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ERIC Number: EJ1041712
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
Rethinking Women's History Month to Inspire Civic Action
Montgomery, Sarah E.; Christie, Erica M.; Staudt, Jessica
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v26 n3 p10-14 Jan-Feb 2014
Biography is a popular approach to history education in the younger grades, especially when teaching units of study during Women's History Month, which is March. A biography-centered approach, however, can be problematic when such lessons are not tied to any context, promoting the misconception that individuals create social change in isolation. This article describes how Mason City, Iowa, elementary teacher Jessica Staudt challenged a traditional approach to biography in her teaching about women's history and women's rights. Jessica developed an assignment integrating literacy and inquiry, in which students critically explored the trials and triumphs of women leaders at both national and local levels. She aimed to help students recognize how such leaders are connected across time in their efforts to create social change, and to see ways that the struggle for gender equity continues today. To achieve these goals, Jessica used a cooperative biography approach as a springboard for student research and later civic action. In addition to meeting Common Core Standards in English Language Arts, this project supported several national social studies standards. The duration of such a project is flexible, with this one using up to three hours of classroom time per week, and lasting about three months. A Graphic Organizer for Biography Research handout is included.
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa