Resources to Help You Celebrate Women’s History Every Day

Social Justice and Equity

In classrooms throughout the country, the stories of extraordinary women — from Abigail Adams to Carrie Chapman Catt, to Rosa Parks and Dolores Huerta — are taught and celebrated as part of Women’s History Month. The argument for Women’s History Month is that it provides an opportunity for the exploration and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. It’s a compelling argument.

But unless women’s history is integrated throughout the curriculum consistently and authentically, the vitality of women’s participation in U.S. history will be lost on students.

To truly understand American history, diverse women’s stories must be a part of it. Women have always been active participants in American society, and have experiences as complex as the women themselves.

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DO NOW: What is Whiteness?

Social Justice & Equity
Editors Note: This post was originally published on Catherine’s blog on Medium.

DO NOW: What is Whiteness?

After taking out their supplies and getting ready to engage, my students reacted to the question I’d written on the board as their “DO NOW.”

Some students giggled. Others made faces  –  perplexed, overwhelmed, entertained. A few began to chat with classmates. Some looked at me hoping for guidance. My co-teacher, having just entered the room, said, “That’s a great question!”

After giving my students time to react, I told them I knew it was a difficult question, but I wanted them to think about it. I told them there were no right answers, but they should draw upon their lived and learned experiences  —  and that I expected them to try to respond.

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Hamilton: The Ten Dollar Founding Father Proves Priceless in American Classrooms

Revolution, independence, the founding of our nation — this was my favorite era to teach. I have more creative, exciting lessons for this period than for any other, no matter the course or Hamilton the Musicalcontent.

Fascinated by the often fortuitous folly of the Founding Fathers, I made it a point to show my students that this nation was created by a group of brilliant but imperfect men — and women.

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Investigate U.S. History With Zoom In

As a U.S. History teacher at the middle-school level, I keep an eye out for resources, tools, and ideas for lessons that allow my students to work with the content of my courses in a lab-type format. Zoom In, a new, free online platform to help teach U.S. History through inquiry using primary- and secondary-source documents, has proven to be a great match for my overall teaching philosophy: Get students involved and working with real historical documents and they will be engaged, interested, and — best of all — remember what they’re learning.

I realize this is a bit different than the traditional role that social studies courses have taken on in the past. (Remember the days of memorizing dates, names, and facts and Jeopardy-style learning?)

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