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Celebrating Women

Integrating Women's History Across the Curriculum

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In some American schools, girls fall through the educational cracks. To combat this we must give extra attention in our plans to provide girls with points of reference. We should begin looking for connections in our curriculum. Following are ideas for a wide spectrum of courses.

Art

  1. Have students research the works of important women artists such as Georgia O'Keefe.
  2. Dispel the myth that all medieval and Renaissance painters were men.
  3. Have students compare and contrast Mary Cassatt's depiction of women to Jacques-Louis David's.
  4. Have students create a work of art depicting a woman they know.

Chorus

  1. Have students write a research paper on a historical woman composer.
  2. Have students learn about and perform Hildegard von Bingen's songs.
  3. Students pick a modern female songwriter and complete a critical music report showing the evolution of her work.

Classes With Computers

  1. Have students read about Women in Computing and write about one of the women.
  2. Have students brainstorm how they can get younger girls interested in computing.
  3. Have students examine the national salary averages for all Information Technology jobs and compare those to other career fields.
  4. Create a web site portraying the history of women.

Drama

  1. Students can investigate organizations like Women Playwrights International to learn about opportunities for women writers.
  2. Have students write a play a historical woman such as Marie Curie.
  3. Have students perform speeches as if they were the famous women who gave them.

English and Other Languages

  1. Have students read works by women such as Charlotte Bronte and write critiques.
  2. Have students write a poem about women.
  3. Students can use the Biography Framework to complete biographical sketches of famous literary women.
  4. Journal Ideas:
    • Which woman in history do you admire most?
    • Which woman writer is your favorite?
    • How has the role of women changed over time?
    • Are there any jobs you think are inappropriate for women? for men?
    • Should women be penalized for taking time off to raise their children?
    • Should there be a women's history month? Defend your answer.
    • How do you feel about a woman President?
    • Should women serve in combat areas during war?
    • Should traditional male and female roles still exist?
    • Do you feel there is prejudice against women in American society today?

Home Economics

  1. Have students write a position paper about gender roles.
  2. Have students create a collage showing the evolution of women's roles over time.
  3. Have students read "What was Home Economics?" and write a summary/review/critique.

Math

  1. Have students create a biographical sketch of famous female mathematicians.
  2. As an educator, study the research behind Girl's Attitudes, Self-Expectations, and Performance in Math.
  3. Steer girls who are interested in math towards the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM).
  4. Read "Making It Happen: Pizza Parties, Chemistry Goddesses & Other Strategies that Work for Girls and Others" to get awesome ideas for teaching about math and science for girls. (You need Adobe Acrobat for this.)

Science

  1. Have students read about Marie Curie and write an article concerning her scientific discoveries or her importance to women in scientific fields.
  2. Have students create a biographical sketch of famous female scientists.
  3. Provide students with some interesting science career opportunities and have them create a profile of the one that interests them most.

Social Studies

  1. Have students explore the feminist movement through biographies of women like Gloria Steinem.
  2. Have students pick an important woman from history and create a biographical sketch.
  3. Women played important roles in the Progressive Era during the first part of the twentieth century. While studying the Progressive Movement, have students pick one woman to research.
  4. Students can examine the lives of the First Ladies.
  5. Have students create a collage of pictures representing the contributions/roles of women through America's history or during a particular period of American History.
  6. Students write a song or poem highlighting the contritbutions of either one woman in history or women in general.
  7. Students can create a webpage showing the major contributions of either one woman in history or women in general.
  8. Review the timeline and listen to the speeches of Eleanor Roosevelt. Have students write a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt about her impact or have them write speech for today as if they were Eleanor Roosevelt.
  9. Create a collage or an essay concerning the changing role of women. This could focus on any aspect including work roles, family roles, and popular culture.
  10. Have students read the 1950's Rules for Married Women and create a visual diagram comparing today's roles and those of the past.
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