students at any grade level, including higher education.
This site is dedicated solely to the instruction of Women’s History Month. It provides a host of resources that let you explore lesson plans, align instruction with your state’s standards, and incorporate best practices from real teachers in action. If you get overwhelmed by all of the activities and documents provided, the site even offers an “Ask a Historian” page that allows you to view and search questions posed by teachers that are accompanied with corresponding answers from experts.
This digital library offers a multi-level reading experience for all of its titles. Each text can be read at varying levels which means that all of your students can read the same text simultaneously but at levels most appropriate for their skills. Texts can be read via tablet, computer, or cellphone. Registration is free and provides access to the entire library. There are a number of texts that explore themes central to womanhood including biographies (Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, and Harriet Tumban), short fiction (The Yellow Wallpaper, Bernice Bobs Her Hair), fairytales (The Mermaid and the Prince, Cinderella), myth (Orpheus and Eurydice), and even original, short non-fiction (What if Harry Potter Had been Named Harriet?). Recommended for grades 4-12.
Girls Who Code is a movement that offers programs designed to inspire, educate, and equip young girls with the computing skills of the 21st century. These programs can help you incorporate computer science education and tech industry skills in your classroom all year round. Instruction is taught in clubs by volunteers who are trained to implement the program’s curriculum which focuses on project-based outcomes. So find a club near you or start your own. You can even request a copy of the program’s curriculum to customize it based on your specific needs and limitations. Information about the Summer Immersion Program is also worth exploration. Recommend for grades 6-12.
Of all the 889 Nobel Prizes awarded, 47 prizes have been awarded to women. Marie Curie was the first female Nobel Laureate and the only woman to receive the honor twice—1903 in Physics and 1911 in Chemistry. The Nobel Peace Prize has been bestowed on 16 women, the greatest clustering of female Laureates. The site provides information about each woman honored and offers links to educational games and extensions, including additional information about the work and lives of four noteworthy women scientists: Maria Goeppert Mayer (physics), Marie Curie (physics and chemistry), Christine Nusslein-Volhard (medicine), and Elinor Ostrom (economic sciences).
This site provides an exhaustive list of profiles about women in positions of power, including prime ministers, presidents, clergy, ambassadors, and military leaders along with scores of others. The list begins with women who lived in 3000 B.C. and spans to present to highlight those alive today. There are even a number of links relevant to global content which can provide excellent extension opportunities.
What other resources do you plan on using this month?
EDITOR'S NOTE: Talia Wise, an edtech consultant, contributed to this article.