March gives us an opportunity to look back at the accomplishments of numerous individuals, especially those of women, to our country and to the world. There are many Internet sites that will offer your students a first hand view of thousands of individuals. Sites like, Women in History and Distinguished Women of Past and Present, contain brief biographical sketches and connections to other links which provide more information on a variety of individuals. There are also biographical sketches included at FCIT, specifically in Lit2Go. Verizon Thinkfinity, Women in History offers resources and lesson plans. The photo to the left is of Louisa May Alcott and is from the Lit2Go site.
Have students spend time exploring at random approximately 5-10 individuals. Then assign students two names of famous women. Distribute index cards. Instruct students to place the name of the woman on one side of the card and her birth date. This may be done in an artistic fashion. Students are to write three important facts about the individual on the reverse side of the card. Remind students to write facts in complete sentences. Allow enough time to complete this task for both names.
After class time is given to access the site and record facts allow time for sharing. Spencer Kagan’s Inside-Outside Circle is an easy way to ensure students are sharing the information you have asked them to. Divide the class into two groups. Arrange group one in a large circle. Have the second group form a circle within the first. Students begin directly across from another. Have the inside circle move 3 spaces to the right. Inside circle shares, then outside circle shares. Direct the circles (inside or outside) to move a specific number of spaces. Students match up with others and have the opportunity to share their information. Repeat the movement to allow students to share several times.
When you are back in the class setting, have students place the index cards on a ready made time line. Prepare the time line to indicate dates from 1800 to 1999, or whatever time frame you choose. Place cards to show date of birth. Examine the time line and extend the lesson by discussing some of the things that were going on in the world at the time of their birth. Students could access information using a search engines such as Kids Click as extra credit to find out events in the world.