Best Women's History Month Lessons and Activities

Banner saying "Votes for Women" from early 20th century
(Image credit: Unsplash/Birmingham Museums Trust)

Though women make up more than fifty percent of humanity, only since the 20th century have they achieved full legal rights and privileges—and in some countries, they are still second-class citizens. Consequently, women’s role in history and contributions to culture have been woefully overlooked. 

As the month designated Women’s History Month, March is a great time to dive deeply into women’s struggle for equal rights and triumphs in every arena. The lessons and resources below are an excellent way to investigate and understand women as changemakers, activists, and heroines—worthy of becoming an integral part of the curriculum all year long.

  1. Alice Ball and 7 Female Scientists Whose Discoveries Were Credited to Men (opens in new tab)
    Learn about women who broke barriers in science but who were, until recently, not credited properly for their achievements. Compare this to the list of women recognized with the Nobel Prize (opens in new tab).
  2. American Experience: She Resisted (opens in new tab)
    An interactive audio/visual experience that explores the wide range of strategies employed by suffragists in their quest for the right to vote.
  3. Clio Visualizing History: Click! in the Classroom Lesson Plans
    (opens in new tab)Organized by grade level, these lesson plans examine women's history through the lens of feminism, politics, careers, sports, and civil rights. 
  4. DocsTeach: Primary sources and Teaching Activities for Women's Rights (opens in new tab)
    Explore a wealth of primary sources covering topics ranging across women's suffrage, political cartoons, the Equal Rights Amendment, and many others. Teaching activities include online interactives exploring all aspects of the fight for women's suffrage and the passage of the 19th amendment. 
  5. Edsitement Teacher's Guide to Women's History in the United States (opens in new tab)
    The guide provides prompts, questions, and student activities related to women's history, as well as podcasts, films, and databases exploring women in sports, careers, art, and more. 
  6. Education World: Women's History Month Lesson Plans and Activities (opens in new tab)
    Nominate a woman to be honored for a federal holiday. Create a bulletin board of inspiring quotes by famous women. Write an original biography of a famous woman you admire. These are just a few of the thought-provoking lessons and activities designed to get students reading, writing, and thinking deeply about women's role in society. 
  7. Fordham University: Internet Women's History Sourcebook
    (opens in new tab)An in-depth look at the condition of women throughout history, across global civilizations. What was the structure of women's lives in ancient Greece or Rome? What kind of agency did they wield, and what forms of oppression beset them? A great place for an advanced student to begin their research. 
  8. Learning for Justice: Women's Suffrage Lesson (opens in new tab)
    This Common Core-aligned lesson guides students in learning how women achieved voting rights and in evaluating the role of the federal government in the fight for suffrage.
  9. Learning for Justice: Rediscovering Forgotten Women Writers Lesson (opens in new tab)
    A look at women writers through the ages whose works, while little-known, have great literary merit. Ideal for advanced students. 
  10. National Museum of Women in the Arts Curriculum & Resources
    (opens in new tab)On the website of the National Museum of Women in the Arts find free resources to support teaching about women artists, including a complete curriculum, "Art, Books, and Creativity," and pre-K12 educator guides. Be sure to explore the extensive online exhibitions (opens in new tab).
  11. National Trust for Historic Preservation: 1000+ Places Where Women Made History (opens in new tab)
    A fascinating site that looks at women's history through the lens of place. Explore where women made history, searching by date, topic, or state. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is dedicated to preserving America's historic places.
  12. National Women's History Museum Digital Classroom Resources (opens in new tab)
    A wealth of digital resources for women's history featuring lesson plans, quizzes, primary source documents, videos, and more. Searchable by type, topic, and grade. 
  13. National Women's Hall of Fame (opens in new tab)
    A showcase for women's achievement in every arena. Discover the Women of the Hall, then check out the learning activities (opens in new tab) such as a crossword puzzle, word search, drawing lesson, writing activity, and women's history quiz. 
  14. National Women's History Alliance: Women's History Quizzes (opens in new tab)
    Seven quizzes on women's history cover topics including women in STEM, peace activists, Black women's history, and more. 
  15. National Women's History Alliance: This Month in Women's History
    (opens in new tab)Explore important dates of women's history throughout the year with this easy-to-use calendar, featuring birthdays of female trailblazers and important historical events from civil rights, politics, and culture.
  16. Nobel Prizes Awarded to Women (opens in new tab)
    Note how the rate of female Nobel laureates has changed dramatically in the 21st century. 
  17. NYT Lesson of the Day: Kamala Harris Will Make History (opens in new tab)
    Students learn about Vice President Harris through a NYT article, video and her acceptance speech, then consider questions for writing and discussion. Students in U.S. high schools can get free digital access to The New York Times until Sept. 1, 2021.
  18. Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote (opens in new tab)
    Seven online exhibitions from the National Archives investigate topics such as "Who decides who votes?" and "What voting rights struggles persist?" Digitized original documents and photos featured.
  19. Scholastic Women's History Month Resources (opens in new tab)
    Detailed teaching guides, activities, and lesson plans for a selection of women's history topics, from suffrage to pioneering women to Hidden Figures
  20. Singing for Women's Suffrage: A New Digital Collection from the Library of Congress (opens in new tab)
    Add a musical note to your history lessons through the women's suffrage songbook. Included are prompts and ideas for classroom and elearning lessons.
  21. Smithsonian Learning Lab Women's History (opens in new tab)
    Sixty-three collections of digitized objects related to women's history add a rich context to the written word. The Learning Lab is a free, interactive platform allowing educators and other users to find digital resources and create content with online tools.
  22. Smithsonian Magazine: Henrietta Wood (opens in new tab)
    Ever heard of Henrietta Wood? Formerly enslaved, Wood successfully sued her enslaver for reparations in 1870. This Smithsonian magazine article details her amazing story, forgotten until very recently. 
  23. Women athletes who changed sports history (opens in new tab)
    With female athletes starring in tennis, track and field, basketball, soccer, golf and other sports, students today may not realize how women of the past struggled to compete in the athletic realm. This round-up of notable female athletes includes many famous ones, like Serena Williams—and some little-known, like Toni Stone, the "female Jackie Robinson." 
  24. Women's History Month: Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote (opens in new tab)
    An online version of the Library of Congress exhibition, "Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote" looks at the history of the struggle for suffrage via handwritten letters, speeches, photographs and scrapbooks created by American suffragists.
  25. Women's History Month 2021 Photo Galleries
    (opens in new tab)View photos of prominent women in leadership, sports, arts and science. Each photo serves as a jumping-off point for an in-depth study of notable women and events in history. 
  26. Women Pioneers in Sports History (opens in new tab)
    This look at groundbreaking women includes not only athletes, but also those who made it as professional analysts, referees, and coaches.
  27. Women in World History (opens in new tab)
    Author and history teacher Lyn Reese created this diverse and fascinating website devoted to women's history. Included are lessons, thematic units, film reviews, evaluations of history curricula, and women's biographies from ancient Egypt to Nobel Prize winners. 
  28. Zinn Education Project: Women's History Teaching Activities
    (opens in new tab)A collection of non-traditional teaching activities, guides, films/film clips, and profiles, including lesser-known women activists. Free registration required to download PDF lessons.