March is Women’s History Month. Now, hear me out, this does not mean that the contributions of American women are only mentioned during the thirty-one days of this month. It does mean that by setting aside some specific time to learn about the influence these citizens had, and continue to have, on our culture, we can better appreciate how difficult their journey to their successes had been.
The bulletin board I am going to describe would be best suited for grades 3 and up. There are two major points of interest on this bulletin board. The first step in creating this display would be to cover the board with bright red paper. All around the perimeter of this board would be 8 x 10 inch pieces of blue construction paper, and mounted in the center would be a small photo or illustration of a famous American with a short paragraph depicting her accomplishments, written on white paper.
The students can use the class computers to research the women for this display, and by working in pairs…the research, note taking and final completion of the facts would go much quicker. Women who worked during the Revolutionary War and who would be perfect for this display are: Margaret Corbin, Molly Pitcher, Sybil Ludington, Penelope Pagett Barker and Deborah Sampson. Deborah Sampson dressed up as a male soldier, “Private Robert Shurtleff, and when Deborah/Robert was wounded, she removed the musketball from her leg and sewed the wound herself to ensure her secret identity.
There were many women who worked for the suffrage movement during the 1800s – 1880s. Their contributions should be on display; Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone and Belva Lockwood. In fact Belva supported Victoria Woodhull’s campaign to run for President of the United States in1872. Victoria’s run for President failed, however, Belva tried in 1884 as a member of the National Equal Rights Party.
Women played an important role in the fight for civil rights.. On display would be the facts for; Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. Dr. Blackwell applied to 29 medical schools before New York’s Geneva College accepted her. The all male college accepted her as a joke, however, she did graduate, but since no hospital would hire her, in 1857 she established the New York Infirmary for Women and Children.
During the 20th century there were women in all walks of life adding to the accomplishments of Americans. The list is endless, however, some suggestions are Nellie Bly, Alice Paul, Eleanor Roosevelt, Ida B. Wells, Barbara Jordan, Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu, and Maria Tallchief.
As I mentioned earlier, there are two points of interest in this display; the first is the border of facts about famous Americans. In the center of this display the children would write about a female in their family who has overcome a great deal to reach their level of success. Heroes and role models do not have to be world famous, they could be your grandmother who came here as an immigrant and studied to be come an American citizen. It could be the woman who works at a job, continues her college education, and takes care of her family.
This bulletin board will take time to complete, however, all of the interdisciplinary steps are necessary and valuable in the creation of this wonderful display.