Friday, February 27, 2009

Five Innovative Ideas for Celebrating Women’s History

March is a time when many school teachers celebrate women’s history. If you are among those who are taking some time to recognize accomplishments of women, here are some ideas that innovative educators can use to enhance teaching and learning around this topic.


Have students research and select an historic woman they admire and make their own movies starring this woman in various possible settings such as 1) A meeting with President Obama 2) A discussion with classmates 3) A meeting with your school principal 4) A topic of your choosing.

Xtranormal’s mission is to bring movie-making to the people. Everyone watches movies and they believe everyone can make movies. Their revolutionary approach to movie-making builds on an almost universally held skill—typing. If your students can type something, they can turn it into a movie.

Remix America

Since the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, women have demanded their voices be heard in the social and political arenas. In celebration of Women’s History Month, Remix America will temporarily suspend the “This Day in History” featured video to highlight seminal moments in Women’s History. How better to celebrate these women than to provide students with original source material to study and discuss? Every day in March, visit the site for a new clip highlighting the speeches and essays of these rebels, these visionaries, these pioneering feminists.

Students can interact with all of these videos by using the online, free video editing tool to cut and remix these clips into Women’s History montages. Innovative educators can also visit the Remix America Blog to find featured content and commentary about why these source materials are important and relevant to today.


Interactive whiteboards are powerful tools to engage visual and auditory learners and accomplish the first rule of teaching - "First get their attention and then keep them engaged." To help to help celebrate Women’s History Month Tequiment has put together a collection of lessons, websites and a new question set for a Jeopardy-style Quiz Game. You can view these resources by visiting their blog where you will find the following resources: Women's Rights Quiz Set, Women's History - Colonial Women, Women of the Civil Rights Movements, Women's Suffrage of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Los Animales de la Granja.

Create a Social Network

Capitalize on your student's interest in social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook and Create a Social Network learning environment for your students. Innovative educators are coming up with all sorts of creative ideas to use social networks to engage students. How about creating a network with women historical characters? Students can take on the persona of a historical woman they admire, create their personal page for that character with questions you and your students agree upon, engage in discussions, join groups that character would be involved in engage in chats as the woman they have selected, upload videos (which can be rated and commented on), and publish blog posts. One of the most popular social network creation tools, Ning is allowing educators to create free educational social networks. For more ideas about using social networks in education visit Ning in Education. If you've never participated in a social network I invite you to get the experience of participating by joining The Innovative Educator Social Network. This will enable you to have a better idea of how you can incorporate a social network into your teaching and about the value of Social Networking for Innovative Educators.

Note: In some school districts Ning is blocked. Create your social network remotely and work with your administrator or technology specialist to unblock the site you have created in advance.


Have students select and research a woman they know that they admire and create a Voki that either shares, 1) how she has contributed positively to women in her life 2) why it is important to recognize women’s accomplishments 3) a topic of your choosing.

Voki enables students to express themselves on the web using a talking character.

Students can customize their Voki to look like and/or take on the identity of lots of other types of human and nonhuman characters. Vokis can speak with the student’s own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone. Students can also choose to insert text and have the Voki use a variety of existing voices with more than a dozen different male and female accents to choose from.

Once the student Voki’s are created they can be inserted into a class blog, wiki, website, and more. From there the school community can comment on and discuss one another’s work and keep the conversation going.

These are just some ideas to inspire innovative educators in their upcoming work with students in recognizing women’s contributions. I invite readers to share your thoughts, feedback, or experience implementing one these ideas or one of your own.

1 comment:

  1. What great ideas! Thanks for covering, Lisa.

    If there are any other Innovative Educators out there who want to bounce around ideas as to how to incorporate Remix America in the Classroom, I'd be happy to talk to you!

    My email:

    I hope to hear from you!

    Erika Johansson
    Producer, Remix