How to teach Women’s History Month: Notable women in history lessons (Blog image)

How to teach Women’s History Month: Notable women in history lessons

February 20, 2024Quinae Jackson and Marcela Labrador

What is Women’s History Month, and why is it important?

Women’s History Month in March is dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating the vital contributions of women in United States history and society. Some of the most important moments in history can be attributed to famous women in history in ways we don’t often consider. From the first successful space flight to the first flight over both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans- women make history, and in March, we honor women in history. It is important to teach about women’s history in the classroom year-round to ensure everyone has a full understanding of the ways in which our world is better when we all have an opportunity to allow our gifts to shine.

New to Nearpod? Teachers can sign up for a free Nearpod account below to access these standards-aligned activities and create interactive lessons. Administrators can schedule a call with an expert to unlock the full power of Nearpod for schools and districts.

How to use Nearpod to teach Women’s History Month

Nearpod‘s interactive and collaborative lessons can help teach a range of topics that openly discuss women in STEM, social studies, the arts, and literature while encouraging civic and civil conversations. However you teach, there is a Nearpod lesson to support your exploration of women in History.

When discussing the U.S. Government, teach about Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth and their fight for the right to vote. When DNA comes up in Science class, reference Rosalind Franklin, who was the first to successfully capture an X-ray of DNA. Liven up chemistry discussions by teaching about Tapputi-Belatekallim, a perfumer from Ancient Babylon who is one of the first recorded chemists.

Lessons about women's rights and history and historical figures

This blog post will walk through how to use free resources from Nearpod to teach students about women’s history in any classroom setting, for any subject, at any time of the school year. Let us help you incorporate famous women in history into your curriculum year-round with these resources!

Women’s History Month lessons: 5 ways to teach about famous women in history

1. Be inclusive of different perspectives in women’s history

When you approach a historical occurrence in your classroom, support students in recognizing that history is often written by “he,” who holds the pen. There is always more than one side to any story. In fact, “she” was there as well! Women have always been pivotal in our society, we must understand the role they played, examine the struggles they endured, and celebrate the accomplishments they made. Tie in historical narratives and artifacts that exhibit the women who were present as well.

Women’s History Month lessons that incorporate multiple perspectives:

Gender Equality lesson

Interactive social studies lessons to provide context on women’s rights in American and world history, such as Participate: Gender Equality.

Deb Haaland, New Secretary of Interior - Current events lesson

Discuss influential and famous women today through current events lessons, such as the New Secretary of Interior: Deb Haaland.

Malala Yousafzai and Student Activism lesson

Inspirational and interactive lessons highlighting the contributions of women from the past and present, like the Malala Yousafzai and Student Activism lesson.

Ida B. Wells Smithsonian video

Teach about famous women in American history using Interactive Video lessons, such as Ida B. Wells.

Jane Austen - Just a Minute video

Teach about notable women authors in literature using Interactive Video lessons, such as this Just a Minute lesson about Jane Austen.

2. Create a classroom culture of encouragement by highlighting women in STEM

You must create a classroom culture that encourages girls to explore various types of careers, including those that are not traditionally associated with women. Women’s History Month is not just about commemorating the past but also about creating a future where girls can be whatever they want to be and have examples to help them along the way. Famous women in history have been trailblazing for ages- from Lozen, a gifted warrior who was a shield to the Apache people, to Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, who is known as the “First Lady of Physics.”

Lessons that boost confidence and expose students to the endless possibilities that exist:

Representation in STEM careers lesson

Examine why women and some races are underrepresented in STEM fields and explore how to be inclusive in career fields with this Learning for Justice lesson.

Famous women in history interactive video lesson about Marie Curie

Explore women in STEM, such as the Interactive Video lesson about Marie Curie, a famous woman in history who discovered adium and polonium.

Henrietta Lacks HPL Social Studies lesson

Explore under-recognized women’s legacies in American history, like Henrietta Lacks, whose HeLa cells contributed to impactful scientific advancements.

Famous women in STEM lesson about Katherine Johnson in partnership with Flocabulary

Biographies on the lives and contributions of under-recognized women in American history, such as the engaging lesson about Katherine Johnson in partnership with Flocabulary.

Current event lessons for Women's History Month

Teach about current events, such as the First All-Woman Spacewalk and 3D Sculptures at the Smithsonian lessons.

3. Inspire students with engaging hip-hop video lessons about famous women in history

As emerging global citizens, it is important to create opportunities for students to grow empathy and understanding with content that reflects their identities and cultures and introduces them to new perspectives. Flocabulary offers relevant, engaging, standards-aligned hip-hop videos and instructional activities that connect academic content to the five pillars of literacy. One of my favorite ways to incorporate Flocabulary is to include a Flocab video as an interactive activity in my Nearpod lesson. Students can also use the Lyric Lab feature to demonstrate mastery in creative ways. Hip-hop is the voice of the youth. Use Flocabulary to help students combine something they love with an opportunity to learn and grow. Flocabulary includes a ton of videos that highlight the contributions of women in history.

Check out these Flocabulary videos on amazing women in history and marginalized groups:

4. Prioritize teaching social and emotional skills and representation of gender

Collaborate Board example for social emotional learning activities

Use Nearpod’s interactive activities to help students practice social and emotional learning skills. Have them share how they feel about the women in history they are learning about.

Here are some Women’s History Month activities for students:

Poll question to get insight into how students are feeling
  • Use a Poll activity to ask multiple-choice questions without a right answer to check for understanding. Take a class vote or highlight student opinions.
  • Use an Interactive Video and allow the predetermined checks for understanding to be used as discussion prompts for classroom conversations.
  • Do a Time to Climb activity, an educational game, with students that will level up the competition and engagement in the classroom while assessing their understanding.
  • Use a Collaborate Board, a discussion board for collaborative learning, to empower student voice and choice in the classroom.
  • Use a Matching Pairs activity to test students’ knowledge of women’s suffrage vocabulary terms.

5. Dive deep into women’s history and rights

Delve into pivotal moments and figures from history and today with our collection of lessons and videos centered around the rich tapestry of women’s history and rights. Use this as an opportunity to discuss the ongoing struggle for gender equality, spanning from the suffrage movement to women’s rights advocacy. By incorporating these resources into your Women’s History Month ideas for school, you can empower students to understand the significance of women’s rights while fostering a commitment to equality and justice.

Here are some of the Women’s History Month lessons and videos to explore:

Women's Suffrage - Grades 7-12 lesson

Start teaching with these Women’s History Month activities

We’re so excited to see you use these lessons and activities to celebrate Women’s History Month. Remember, Nearpod is an opportunity to leverage engagement and interaction and prioritize students’ social and emotional learning needs when discussing women in history. Happy Women’s History Month!

New to Nearpod? Teachers can sign up for a free Nearpod account below to access these standards-aligned activities and create interactive lessons. Administrators can schedule a call with an expert to unlock the full power of Nearpod for schools and districts.

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