March is Women’s History Month. From homesteaders to first ladies, examine the impact of women in history in March and every month with these resources. Explore stories of women – across various disciplines – who have impacted positive change in their communities and around the world. These resources and thousands more in PBS LearningMedia are great starting points that allow students to dig deeper, examine history from a variety of perspective and be critical viewers of media, all from America’s largest classroom, PBS.
First Ladies of the United States | Collection | Grades K-13+
Discover the different roles that First Ladies have played throughout history as policy advocates, diplomats, and public figures. Get to know First Ladies throughout the history of the United States including the work of First Lady Michelle Obama and her initiatives through featured images, background essays, videos, and lesson plans.
This collection is a part of the Global Learning & Diplomacy Collection.
Single Women Homesteaders | Video | Grades 3-7
In the mid-19th century, women who were single, widowed or divorced were eligible to apply for farmland under the 1862 Homesteading Act as the head of their household. Your students learn about this era of history through their hardships and triumphs with this video from North Dakota PBS station Prairie Public Broadcasting.The 1862 Homesteading Act guaranteed free farmland to heads of households with the stipulation that the applicant must stay on the land for five years and make noticeable improvements to the land before the deed was awarded. Women who were single, widowed, or divorced were eligible to apply for land as the head of their household and many headed west into Dakota Territory. Through the reading of letters written by homesteading women and accounts of descendants, their hardships and triumphs are remembered and their perseverance is honored.
SciGirls Collection | Grades 5-8
SciGirls has the bold goal of changing how millions of girls think about science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM. Each half-hour episode highlights the processes of science and engineering, following a different group of middle school girls who design, with the help of scientist mentors, their own inquiry-based investigations on a variety of topics. They also learn how rewarding and fun it is to work with their peers, and the shows’ female mentors offer girls a glimpse of exciting STEM career possibilities.
SciGirls educational materials provide gender-equitable teaching strategies and hands-on inquiries based on the concepts modeled in SciGirls’ videos. The SciGirls approach is rooted in research on how to engage girls in STEM. A quarter of a century of studies have converged on a set of common strategies that work, and these have become SciGirls’ foundation—aka the SciGirls Seven. All SciGirls activities were created with the SciGirls Seven in mind and incorporate as many strategies as possible.
Women’s Movement Collection | Grades 6-12
The Women’s Movement was a diverse social moment in U.S. history. It sought equal opportunities for women in all aspects of their lives (personal, political, economic, etc.) The first wave of the women’s feminist movement started in the 19th and early 20th century with leaders such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton fighting for legal rights for women such as the ability to vote and own property. The second wave of the women’s movement, led by women such as Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, occurred in the 1960s and 70s and attempted to combat further social and political inequalities.
This collection includes resources to support teaching both waves of the women’s movement. Teach students about the two major waves of the Women’s Movement with this diverse collection.
Women with Character | PBS NewsHour Extra Lesson Plan | Grades 7-13+
The month of March is honors both women’s history and global character day, so PBS NewsHour Extra created a resource to celebrate both! Use this lesson plan to guide students as they learn more about women with great character who inspire others.
Community Classroom Collection | Grades 9-13+
ITVS Community Classroom is a film and curriculum resource series that brings to life some of today’s most vital social issues by pairing film modules from award-winning documentaries with standards-based lesson plans. This collection celebrates Women’s History Month by focusing on women and girls around the world. The films tell powerful, personal stories; and the activities encourage students to learn and understand international struggles and take an active role in addressing local concerns.
Women’s Suffrage | Video | Grades 9-13+
In this CRASH COURSE segment, students learn about American women in the Progressive Era. They’ll discover the gains women made BEYOND earning the right to vote in the 30 years between 1890 and 1920. In which John Green teaches you about American women in the Progressive Era and, well, the progress they made. So the big deal is, of course, the right to vote women gained when the 19th amendment was passed and ratified. But women made a lot of other gains in the 30 years between 1890 and 1920. More women joined the workforce, they acquired lots of other legal rights related to property, and they also became key consumers in the industrial economy. Women also continued to play a vital role in reform movements. The field of social work emerged as women like Jane Addams created settlement houses to assist immigrants in their integration into the United States. Women also began to work to make birth control widely available. You’ll learn about famous reformers and activists like Alice Paul, Margaret Sanger, and Emma Goldman, among others.