March is almost here, which means it’s almost time for Women’s History Month, and an opportunity to teach students what the meaning the behind Women’s History Month is, as well as notable women and events that occurred throughout women’s history.
What Should I Teach about Women’s History Month?
Women’s history was first celebrated in the United States in March 1981 when Congress authorized the celebration of Women’s History Week. Congress then passed a resolution to declare March Women’s History Month in 1987 (not too long ago) due to a request by the National Women’s History Project. Since 1987, each president has signed the resolution on an annual basis to continue the tradition of celebrating and supporting Women’s History Month.
While this post was written primarily for educators looking for online resources to teach their students about Women’s History Month, these resources are great for anyone to create a deeper understanding of the importance of Women’s History Month.
Here are some great online resources you can use to teach your students about Women’s History Month in 2021.
P.S. There’s a free lesson for you at the bottom!
10 Free Online Resources for Women’s History Month You Can Teach in 2021
It’s time to celebrate Women’s History Month with lesson plans and online activities that honor the women who made a difference throughout our history, and into today.
1. National Women’s History Alliance
Since we have the National Women’s History Project to thank (amongst many other incredible women and men that got us there) for Women’s History Month, we are starting with them!
The National Women’s History Alliance (formerly the National Women’s History Project) works to promote Women’s History and is “committed to the goals of education, empowerment, equality, and inclusion.”
They promote women’s history all year round, and are determined to celebrate the centennial of women’s right to vote despite the challenges of 2020 and 2021. They offer great information about the Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative, as well as a huge list of resources on the suffragists and the suffrage movement.
P.S. We based our free lesson this month on one of their amazing articles!
Women’sHistoryMonth.gov focuses on providing primary resources from The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in order to encourage the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history.
They have A special “For teachers” page that offers feature content and selected resources from these institutions. Many of their documents, photographs, and sources are also featured in the exhibits Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote, at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, and One Half of the People: Advancing Equality for Women, traveling the country.
3. National Women’s History Museum
This is the website for the national Women’s History Museum. They note: “Women’s contributions and accomplishments have largely been overlooked and consequently omitted from mainstream culture. The National Women’s History Museum helps fill that void. To this end, the Museum serves to place women’s history within current historical narratives because inclusive history is good history.”
Womenshistory.org has specific sections for students and educators covering a variety of topics, biographies, downloadable posters, and even e-field trips.
This “topics” page is a great place to get started. Whether you’re using it for inspiration on topics to cover or as a source, you can find information on activism, the colonial era, women in government, the Civil War and reconstruction, and of course, women’s history month (and more)!
This digital classroom and resources page is also perfect for the current hybrid teaching environment. You can explore the resources. The National Women’s History Museum has to offer and they provide lesson plans and videos about a range of women’s history topics.
P.S. They have a feature on Vice President Kamala Harris as the “Chief Glass Ceiling Breaker.”
4. Library of Congress
The Library of Congress offers online events throughout March to commemorate Women’s History Month. Some of these events include: “Searching for suffrage with Kimberly Hamlin,” and “Rediscovering Eleanor Roosevelt.”
Many of these online events are offered on YouTube or Facebook, making them a bit easier to share with your student and a hybrid teaching environment. This is a great resource for both Women’s History Month, and the rest of the school year!
History.com is also a great resource for Women’s History Month information. This article offers a great overview of why we celebrate Women’s History Month, the importance of International Women’s Day, as well as the photo gallery of women leaders, woman in sports, woman in arts, and women in science.
Even if you don’t use it directly in your lesson, it’s a great way to brush up on a few facts that you can share with your students throughout the month, or for your own personal knowledge.
6. The My Hero Project
The MY HERO Project is a non-profit educational project that uses a blend of media, art, and technology that empowers people of all ages to “celebrate the best of humanity, one story at a time.” Their “Featured Women” page notes that “women from all walks of life are heroes,” and offers articles ranging from Abigail Adams to Condoleezza Rice to Dorothy Vaughan to Fadela Amara and more.
This page offers tons of information about notable women throughout history, and is an awesome resource for students (and teachers!) to learn about women they may not have heard of before. You also get special tools and online resources if you register for a teacher account.
7. The National Archives
The National Archives is hosting a variety of online events in honor of Women’s History Month. One of their first events is “The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine,” where Janice P. Nimura shares the story of pioneering sisters Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell and how they exploded the limits of possibility for women in medicine in the mid-19th century.
Another is “The Girl Explorers: The Untold Story of the Globetrotting Women Who Trekked, Flew, and Fought Their Way Around” where will Jayne Zanglein tells the inspirational and untold story of the founding of the Society of Women Geographers.
They even offer a virtual pajama party for kids that focuses on women in sports, an event where Taylor Williams portrays a suffragist and answers questions, as well as a moderated discussion about women in the military
All of these events won’t be perfectly suited for every student’s grade level, so make sure to check them out before including them in your lesson plan.
8. Share My Lesson
Share My Lesson is an online destination for educators and other teaching professionals to share some of their favorite lessons and educational resources with one another. Educators be can become a member in order to contribute their ideas, as well as learn from the other teachers on the site.
They’re Women’s History Month collection offers PreK-12 lesson plans and class activities about women’s history in culture and sports, politics and civil rights, labor in economics, STEM, and even a video collection. They also offer a #MeToo resource collection on combating harassment and creating inclusive classrooms, as well as a curated collection on women’s suffrage and the 19th amendment.
9. Education World
Education World has several Women’s History Month lessons activities and resources to “to involve your students in the study of women’s contributions to the world.” Their lesson plan suggestions include teaching the history of the American woman, making boards of inspiring quotes by famous women, and creating an internet scavenger hunt with specific question about major women in history such as:
“Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: What prominent organization did these two women form in 1869?”
They also have a curation of helpful sites for teaching Women’s History Month.
Last but not least: Scholastic.com. Scholastic is always a great resource are teachers, and their Women’s History Month resource article is no different.
They cover the founding of Women’s History Month, historic events and movements in Women’s History Month, and interactive histories of the pioneering woman, as well as a list of classroom activities, projects, and book resources. They also include a Must-Read Women in History Month book list and Women’s History Teacher’s Activity Guide.
What Women’s History Month Lesson Will You Teach Today?
And there you have it: 10 great (free) resources to help you teach Women’s History Month to your students!