These lessons are designed for teacher flexibility. What you will get is a packet of student materials with questions and discussion or analysis topics. Packets could take between 15-45 minutes depending on the lesson and grade level. Below are some suggestions for how to teach with them:
Independent Work: The most straightforward would be to introduce the topic and inquiry. Then pass out the packet and have students independently respond to the questions.
Partner Work: Having students independently complete the lesson but work with a partner. This can help support diverse learners.
Station Work: Put the documents up on posters or on tables spread out around the room. Pass students only the questions. Students move to each document station in shifts. This is a great strategy for kinesthetic learning.
Think, Pair, Share: Some lessons would be better taught as a "think, pair, share," where a student only examines one document from the lesson and answers the questions. Teachers can distribute documents based on student ability. They then group up with students who looked at different documents and teach the group about their source while learning about others. At the end, the group can pull the information together to answer the big analysis questions.
Team Work: Depending on how you want to extend the lesson, you may want to consider letting students work in teams. Maybe they are about to debate this? Break them into teams and they can do the packets together.
Extensions for after the lesson packet is completed:
Discussion: Consider facilitating a discussion of the analysis questions. Ask students to share their response with someone, or if they already worked in a group, ask them to nominate someone to represent their group to the class as a whole. Capitalize on differences between group responses. Why did one group answer differently than another? What impacted them or stood out more?
Four Corner Debate: Consider a "four-corner debate." In the corners of the room tack up a piece of paper with four differing and possible answers to the inquiry question. After students complete the lesson packet, pose the question to the room at large and ask students to move to the corner of the room (or in between locations) that represent their answer. Then, ask students to explain their choice. As students discuss they are allowed to move closer or further from ideas. This is a great strategy for kinesthetic learning.
Socratic Seminar: Consider doing a "socratic seminar" to extend the learning and get students to question what they still don't know or understand. Start with the inquiry's question. Students should be encouraged to answer one another's question directly, but also to answer the question with another question. This continues the conversation and gets at more rich ideas. The teacher should try to say as little as possible and let the students lead the dialog. One strategy for this is to seat students in a circle. Give each of them a cup and 2-3 tokens. When a student makes a substantive contribution to the discussion the teacher will walk over an place a token in the cup signaling that they have contributed. Students will become aware of who has spoken and who has not, and leave space for one another.
Structured Academic Controversy: Consider turning the lesson into a "structured academic controversy." Take the overarching question and turn it into a "debate." Students can choose or be assigned a side in the debate and use the documents provided to argue their "answer" to the overarching question. They can argue over interpretations and credibility of some documents.
Reacting to the Past: Consider doing some role play with your class. Reacting to the Past is an active learning pedagogy of role-playing games designed by Barnard University. In Reacting to the Past games, students are assigned character roles with specific goals and must communicate, collaborate, and compete effectively to advance their objectives. Reacting promotes engagement with big ideas, and improves intellectual and academic skills. Provide students with a set of rules about staying in character and what types of things they must know about their character. Students should be provided with a packet of role sheets with instructions on their individual goals and strategies for game play. Students can use sources and information from these activities, and can search for more details online about their individual character. Reacting roles and games do not have a fixed script or outcome. While students are obliged to adhere to the philosophical and intellectual beliefs of the historical figures they have been assigned to play, they must devise their own means of expressing those ideas persuasively in papers, speeches, or other public presentations.
The following resources are from external sources and have a wide range of lessons on women's history.
The Zinn History Education Project has a whole page dedicated to women's history. Zinn's project emphasizes labor history, the anti-war movement, and multicultural history. Their lessons tend to not be inquiry-based, but there are lots of great reading materials.
Clio and the Ongoing Feminist Revolution is a project dedicated to teaching women's history. They have a great book about how to get women's history into the classroom and their website has lesson plans.
The National History Day project, in conjunction wit the History Channel organized teachers from around the country to create lessons on women from American History. It resulted in the PDF below. Founder of Remedial Herstory, Kelsie Eckert, was one of the teachers published in this magazine.
“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.” –Malala Yousafza
Ted Talks about the importance of teaching women's history
THANK YOU PATRONS: Jeff Eckert, Barbara Tischler, Brooke Sullivan, Christian Bourdo, Kent Heckel, Jenna Koloski, Nancy Heckel, Megan Torrey-Payne, Leah Tanger, Mark Bryer, Nicole Woulfe, Alicia Guitierrez-Romine, Katya Miller, Michelle Stonis, Jessica Freire, Laura Holiday, Jacqui Nelson, Annabelle Blevins Pifer, Dawn Cyr, Megan Gary, and Melissa Adams.