It’s always important to encourage the study of women in history but especially in March. March is Women’s History Month and the 8th is International Women’s Day so there’s no time like the present to teach kids about women in history.
4 Ways to Teach Kids About Women in History
There are many ways to engage kids in learning about important women and how they’ve contributed to our country’s history beyond the classroom. Visit historic sites, read books featuring lesser-known iconic figures, understand why Women’s History Month exists, and more. Keep reading for some easy ways to teach kids about women’s history.
Understand the Why Behind Women’s History Month
Why is there a month dedicated to women in history? National Geographic Kids can help answer how it started, who it honors, and the annual theme selected by National Women’s History Alliance. We Are Teachers features 25 facts about Women’s History Month for young history and trivia buffs to help teach kids about women in history.
Visit a Historic Site In-Person or Virtually
National Parks and National Historic Landmarks teach kids about women in history through visits that provide meaningful in-person lessons. The National Park Service provides a list of locations that teach about women’s history through your visit including these National Parks and National Historic Landmarks:
- Two American Entrepreneurs: Madam C.J. Walker and J.C. Penney‑ Examine the historic places associated with two of America’s most famous 20th century business people. (National Historic Landmarks)
- Clara Barton’s House: Home of the American Red Cross— Follow Barton’s remarkable career as a leader of charitable causes, from caring for the wounded on Civil War battlefields to founding the American Red Cross. (National Park/National Historic Landmark)
- The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House: African American Women Unite for Change— Learn about Mary McLeod Bethune and how she and the organization she founded promoted political and social change for African American women. (National Park)
Visit this link to view the entire list of 18 locations.
Called “one of the most influential women in American history,” the virtual visit shows her activities at home is a great way to teach kids about women in history. The online content demonstrates Eleanor Roosevelt’s interest in humanitarianism, as epitomized by her leadership in the creation of the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights.
Use Images from the Library of Congress to Spark Conversation
Teach kids about women in history through primary source documents that can create conversations. The Library of Congress has a huge digital collection which includes images that can spark a discussion at home or in a classroom.
The Women in Science and Technology primary source set includes photos that can be used to get kids to reflect on their own experiences in their classrooms and compare their experiences to what they see in the pictures. The Library of Congress also suggests these discussion questions:
- How has science education changed over time?
- If you were to pose for a photograph in a science class to show you work, what setting would you choose and what people or objects would you want to include in the photo?
Inspire the Next Generation with Books About Lesser-Known Iconic Women
Teach kids about women in history but go beyond the “famous firsts” typically taught during the month. The list of books below features a diverse array of lesser-known iconic. From a famed fighter of injustice to an up-and-coming environmental health scientist, these women are sure to inspire the next generation! Here’s a roundup of age-appropriate books preschoolers through tweens will love.
Women’s History Month Books for Preschoolers
What Isabella Wanted: Isabella Stewart Gardner Builds a Museum by Candace Fleming
From multiple award-winning author Candace Fleming and Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell comes the true story of a woman who always got what she wanted: Isabella Stewart Gardner. For years, the indomitable Isabella Stewart Gardner searched the world for magnificent artwork and filled her home with a truly unique collection, with the aim of turning it into a museum, which she established in 1903. Best for ages 4-8
Women’s History Month Books for Early Elementary Ages (K-2)
Kate’s Light: Kate Walker at Robbins Reef Lighthouse by Elizabeth Spires
Illustrated by a Caldecott Medalist, this beautiful picture book shares the true story of Katherine Walker, one of the first woman on the Eastern Seaboard to be put in charge of an offshore lighthouse. By the time she retired at the age of seventy-one, Kate had become a legend to the sailors passing by. Best for ages 6-8
Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers’ Rights by Deborah Hopkinson
An engaging picture book biography of Frances Perkins, the first woman cabinet member and activist who created the Social Security program. Deborah Hopkinson’s energetic text and Kristy Caldwell’s appealing illustrations unite to tell Perkins’ fascinating story as well as introduce early concepts of financial literacy, the Social Security Act, and the New Deal. Best for ages 6-10
Taking Off: Airborne with Mary Wilkins Ellis by Emily Arnold McCully
Witness the true story of how Mary Wilkins Ellis’ childhood passion for flying led to an exciting career in the air, written and illustrated by a Caldecott Medalist. With watercolor and ink illustrations which perfectly capture the exhilaration of flying, Taking Off brings a little-known figure and her can-do spirit to life. Best for ages 6-8
Away with Words: The Faring Story of Isabella Bird by Lori Mortensen
This dashing picture book biography about the first female member of the Royal Geographic Society takes readers around the world with a daring nineteenth-century female explorer and author. It’s perfect for readers seeking adventure-filled girl power stories. Best for ages 6-10
This energetic, inspiring picture book biography focuses on the peace work that helped Jane Addams go from FBI’s “Most Dangerous Woman in America” to the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. Suzanne Slade’s powerful text, written in free verse, is brought to life with Alice Ratterree’s stunning, period-perfect illustrations. Best for ages 6-10
Women’s History Month Books for Tweens
Breaking the Mold: Changing the Face of Climate Science by Dana Alison Levy
Based on extensive interviews and featuring infographics and personal photos, Breaking the Mold offers a snapshot of 16 people and organizations fighting to make science more equitable. Back matter includes advice for readers interested in science careers, DIY projects, paths to community involvement, and more. Best for ages 8-12
Stitch by Stitch: Elizabeth Hobbs Keckly Sews Her Way to Freedom by Connie Schofield-Morrison
Born a slave, Elizabeth used her talents as a seamstress to buy freedom for herself and her son. Despite becoming one of the most sought-after seamstresses in Civil War-era Washington D.C, very few people know Elizabeth’s story. Enriched by direct quotes and mixed-media illustrations, this beautiful book celebrates a remarkable woman. Best for ages 7-10
The true story of Nellie Bly, a bold woman, reporter, and adventurer who set a world record for her famous journey around the globe. Young readers will cheer for Nellie Bly as she embarks on her 22,000-mile trip. Equipped only with one sturdy travel dress, a small satchel, and a pet monkey she picks up in Singapore, Bly travels by ship, train, and foot, experiencing incredible events and places. Best for ages 7-10
The award-winning, inspirational story of journalist Ida B. Wells and her crusade for justice and civil rights. Philip Dray tells the story of Ida B. Wells and her lifelong commitment to end injustice. Award-winning illustrator Stephen Alcorn’s remarkable illustrations recreate the tensions that threatened to upend a nation while paying tribute to a courageous American hero. Best for ages 10-14
No compensation was received for this post and all opinions are my own. Amazon affiliate links are included and book samples were received to facilitate this post. This post originally appeared on TechSavvyMama.com