“How wrong is it for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself?” – Anaïs Nin
March is Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Women’s Day. It is important for teachers to recognize these events and highlight the great women of history. Even though we have made progress as far as equality and rights for women we still have much more progress to be made. When teachers recognize great women and those of various ethnicities they help bring attention to those often not mentioned in textbooks or who have been missed throughout history. Lately, we are seeing movies about women who helped NASA and reading books about the first female mathematicians and scientists. Highlighting these great pioneers helps our girls have heroines to look up to and gather strength from their stories. This is especially important, because research shows low percentages of females and minorities pursuing STEM degrees and professions. The National Association of Women in Technology reported 26% of the computing workforce in 2013 were women (5% Asian women, 3% African American women, and 2% Hispanic women) and there was a 64% decline in the number of first-year undergraduate women interested in majoring in Computer Science between 2000 and 2012. Additionally, females worldwide have higher quit rates in STEM professions. The Center for Talent Innovation reported the female quit rate was 45% in the US, 29% in Brazil, and 50% in China. The Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings conducted a survey in 2015 of 557 women in STEM and interviewed 60 minority women in STEM. 100% of the women interviewed reported gender bias. Below are several resources to help you inspire your students with the incredible accomplishments of women.
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Lesson Ideas and Activities
- PBS has various film and curriculum highlighting famous women.
- Check out this slide presentation and discussion lesson, English and History: Women of the World.
- Scholastic has various interactive lessons that highlight famous women and classroom projects.
- Teaching History features lesson plans and quizzes.
- The Library of Congress has various primary sources including newspapers and images.
- Read Write Think has a variety of interactives and lesson plans for students.
- Check out this slide presentation, Forgotten Women in Tech History.
- Check out this slide presentation, 10 Women From History Whose Footprints Will Astound You! , which can be used as a writing prompt or discussion and research starter.
- The National Education Association has lesson plans for grades K to 12 supporting the 2017 theme, Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business.
- Here’s a list of quizzes for Women’s History Month.
- Check out this playlist to do a video lesson, Super Women of Our Past.
- You might also enjoy this playlist, Celebrate International Women’s Day.
- Also, check out this playlist, Celebrate Women’s History Month.
Challenge: Use one of these resources to inspire your students by the women of history who accomplished great things.
If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.
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