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Women’s History

Although it is true that in years passed, women’s contributions to history were made very much of, we have come to understand that female contribution and participation was equally important. The following activities are designed to help study the history of women as well as their contributions to their era and society.

1. Explore your personal history by finding out about the women in your family. Look back at least two generations by reading family records or by talking to relatives. How did their lives reflect the world events that were happening at that time? To help facilitate this activity, you may wish to do some activities from a genealogy mini unit.

2. Conduct an oral history interview with an older woman.

3. Go to a library or a museum and look through magazines or newspapers from 20 or more years ago. How were women written about? If possible, go back even further in time. Can you see changes in the roles of women from one period to the next? What are the differences and similarities between images then and now?

4. Read a diary, journal, or autobiography of a woman who lived at least 25 years ago. Keep your own journal for at least a month. Try and include your feelings about current events along with your response to personal daily events in your life.

5. Select an era in history that interests you. Find out what it was like to be a woman during that time period.

6. Search the internet for information on female leaders through out history. Create a report or graphic display from the information you learn.

7. Find a way to share information and to celebrate the role of women in science and technology for National Women’s History Week (March), National Science and Technology Week (April) or other appropriate celebrations.

8. Put together a multimedia program that honors the contributions of women in a particular field.

9. Learn a skill, domestic art, or craft practiced by women in earlier times but replaced by technology and busy lifestyles, such as home canning, quilting, knitting, soap making, weaving, etc.

10. Create a walking tour that addresses the historical contributions of women in your community.

11. Research the changes in women’s career opportunities.

12. Explore women’s roles and opportunities in the military service or politics. Trace women’s historical impact and present-day service. If possible, interview a woman who has served in the military or in politics.

13. Read about a woman who was a “pioneer” in a national traditional career.

14. Investigate women’s history studies programs at several different colleges or universities. What courses are offered in that department? What kind of academic degrees can be earned? What kind of careers are those degrees designed for?

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