Learning About Influentual Women Worldwide
Students will be able to compare and contrast two rad women in history and discuss their influence.
- Ask students to give examples of important people in history. Record their answers on the board. Note whether your students name both men and women. Have them provide some information about what these people did in history to make them well known and influential. Tell students that influential people make a difference in the world (usually for the better) and have an important impact on history.
- Explain to students that history books tend to highlight the accomplishments of men more so than those of women. Throughout history, typically more men than women are honored and celebrated, even though women have time and time again shown themselves to be significant changemakers. Tell students that for this reason, today's lesson will focus on some amazing women who made history.
- Have students look up the meaning of the term rad and share their findings with the class. Explain that the term has a lot of meanings, including cool, awesome, impressive, excellent, and radical. Emphasize that the women profiled in this book all shared the quality of being rad.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Show students the front cover of the book. Read the title aloud to students and preview the pictures. Explain that the illustrator, Miriam Klein Stahl, made the illustrations using paper cut-outs.
- Read the introduction of the book aloud, and pause to ask students if they have any questions or comments about the intro.
- Choose one person's biography from the book, and invite a couple of students to help read it aloud to the class.
- Ask students to give their thoughts about the person, using the following prompts as a guide:
- What did this person do that made them influential?
- What was an obstacle that this person faced?
- How did they overcome this obstacle and come out triumphant?
- Do you have any questions or curiosities about this person?
- Let your learners respond to the questions and guide the class in a discussion about this individual.
Guided Practice(15 minutes)
- Choose another rad woman to highlight, and read the biography aloud to students.
- Display a blank copy of the Description Organizer on the document camera and model how to complete it, using criteria that makes sense for the two women you will compare (e.g. family/origins/early life, obstacles/challenges, brave actions, etc).
- Then, display the Top Hat Organizer, and model how to compare and contrast the women using the criteria outlined in the Description Organizer.
Independent working time(20 minutes)
- Distribute a copy of the Description Organizer and Top Hat Organizer to each student.
- Place students into partnerships and instruct them to carry out the compare and contrast activity again with two other women from the book. Make the text available to each pair of students, if possible.
- Monitor student work and assist as needed.
- Provide sentence frames to help students in their discussions. (E.g. ____________ overcame the obstacle of ____________ by...)
- Put students into mixed-ability partnerships for the independent practice.
Choose the two people that the students will compare (two that are conducive to the compare-and-contrast activity) and predetermine the criteria they will use.
- Ask students to prepare a presentation or write an essay about two women they compared. Have them present their analysis to the class.
- Have students conduct further research on the women they read about in the book.
- Have students research another woman, using the list of “More Rad Women Worldwide” found on pages 96–101 of the book, and create a written profile and illustration to go with it.
- Facilitate a class discussion about their discoveries and takeaways in this lesson, using the following questions as a guide:
- What was a similarity shared by the two women you learned about?
- How did they differ?
- If you could spend a day with one of the women mentioned in the book, who would it be and what would you want to do with her?
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Ask students to think of a particularly interesting fact they learned when reading about the two women they chose, and have them write it down on a sticky note.
- Invite some students to read their fact aloud before placing their sticky note on a piece of chart paper. Use this chart as a springboard to guide future lessons related to women in history.
- Remind students there are many examples of women leaders breaking down barriers and overcoming challenges; therefore, it is important to read about the stories of brave and powerful women so that we are inspired to think of ways to be rad ourselves.