3 Stories to Teach for Women’s History Month

Photo by Nicole Berro on Pexels.com

As an English and history double major, storytelling is a major part of my life and the inspiration behind a lot of my writing. I also love incorporating these stories into my teaching whenever possible, and more than ever, our students need hope and strength. 

Looking to incorporate women’s stories that encourage students into your curriculum? These three stories can be used to inspire students across all secondary classrooms just in time for Women’s History Month in March and beyond.

Sophie Scholl and the white rose

Flickr | UNARMED CIVILIAN

For a story about standing up for what is right, no matter the cost, tell the story of Sophie Scholl and The White Rose. The White Rose was an underground resistance movement whose mission was to spread information about the heinous truths of Nazi Germany through informational leaflets. Each leaflet called fellow Germans to do what was moral and just. Unfortunately, all members were caught and executed for their peaceful resistance, but their words still inspire activists and people across the globe. 

Several books and films have been released about the story, including one by Sophie’s sister Inge Scholl. Plough Publishing House recently released a graphic novel version called Freiheit! The White Rose Graphic Novel by Andrea Grosso Ciponte, so it can be the perfect addition to your classroom library. 

Hidden Figures and the “Human Computers”

Katherine Johnson | Photograph by NASA

From 1943 to 1970, the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Hampton, Virginia inspired women to pursue careers in STEM and were pioneers of NASA’s early projects. Dubbed as “human computers”, the most recognizable names are Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden. Their story, told by Margot Lee Shetterly’s 2016 book Hidden Figures, inspired many Black girls and women to pursue STEM careers. 

While the movie is also a wonderful teaching tool, the young adult adapted version of the book gives another accessible way to learn the story of the four women. Students may also look into Shetterly’s Human Computer Project dedicated to recording the histories of the women who made space exploration possible.  

MAlala Yousafzai’s Fight for Girl’s Education

Malala Yousafzai | Wikimedia Commons (内閣官房内閣広報室)

Malala Yousafzai stunned the world when she was attacked by the Taliban and lived. But her fight for a girl’s right to an education is living women’s history. Not only is she the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, she has written several bestselling books about her story that continue to inspire girls and women everywhere. 

Whether you want to do a book study on I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World or read her children’s book Malala’s Magic Pencil to your class, there are many ways to introduce Malala’s mission to children of all ages. 

While there are many more examples of exceptional stories of women in history, these are a great place to start!

4 Tips for Teaching English Language Arts at Home

Whether you are having your child learn from home through Zoom or braving the world of homeschooling, fostering a love of reading and writing in them can be difficult. Without previous training in education or in English Language Arts instruction, many parents find themselves confused and frustrated. But don’t give up yet! I’ve put together 4 simple ways to help you teach English Language Arts from the comfort of your home along with sharable graphics to show your fellow homeschool friends.

Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

1. Have your student write for 10 minutes

This method is used by many ELA teachers in order to develop students’ writing. The only way to get better at writing is to write! Give them a choice of prompts, but don’t be afraid to challenge them with hard topics, too. Kids can surprise us with how insightful they can be when given the chance to express themselves.

That doesn’t mean it will go well the first time or even within a few weeks. Writing and being willing to write is a skill that needs to be developed over time. Let your student have days where they can write on any topic they would like and add pictures to illustrate their prompt.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

2. Have them read a book of their choice for 25 to 30 minutes.

Reading for 25 to 30 minutes a day can drastically improve reading comprehension. But the key is to let them read what interests them, whether it is a typical book or graphic novel. They can also read short sets of articles.

To find books for low to no cost, consider taking your child on a trip to a local thrift store, discount book store, or the local library. You can also download apps such as Overdrive or Libby, which both connect to your local library system, to check out e-books from the comfort of your home.

Photo by Faith Stocksey on Pexels.com

3. Use audiobooks and podcasts

Listening comprehension is equally as important as reading and writing comprehension and helps to engage reluctant learners. Like books, there are podcasts and audiobooks on a variety of topics your child can choose from and enjoy.

Subscription services such as Audible are great for audiobook options, but for cost-free options, consider downloading OverDrive, which in addition to regular e-books also have audiobooks to borrow for free to any device.

For podcasts, browse various streaming services or download podcast apps such as Castbox to find appropriate titles for your child. Some focus on a broad topic such as sports or true crime while others may be more focused and in a storytelling format.

Photo by Bruno Scramgnon on Pexels.com

4. Let them have unanswered questions.

One of the biggest pitfalls that parents fall for is to never let a child struggle with an answer or not give them space to work through a problem by themselves. This can lead to a heavy level of dependence and more difficulties in their learning journey down the road.

This isn’t to say let them struggle all of the time, of course. It can be hard to let kids struggle, but if they don’t immediately know the answer, encourage them to think it through or do some research. This helps build critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Want bite-sized, shareable tips for teaching English Language Arts? Check out the graphics I designed based off of this piece:

Still need guidance? Reach out to me for consultations or virtual tutoring services or consultations.