International Women’s Day, which takes place on Friday, March 8, offers an opportunity to engage students in the fight for gender equality through creative learning experiences.
The global holiday was founded in 1911. In addition to serving as a celebration of women’s achievements, the day is a call to action to improve the rights of women everywhere. This year’s theme — #BalanceforBetter — focuses on building a more gender-balanced society.
Teachers can visit internationalwomensday.com to access lesson plans, handouts, videos, and other classroom resources. One package of resources geared toward elementary school teachers features the children’s book Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison. The book is inspired by a social media campaign that Harrison launched during Black History Month of 2017 in which she juxtaposed the stories of historically significant African American women with illustrations of herself. Through the book, which is recommended for children ages five to eight, she hopes to inspire young girls to dream big by depicting 40 trailblazing African American women as childlike figures.
In addition, the site offers five one-hour lesson plans entitled “Inspirational Women in Fact and Fiction” for students aged five to 14, as well as two reading lists — one geared toward children and the other for young adults — containing both fiction and nonfiction works featuring women authors, women-centered stories, and feminist themes.
Romper, a new website for millennial women, also provides a creative list of suggestions for how to celebrate the day with young children and contains a variety of links to outside resources. Recommendations include making puppets of inspirational women, writing letters to living female role models, participating in the International Women’s Day’s official photography contest, and donating menstrual products to women in need. Visit romper.com for more information.