Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Resources for Teaching Women's History

By Nina Kendall

March is Women’s History Month.  Celebrating Women’s History Month reminds Educators of the painful truth that including the history of women in classrooms is still a challenge. Here are a few digital tools and unique resources you can use to put more women’s history in your lessons.

The Progressive Era Women Interactive at the National Women’s History  Museum website combines group artifacts and classifying items with the examination of events in movements in the Progressive era. A unique way to interact with text this activity could be used to help student test their knowledge and understanding of the era.

The Oregon Blue Book is sponsored by the Oregon Secretary of State. The Web Exhibit about Women’s Suffrage celebrates the centennial of suffrage in Oregon. The collection of digital artifacts provides students with the opportunity to interact with primary sources as individual or as a class. These sources are applicable at the state levels or as exemplars at the national level.

This interactive is hosted by the Smithsonian and illustrates the growing role of women in the 20th century. This would be a fun and empowering choice activity to add to a unit about Modern America. Learn about 4 women who made the move from the home to the boardroom expanding on traditional roles.

The Teaching with Documents: Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment webpage features the Failure Is Impossible script created for the 75th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Now you can download this story to dramatize it in your own classroom. Bring the struggle for suffrage alive.


How did the cult of domesticity oppress and empower women in the nineteenth century? Use these carefully selected primary sources and graphic organizer to learn more about the Cult of Domesticity.  Later in your year follow up with the lesson Women, Temperance Reform, and the Cult of Domesticity.


Looking for a source for a specific topic? Try this database. Search by topic, keyword, or state.


See footage from the period and learn more about Rachel Carson and her work from Bill Moyers Journal. Find the roots of the environmentalist movement.

All photos in this blog were taken at the Smithsonian Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Elementary Spotlight: Colonial America Pocket Books

By: Lisa Henriquez

Student Colonial American Pocket Books
Project-based Learning(PBL) is a great way to engage students in using all of their skills to demonstrate what have they learned. Engaging and fun this is a way to get all students to be active learners. Here is a recent project in an elementary class.

My students completed the project entitled Colonial Times to demonstrate their learning for this unit of study. Students were challenged to create a pocket book about the Colonial Era and we could not be more pleased with the results.

Colonial American Pocket Books Requirements

Each book will have eight pockets:
·         Introduction
·         First Settlements
·         Native Americans
·         Homes and Villages
·         Daily Life
·         School
·         Work
·         Memorable People
Project Checklist
Each pocket will be labeled on the front with the topic, contain an informational page about the topic, a primary source related to the topic, and various activities for the topic, and various activities for the topic. Each pocket will have a list of activities to complete for the pocket as well that students could choose from.
Sample Student Pockets

Sample Activity

This was a great project it was fun and engaging for students and me. The choice board gave students real ownership of the project.  Another high point of this project was the introduction of primary source reading and interpretation to 4th graders. The only real challenge was making sure that there was sufficient access to all the documents at home and school for students.