TeachersFirst's Women's History Month Resources
This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about Women's History and to plan related projects and classroom activities. Whether you spend one class or an entire unit on Women's History, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the activities and resources on this site to help students connect global and individual events, and realize that a positive attitude is possible despite terrible misfortune. Use the online resources to help you select the topics, activities, and articles that center around the themes you want to emphasize as a preview or follow up to reading The Diary of Anne Frank. Let the students collect and save their information on a class set of computers, (groups of three students work well.) Work toward one or several of the suggested final products, such as creating a wall poster, collage, or mosaic by using one of the online tools reviewed by TeachersFirst. Have students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Challenge students to use Mosaic Maker reviewed here. You might want to start by having students brainstorm a list of past or present acts of discrimination of which they are aware. Develop their brainstorming list on an interactive whiteboard or projector using bubbl.us, reviewed here, and ask students to think about and associate feelings of the victims of these acts. How might those feelings look in graphic form? Have each student or groups of students choose one example from the list, along with a few words about the feelings that accompany the acts of discrimination, and select online images that reflect those emotions. When students express their feelings onto visual media, it helps them relate to what Anne did by writing in her diary. For more adventurous technology users, all individual or group work can be merged to create an online scrapbook that can be shared with the entire class and families, using Smilebox (reviewed here).
Grades4 to 10
tag(s): women (101)
In the ClassroomAdd this site to your class wiki or website. Assign students to view a specific episode and start an online class discussion. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Encourage students, especially girls to try experiments. Perhaps, have students design their own projects and post their instructions as part of a laboratory activity in class.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your class on a virtual field trip to Amsterdam to visit the Secret Annex where they can realize what it was actually like for Anne Frank's family and four others to live inside a hidden space, with the constant fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Help the words in Anne's diary come alive by showing what the outside and inside of the building looked like, by viewing the painstaking ways that were taken to keep them safe, and by looking at the space where Anne ate, slept, and hung her pictures. Students will be more likely to relate to Anne as a real person, instead of a fictional character, and admire her optimism, courage, and resiliency. Use this to initiate journal entries for students to reflect on how they would handle two years of hiding and sharing a small space with others, as well as what they would do to remain positive, or use the online exhibit to shed some light on a dark period in history and to strengthen the personal account of the hiding period and the deportation to the camps. Assign class members to read about one of the house members or helpers to research, then have them write a diary (or blog entry) from that person's point of view. Assign teams to debate who was the most important member of the household or if this situation could take place in today's society. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.Have groups compare two people they learned about using a tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Create a class wiki for students to share their journal articles and respond to others.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): women (101)
In the ClassroomUse this with your students to encourage students, especially female students to seek knowledge in science. Have students listen to a podcast from the site. Then have the students think about a type of scientist that they would like to interview. Have them either role play as the scientist and student, or put the students in contact with real life scientists to interview. You could even have students create their own podcasts of their interviews using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site to add to your class web page during your study of Anne Frank and the Holocaust, or as part of the themes of discrimination and resiliency. Use it as an introduction before reading The Diary of Anne Frank by displaying the website on your interactive whiteboard or projector to spark a whole class investigation of Anne Frank's childhood and family, her teenage years in hiding and the people who helped, the betrayal, the captivity and suffering in the concentration camps, and her diary. Students may continue exploring and learning on their own in the computer lab or with a class set of laptops. You can easily develop a checklist to direct students to the links that you want to emphasize and to keep them on task while navigating the site. There are even online multiple-choice quizzes about Anne Frank and her diary. Consider having cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations about Anne Frank. How about online books using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomFrench teachers can include this site in a unit on Medieval French history, displaying some of the scenes on an interactive whiteboard or projector for an authentic view of ancient culture. European history students and language teachers can use the site to supplement information on the history of France by selectively introducing the activities which help review the material presented here. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations using the information available at this site. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Have groups create interactive online posters ("glogs") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse these images to complement various lesson themes on the historic role of women as workers, or use the site as a whole for a larger discussion of women and work. While the site is not extensive, the images are good, and their organization into themes might help students understand that women's roles as workers have varied tremendously over the years. Share an image or two on your projector or whiteboard for a discussion starter to help students envision life in these by-gone times. Use this site as one of several image sources as you have students research and create wiki pages from different angles: life in colonial America, the history of labor, changing roles in U.S. society during the 19th century, etc.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.
Grades4 to 12
The Root Word Lesson Plans offer three difficulty levels, a prefix study, interactive puzzles focused on Greek and Latin roots. There are fill in the blanks, crosswords, true-false, word finds, and more.
The Word Lists are extensive and include nearly every topic one can imagine: Shakespeare, Legal Terms, Stock Market, ESL, Photography, Dance, Patriotism, Debate, Women in History, Psychology, Mythology, Kwanzaa, and MANY other topics.
The Thematic Puzzles include printable pages, interactive definition match games, and over fifty topics.
If you have students preparing for the SATs or ACTs, don't miss the Test Prep section with over 200 vocabulary words.
In the ClassroomSearch the site for topics that you are teaching or that are timely, such as holidays. Share the puzzles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students research various vocabulary words (provided with each topic). Have students create a multi-media project about their vocabulary words: wiki, blog, or PowerPoint. Be sure to take advantage of the free lesson plan ideas, discussion topics, and printable puzzles. As an ongoing vocabulary project, have student create interactive "word books" using Bookemon (reviewed here).
Grades3 to 9
tag(s): women (101)
In the ClassroomUse this site for research projects about famous females. Most of the activity suggestions are more traditional projects and writing assignments. If you want to add some technology touches, why not have students create a fictitious blog from a famous woman, or a wiki discussion between a famous woman from the early 1900s and a famous woman nowadays, or create a PowerPoint or podcast sharing information about their famous female.
Grades9 to 12
One of the nicest things on the site is the links that each group can use to access information they might use to complete their PowerPoints. These links all go to reputable sites and give students adequate information while showing the variety of sources to get information on a topic. At the time of this review, all research sites were working except one.
In the ClassroomThis Webquest assigns both individual and group tasks, so while students are working together, they are also working individually, great practice for the workplace. You might assign roles to students within the groups to encourage cooperation, such as the director of the PowerPoint, the writer, the editor, the layout editor, etc. This can isolate tasks for students while requiring them to know all the information necessary for the end product.
Instead of the traditional PowerPoint, consider having students use Google Presentation, a Google Docs tool reviewed here. This will allow students to automatically save their presentations, as well as easily share them from anywhere. Not to mention upload time is quick - a cure for the long waits in between student presentations.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomTraditionally, American history has been taught as the story of the dominant European culture's triumph over more primitive Native cultures. Native American culture is too often pictured as one-dimensional rather than as a rich collection of diverse tribes and cultures. If Native women are featured at all, they may be represented only by Pocahontas and Sacajawea. This site allows a fuller exploration of the variety of Native women's cultures and would serve as an outstanding supplement to a study of the European settlement of the West. The photographs of the women's dresses are lovely and would display nicely on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The commentary would be useful for any student doing more in-depth research into Native culture. The site's focus on women's roles and culture would also fit nicely with a unit on women's history. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. To extend the clothing-as -culture approach in your classroom, ask students to create a wiki showing the role of clothing in ethnic subcultures of the U.S. today or at other places and times. Middle school grades might want to work together with the art or FCS teachers on this.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this information to enhance your Olympic unit. The lesson plans and activities require very little preparation. Challenge your students to research the various countries that have hosted the Olympics in the past and create multimedia presentations to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades6 to 12
The National First Ladies' Library, located in Canton, Ohio, is dedicated to teaching others about the contributions of the First Ladies of the United States, as well as other notable women in U.S. History. In fact, the library is housed in the former home of Ida Saxton McKinley, the wife of President William McKinley. The Library is both a physical resource, but also a comprehensive virtual library of information. The site contains biographies of US First Ladies, lesson plans, and a searchable timeline. There is an online catalog of the many resources available in the library itself; those who do not live nearby could still use the catalog to identify resources associated with former First Ladies. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomThese resources might be useful to those doing First Lady biographies for Women's History Month or other famous Americans reports. Students doing more in-depth research for History Day projects will find the online catalog helpful. Check out the link to facts and trivia for a good First Ladies Trivia page.
Grades3 to 7
tag(s): symbols (19)
In the ClassroomIf you are learning about the Statue of Liberty or national symbols in general, visit this useful online unit. Even if you don't have time to complete the entire unit, you can "cherry pick" the good stuff. The activities are ready to go and very simple to use. Why not use your interactive whiteboard to share some of the unique pictures and activities available at this website.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): critical thinking (111)
In the ClassroomThis site could be a terrific way to publish student research projects to the real world. When you assign research projects on a famous scientist, author, famous American, musician, etc., have students create their written projects in a format that will fit into this online dictionary, including providing links and references for their information. Younger students could write an entry together as a class (perhaps on an author whose book you have just read). Challenge middle and high school students to find articles in your research area that contain possible inaccuracies or bias (and the research to prove it) and present both the original and their proposed changes to the class before putting them online. What a critical thinking challenge!
Be sure to follow your district's acceptable use policy if you are allowing students to contribute to this site. Make sure you have written parent permission to post student work online.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): literature (274)
In the ClassroomSince each section is printable, you might have students review different sections individually or in small groups and then be in charge of reviewing that section with the rest of the class. Using the interactive quizzes included on the site, students could vie as teams. The sample essay is set up in such a manner that several students could write one part of each of the six sections and then the class could put it together and compare it to the model answers.
Grades6 to 10
In the ClassroomThe scrapbooking approach is truly engaging: students can create their own scrapbooks on a variety of subjects (limited only by what interests them!). After looking through the "Collecting and Creating Images" art of the site, have students individually or in groups create their own scrapbooks of an incident in their lives, or their school, and then write about it. Or have them create scrapbooks on an author as part of your reading class.
If you have digital cameras and/or computers available, make the scrapbooks digitally. PowerPoint slides make great scrapbook "pages." If it's easier, create paper scrapbooks with writing. Whatever you do, be sure to plan a scrapbook sharing day or event to include an audience outside your class. The projects will be ten times better for the authentic audience!
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomOf course, the site would be useful to students doing research on the women's movement in general, or on the role of women during several important historical eras. In the "educational resources" section, there is a collection of quotations from women that would be great for creating displays for women's history month. There is also a group of quizzes that could be adapted for classroom use. The section focused on the women of Jamestown includes the stories of Native American women as well as the role of early European settler women and could supplement the usual Thanksgiving lessons on the new American colonies. There are also free lesson plans and classroom activities that teachers should take advantage of!
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): organizational skills (121)