Adult Ed

Celebrating Women's History

Overview | Activities

Introductory Activities
  1. Brainstorming
    Have your students name the most famous women they can think of. Record their responses on a large piece of newsprint. Have students say what each woman is known for.

  2. Scavenger Hunt
    Next, divide the class into small groups and distribute the Remarkable Women handout to them. Assign each group three women from the handout and direct them to find their achievements on the National Women's History Project Web site at Tell students to list what they have learned about each of the three women. After they have done their research, each group should report their findings to the class. The class must listen for the correct answers and complete the Remarkable Women handout.

  3. Categorizing
    Elicit achievement categories for the women on the Remarkable Women handout and create a chart on newsprint entitled Achievements of Remarkable Women. Please see the Achievements of Remarkable Women handout for categories. Have the student groups write their assigned women in the appropriate achievement category on the chart. Afterwards, distribute the Achievements of Remarkable Women handout for students to complete.

Learning Activities

Famous Women Inquiry Project

Distribute the Famous Women Inquiry Project Description handout and have students read it. Have students form small groups (or pair off) and choose a woman they would like to learn more about. Your students may choose someone from the Remarkable Women handout or someone else they are interested in. After they have made their choices, discuss the project, provide a time frame for its completion, and further clarify your expectations. Then have your students complete the Famous Women Inquiry Project Proposal handout. Once you approve the proposal, your students should commence work on their projects.

Interviews with Famous Women

Distribute the Interviews with Famous Women handout to your students and have them read it. Tell your students to form small groups with new partners, and have them take turns assuming the roles of an interviewer and the famous woman they researched. If possible, interviews should be recorded and played back for the class. Students may also volunteer to repeat their interviews for the class.

Thank You Letter to a Famous Woman

Facilitate a whole group discussion in which students talk about what they most appreciate about the famous woman they have researched. Possible discussion questions include:

  • What do you most admire about the woman you chose?

  • What do you most appreciate about her achievements?

  • How would your life be different if she had not done what she had done?

  • If you had the opportunity to meet this woman, what would you say to her?
Have your students write a thank-you letter to the woman they researched. After they're finished, have your students form small groups to read their letters aloud and solicit peer feedback using questions such as: What did you understand? Is there anything else you would like to know? How could the letter be clearer? Once they have gotten feedback, have your students revise their letters. When the revisions are complete, ask students to volunteer to read their letters to the whole class. Afterwards, collect the letters and make editing suggestions.

Culminating Activities

Famous Women Inquiry Project PowerPoint presentations

Tell your students to synthesize the information they have collected about the famous woman they researched in a PowerPoint presentation. If they have not yet done so, have your students search for photos of the woman. Then have them work on a PowerPoint presentation, using the handout, Famous Women Inquiry Project PowerPoint Presentation Checklist as a starting point. Once the presentation is completed, your students may present PowerPoint presentations to the class. Students may give feedback on the presentations by filling out the Famous Women Inquiry Project PowerPoint Presentation Evaluation handout.

Publication of Thank You Letters

Once your students have completed the third and final draft of their Thank You Letter to a Famous Woman, compile their letters and create a book. Ask your students to select a title and create a cover. If possible, make copies of the book for every student.

Extension Activities

Women Who Made History Talk Show

Have your students divide into working groups to plan a talk show in which some of the famous women researched appear and are interviewed by the host and audience. The students' working groups might include Acting, Talk Show Script, Casting/Direction, Props, Sound Effects and Publicity. Have your students rehearse the talk show and then perform it for their friends, students from other classes and program staff.

Thank You Letter to a Famous Woman Readings

Ask your students to read the collection of Thank You Letters to a Famous Woman and take turns reading them aloud. Additional copies of the book may be made and distributed to any "outside" guests that are invited to the readings.

Community Activities

Famous Women Bulletin Board

Have your students create a bulletin board outside of the classroom that illustrates the work done on Famous Women. Students should review what they have learned and what they would like others to learn from the bulletin board. Divide your students into working groups that focus on design and content. The bulletin board should include a title, name of the class and date.

Women's History Resources Brochure

Invite your students to pool their favorite Web sites and books for finding information about Famous Women. Have a small group of students design and create a brochure that highlights the resources cited by students in the class. Photocopy the brochure, distribute it to students, and post it on the bulletin board.

International Women's Day Celebration

March 8th is International Women's Day. Dedicate a class session to celebrating the accomplishments of both famous and non-famous women. Collaborate with other program classes and invite guest speakers from the community if possible. Have your students divide into working groups that focus on skits, decoration, games, food, guests, posters, schedule, etc. On or around March 8, hold an International Women's Day Celebration that offers a range of opportunities - for example, skits, games, and posters for your students and their guests to learn about the many accomplishments of women.