Elementary Secondary 3 Exciting Ways to Celebrate Women’s History Month in Your Classroom
CommonLit’a online digital literacy program offers tons of resources to support teacher lesson planning and unit planning. In this blog, we’ll explore resources featured in our digital library that would be great for a lesson or mini-unit to celebrate Women’s History Month with your students.
Whether you’re a long-time CommonLit fan or new to our digital library, you’re sure to find resources to support students’ reading comprehension and help them think critically about the world around them.
Explore Our Newest Target Lessons
Target Lessons are easy-to-use, highly engaging lessons that support reading, writing, and classroom discussion. Each lesson centers on a key skill — like identifying the main idea or analyzing the author's point of view , providing students lots of opportunities to practice through scaffolded Pre-Reading, During Reading, and Post-Reading activities. Check out Target Lessons that highlight an influential female figure - perfect for a Women’s History Month lesson!
“What a Pro Knows” by Christine Louise Hohlbaum (3rd Grade)
In this informational text, Christine Louise Hohlbaum discusses Tamika Catchings, a professional athlete, and her life’s accomplishments. Catchings is retired now, but she spent her entire 15-year career with the Indiana Fever, a women's American basketball team.This Target Lessons focuses on helping students find the best evidence. As students move through the text they have multiple opportunities to cite evidence that supports a claim. For example, in the first instructional question (pictured below), students must choose the best evidence from the first paragraph that supports the claim that Catchings was encouraged to become a basketball star.
“All Rise for Ketanji Brown Jackson” by India James (4th Grade)
India James’ biography of Ketanji Brown Jackson details her early life, the beginnings of her career, and her path to becoming a Supreme Court Justice.
Throughout this lesson, students work on analyzing text structures through both multiple-choice and short answer questions. After reading the text, students have an assessment that will ask questions about how the author chose to organize information in the text.
“Simone Biles” by Marty Kaminsky (6th Grade)
Marty Kaminsky’s descriptive profile of Simon Biles is sure to spark interest in your students. They will be drawn into Kaminsky’s descriptions of Biles’ gymnastics routine and the details of how she developed her talent at a young age.
Students begin the lesson by brainstorming the qualities needed to be a successful athlete. Afterwards, they watch a short video and reflect on how context clues can help them understand the meaning of unknown words. Finally, they practice determining the meaning of unknown words while reading Kaminsky’s text.
Hungry for more Target Lessons for your students? Check out Target Lessons about Courageous Women!
Explore a Supplemental Unit
CommonLit’s Supplemental Units are great for finding collections of texts focused on a cohesive topic. They include an engaging and meaningful essential question, 4 to 6 high-interest texts that guide students toward answering the essential question, graphic organizers to support understanding, and a final writing lesson that allows students to reflect upon and synthesize what they’ve learned. Like all lessons on CommonLit, teachers can access all of these units in both a digital and printable format. Here are two Supplemental Units aligned to Women’s History Month for both elementary and secondary students:
Women Who Made A Difference (5th Grade)
This Supplemental Unit features six texts that help students practice analyzing key details and making connections. After completing the unit, students craft a written response to the Essential Question: “How have these women influenced the world?” The unit also includes a graphic organizer for students to keep track of their thoughts as they work through each text.
Women in Society (11th Grade)
This unit includes two pieces of short fiction, a poem, an interview, and two news articles that tackle the Essential Question: “What are the shared experiences of women throughout history?” Students focus on analyzing how an author’s writing style reveals their point of view and contributes to the power or persuasiveness of nonfiction text.
Looking for more engaging and relevant instructional units? Explore CommonLit 360! Our comprehensive ELA curriculum features several units focused on women-authored text such as The Giver by Lois Lowry and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson!
Explore a Text Set Focused on Women or Gender
Text Sets are groups of reading passages that share a common topic. Currently, CommonLit has over 60 sets of these texts with a range of topics. Here are two sets that teachers can use to celebrate Women’s History Month
This Text Set explores the questions: “Are women’s rights different than human rights? What are the benefits of promoting equality for women?” The Text Set provides an opportunity for students to study the history of women’s rights in America and around the world, learning about the fight for women’s equality. It also includes a range of genres including opinion pieces, historical documents, and speeches.
This Text Set explores the question, “How do we define the roles of men and women?” Across the 56 texts in this set, there are plenty of opportunities for differentiation and student choice. In this Text Set, teachers will find biographies, memoirs, and even philosophy texts that explore this age-old question.
Looking for more great Women’s History Month content for students? Check out our upcoming webinars.