Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Girls Around the World: Communicating Through First-Person Narratives
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Procedures for teachers is divided into four sections:
Prep -- Preparing for the lesson
Steps -- Conducting the lesson
Extension -- Additional Activities
Tips -- Managing resources and student activities


Media Components:

Computer Resources:

  • Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.

  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or above.

  • Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MB of RAM.
  • IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MB of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MB of RAM, running Windows 95.

Bookmarked sites:
    Girls, Women, and Women's History Month

  • Role Model Project for Girls
    What do you want to be when you grow up? How would a 9-16 year old girl answer that question? This site can help you offer her choices, and how women are portrayed.

  • Working Group on Girls
    Today's girl is tomorrow's woman: don't leave her behind. A special NGO website dedicated to the truth that all girls everywhere have the right to develop to their full potential.

  • United Nations: The World's Women 2000: Trends and Statistics
    Looks at the status of women though statistical data and analysis.

  • National Women's History Project
    The National Women's History Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing information and educational material and programs for women. The theme for March 2001 is "Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision"

  • Girl Scouts Women's History Month
    Learn About Women's History Year 'Round. Celebrate yourself when you visit this section.

  • Learning Network celebrates Women's History Month with special features, quizzes, biographies, and timelines.

  • TECHNOS Quarterly For Education and Technology, Fall 1994
    No Girls Allowed: article focuses on how girls are excluded from technology.

    Writing Process:

    Students can publish their writing on your school site when available, or they can publish on the Internet-there are several sites available, such as:

    Here is one sample-publishing site: Please be aware of a registration process for student information. The membership does not ask for students' name (it asks for a false 'member name'), but it does ask for student's zip code, and their date of birth.


  • Computer with Internet access and printer.
  • School or other website where student work can be published.
  • Ability of students to e-mail one another and the teacher.


This lesson was designed using The BSCS 5Es Instructional Model (The BSCS 5 Es Instructional Model is used with the permission of BSCS, Colorado Springs, CO). This is a five-step learning cycle, as summarized by the lesson author, with each step beginning with the letter E:

  • Engage: First engage your students by an event or question related to the concept that you plan to introduce.

  • Explore: Next allow your students to participate in activities to explore the concept. This exploration provides students with a common set of experiences from which they can initiate the development of their understanding of the concept.

  • Explain: Students, led by the teacher, clarify the concept under study and define relevant vocabulary.

  • Elaborate: Students elaborate and build on their understanding of the concept by applying it to new situations.

  • Evaluate: Finally, students complete an activity that will help them and the teacher evaluate their understanding of the concept.

Introductory Activity:

  • Advise students that they will be studying how girls live in other cultures and their work will be assessed according to these standards:
    • Comparing and contrasting differing sets of ideas, values, personalities, behaviors, and institutions.
    • Considering multiple perspectives.
    • Examining economic, social, and cultural developments in contemporary United States.
    • Producing a narrative account (fictional).
    • Producing work in at least one literary genre (narrative and letter writing) that follows the conventions of the genre.
    • Using telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.
  • Ask students to generate five questions each that can help paint a picture of daily life of girls in today's society, like: what's the most important activity you do every day? Have students use the questions to interview 5 girls of different ages, and draw two conclusions based on their findings.

    Learning Activities:

  • ENGAGE: Teacher uses KWL graphic organizers (What we Know, what we Want to know and what we Learned) as a baseline assessment of the class. Teacher assesses students' prior knowledge by having students discuss what they discovered in their interviews of women and girls in their own community.

    Teacher records student questions generated for their interviews. Class organizes and ranks these questions, choosing the most important ten questions.

    (1 period)

  • EXPLORE: Organize students into teams of three.

    For each team, ask students to choose one of the following roles:
    • Information Manager - actively conducts the Internet research
    • Communicator - visits other teams to ask for or give help
    • Tracker - keeps teammates on task

    Additionally each member of the group should act as:
    • Recorder - takes notes on findings
    • Reporter - reports to the class at any time on the team's progress

    Based on the W of the KWL, each team of students selects a society to investigate that they want to know more about. Students use the ten common questions generated by the class as they search the bookmarked sites.

    (3 periods)

  • EXPLAIN: Each team creates a chart comparing and contrasting the status of girls in the society they are studying and with their own. The entire class then sits in a circle and discusses similarities and differences.

    (2 periods)

  • ELABORATE: Review the writing process with students. For homework, students each write a personal narrative from the point of view of a girl living in the society under study, using a computer and word processing software, such as Word. Students then work with the teacher (and/or technology coordinator) to publish these narratives electronically on the web to your school's website (if you have the capability) or to the sites mentioned in the bookmark section of lesson.

    (2 periods)

    Culminating Activity:

  • EVALUATE: Using e-mail (following traditional letter-writing guidelines) or traditional letter writing, students impersonate the girl or woman from their narrative and respond to questions from other students.

    (1 period)


    If two classes in the same or different schools are simultaneously using this lesson, you can create a global classroom by having your students e-mail students in the other class. This will be even more exciting for students since they most likely won't know the identity of with whom they are corresponding.

    Cross-Curricular Extensions:

    Students can illustrate their narratives with:

    • a portrait of their girl
    • the house their girl lives in
    • three items of importance in their girl's room

    Community Connections:

    If your students uncover conditions for girls and women in other societies (or their own) which they object to, have them engage in letter or e-mail writing to relevant government, academic, or business personnel to bring attention to the matter and help the change process.


    • Allowing students to e-mail is a privilege. Make sure you share your school's guidelines for Internet usage and e-mail use with your students first and the consequences of not following the guidelines.
    • Your students may uncover some harsh realities (child labor, child slavery, and child prostitution). Be prepared to allow students to sit in a circle and share their feelings about these evils.

    Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students