3 Impactful Ways to Celebrate Women’s History in Every Classroom
In Amanda Pierman’s high school chemistry, biology, and anatomy classes, students learn about women’s history. They study Marie Curie’s discoveries about the atom and Rosalind Franklin’s contributions to our understanding of DNA structure.
Her classroom is proof that the accomplishments and impact of women can and should be celebrated beyond a history textbook, and even seamlessly fit into subjects like math and science. Pierman, who is a Certified BrainPOP Educator, highlights women throughout the school year, encouraging students at The Benjamin School in Florida to recognize the path blazed by women who have shaped our world today.
Women’s History Month carves out a special time to honor the contributions of history-making scientists, politicians, authors, artists, and more—but it’s important to integrate these women into the curriculum all year long. Here are three suggestions for how every teacher can celebrate women in March and beyond:
1. Highlight History-Making Women
Highlighting historically significant women is a simple way to celebrate in every classroom. BrainPOP offers topics on women in all subjects, such as Fannie Lou Hamer, Sally Ride, Malala, Frida Kahlo, and Pocahontas to name a few.
2. Code an Interview
BrainPOP offers a range of creative ways for students to bring women’s stories to life, including a movie maker, concept mapping, and coding.
With Creative Coding, students can use block or text-based coding to build a museum exhibit, code a newscast, or design a flag honoring their favorite ground-breaking women in history.
To Pierman, these types of creative activities help focus lessons on women’s contributions rather than tying their significance to gender. When developing lessons, Pierman acknowledges the hurdles women face, then focuses on their accomplishments and contributions to society.
3. Discuss Historic and Current Women’s Issues
Pierman also makes a point of integrating women’s health topics into her curriculum. When she asks students what the number one killer of women is, most guess breast cancer. It’s actually heart disease. Students then explore the difference in male and female heart disease.
“[Men] need to know all about women’s health just as much as women need to understand men’s health—we’ve got to help each other in the end,” Pierman said. “We’ve all got hearts that all need help.”
Don’t Forget: Don’t Stop at the End of March!
Keep the learning going all year long. For inspiration, be sure to explore BrainPOP’s growing collection of women’s biographies and events in our Women’s History unit.