Though women make up more than 50% of humanity, only since the 20th century have they achieved full legal rights and privileges in the U.S.—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 here 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.
Best Women's History Month Lessons and Activities
BrainPOP Women’s History Unit (opens in new tab)
Thirty complete standards-aligned lessons covering selected prominent women and topics such as the Salem Witch Trials and the Underground Railroad. Included are customizable lesson plans, quizzes, extended activities, and teacher support resources. Seven lessons are free for all.
Studying Female Poets to Understand History (opens in new tab)
A good general guide to create your own lesson from poetry written by women, this article offers a suggested lesson structure and examples. To find more poetry lessons ideas, be sure to check out our article Best Poetry Lessons and Activities (opens in new tab).
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.
16 Wonderful Women Scientists to Inspire Your Students (opens in new tab)
Learn all about 16 women scientists, many of whom you’ve never heard of. These women were pioneers in the fields of aviation, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, medicine, and more. Each brief biography is accompanied by recommended readings, activities, and ideas for further exploration of women in science.
The Untold History Of Women In Strength Sports (opens in new tab)
While womens’ participation in sports is a given today, it hasn’t always been the case. That’s why you might be surprised to learn that the 19th century saw a number of well-known “strongwomen” whose feats have been largely forgotten. This well-referenced article traces the rise of female strength athletes from the earliest days through the 21st century.
Scholastic Action: From Out of This World. . . To Under the Sea (opens in new tab)
What do the depths of Earth’s oceans have in common with outer space? Both are otherworldly realms, inhospitable to human life while captivating our imaginations. Meet a woman who has traveled to each place and find out why. A video and quiz round out the article. Integrated with Google drive.
Marie Curie Facts and Activities (opens in new tab)
Start with the facts about Marie Curie—who won not one but two Nobel prizes—and branch out into relevant and fun science activities. Consider also using the facts of her life and death to teach kids about why radiation is hazardous and potentially deadly.
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 such as a crossword puzzle, word search, drawing lesson, writing activity, and women's history quiz.
Who is a woman in your life who you admire? (opens in new tab)
A great jumping-off point for a writing lesson about most-admired women. Have your students pick a woman from history whose attributes are comparable to a woman from their personal lives, then write a compare-and-contrast essay. Or students can simply research and write about any accomplished woman, from long ago through the present day.
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.
Scripting the Past: Exploring Women's History Through Film (opens in new tab)
A detailed lesson plan that will inspire your students to learn, collaborate and create. Working in teams, students research topics, brainstorm visualizations and outline the plot. This rich and layered lesson offers multiple ways to view accomplished women, their dreams and their goals.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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. Find out where women made history, searching by date, topic, or state. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is dedicated to preserving America's historic places.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nobel Prizes Awarded to Women (opens in new tab)
Note how the rate of female Nobel laureates has changed dramatically in the 21st century.
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.
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.
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