Teaching resources for Women’s History Month

March 8th, 2013

Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. The first such day was held on March 18, 1911, two years after the Socialist Party of America observed a women’s day in the United States. Though the day has its origins in the socialist and communist parties—it was first made an official holiday, for example, in the Soviet Union—by 1977, when the United Nations General Assembly invited nations to observe the holiday, it had become more mainstream and was used as an opportunity to promote women’s rights and suffrage and to recognize the important contributions women have made. In 1981, the US Congress expanded the day’s celebration to a “Women’s History Week,” and soon the observance expanded to fill the entire month of March. 

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we’ve collected some teaching resources to use to help students learn about women’s contributions, struggles, and triumphs and to get them thinking about such concepts as equality and justice:

  • Womenshistorymonth.gov – A resource venture by the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Gallery of Art, among other federal organizations, the website provides rich collections examining the history of women in America. 
  • EDSITEment! – Lesson plans that look at women’s contributions in American history—from the American Revolution through World War II and beyond.
  • Read President Barack Obama’s presidential proclamation declaring March Women’s History Month.
  • National Women’s History Museum – Houses primary sources, online exhibits, and a great list of educational materials.
  • National Women’s History Project – This year, the NWHP is focusing on innovations by women.
  • Teaching American History – Provides online teaching resources devoted to Women’s History Month.
  • Library of Congress blog – Bernice Ramirez writes about ways teachers can use primary sources from the LOC to teach about the suffragist movement.
  • Teaching Women’s History through Great Speeches” – Michael Steudeman writes at the “Closer Readings” blog about how to use speeches to teach about Women’s History Month—and to meet the Common Core Standards.
  • Edutopia – Another great list of teaching resources Women’s History Month.


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