March is Women’s History Month! Here are a few simple ways to incorporate women’s history in your ELA class.
(And if you’re looking to incorporate Black history in ELA, check out this resource round-up.)
Display a timeline of female authors
A timeline is an excellent visual to help students see just how many women throughout history and around the world have made invaluable contributions to the literature we enjoy today.
Pique student interest in notable women
There are countless heroic women throughout history who have changed the course of societies, causes, and fields.
For meaningful non-fiction reading as well as opportunities for writing a biographical sketch, give students a list such as the following.
Allow them to choose the subject who most interests them, conduct some light research, and compile their findings in an essay. For a more creative twist, have students write a eulogy for or poem about the woman that they studied.
Lesser-known women in history to study:
- Rosalind Franklin (1920–1958) British scientist who made significant strides in the study of DNA
- Fe del Mundo (1911–2011) Filipina pediatrician who was the first woman to be accepted into Harvard Medical School
- Grandma Moses (1860–1961) American folk artist whose glowing success didn’t begin until much later in life
- Lillian Wald (1867–1940) American nurse and humanitarian who contributed much to advancements in public health
- Annie Londonderry (1870-1947) Latvian-American athlete who was the first woman to cycle around the world
- Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) Kenyan activist who was the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree; also the first African woman to win the Nobel Prize
- Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949) Indian political activist and poet who fought for women’s emancipation
Helping students stay organized and on track during any research project is always a challenge. This digital research notebook is a game-changer for projects large and small!
Make it personal
Have students think of a woman in their life who deserves to be in the history books. Assign them to write a detailed thank-you letter to them, a colorful description of them, a song or poem about them, or even an “Amazon review” for them.
To give parameters and make projects easier to evaluate, make sure to use a good rubric.
Read works by female authors
Of course one of the simplest ways of all to incorporate Women’s History Month in ELA is to read literature written by women. This free list of 50 famous female authors is a great starting point!