Activities & Lessons

10 National Women's History Month Activities for Students

7 Min Read
Womens History Month Activities For Students

Image: From left to right, the women featured above are Malala Yousafzai, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Rosa Parks.

Every March, we celebrate Women's History Month. During this time, we honor the accomplishments of leaders, thinkers, and all those who work to make the world a better, more equal place for women—from Susan B. Anthony to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rosa Parks.

Use these Women’s History Month activities for elementary, middle, and high school students to celebrate women’s history and women’s accomplishments in science, literature, and more. Additionally, you can share this podcast conversation with your class, where former Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo discusses how the organization prioritizes teaching civic responsibility and ways young girls can make change happen in their local governments.

Women's History Month Projects for Elementary Students 

Honor Women’s History Month in your K-5 classroom with these activities for elementary students. Find additional Women’s History Month activities for elementary school on Shaped

1. Great American Women (Research and Writing) 

Check students’ knowledge of women who have shaped American history with this quiz (Grades 3–5). After taking the quiz, have students partner up and switch papers. Display the answers so they can check each other's work. 

Then provide each pair with two large index cards with the name of a different influential woman printed on the front. You might include women highlighted in the quiz or in the book Finish the Fight: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote. The book focuses on lesser-known Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American figures who helped clinch ratification yet went overlooked. Check out a sample chapter

Tell students it is their job to research the women, draw each woman's picture under her name, and then write a sentence on the back of each word describing who the woman is and one of her accomplishments. Keep the finished cards in a language arts center or in your classroom library.


2. Women’s History Word Search (Vocabulary Building)

Provide each student with a copy of this word search puzzle (Grades 2–4). Review the words listed at the bottom. Ask:

  • What do the words have in common?
  • Do you see a theme? Explain.
  • What do you think the words equal, rights, justice, and fairness have to do with women and voting?
  • What words could be added that fit the theme?

After completing the word search, students can learn more by reading Women’s Suffrage Movement by Jill Keppeler. You can download a lesson plan based on the book here.

Finally, ask students to create their own Women’s History Month word search here. The words might relate to women’s fight to win the vote or include the names of women who were influential in the cause.

3. Women’s History Month Bulletin Board (Research and Writing) 

Commemorate the achievements of notable female figures of the past and present with a Women’s History Month bulletin board. As a class, choose a theme to showcase women who have made contributions in a specific field, like technology, literature, or math, or choose a key moment in history, like the women’s suffrage movement. Then have students research and write about the women or historical moment chosen. Students can create posters or write research papers on their Women’s History Month topic. When their research projects are complete, display students’ work on the bulletin board. 

Find inspiration for your school halls with Women’s History Month bulletin board ideas from teachers across the country. 

4. Women’s History Books (Research)

Read about the women who have shaped history. Find a collection of women’s history books for elementary students to guide research during any of the projects mentioned above. The books in the linked article span a wide range of women in history such as Emily Dickinson, Ruby Bridges, and Sonia Sotomayor. 

5. Letters to Women in Your Life (Writing)

Recognize the remarkable women who impact students’ everyday lives with this letter writing activity. Ask students to write down a list of different women in their life who inspire them, such as their mother, aunt, coach, or teacher. Have students narrow it down to one person, and then list reasons why this woman is inspirational to them. It could be a quality they admire, like how supportive she is, or a past or recent accomplishment, like earning a degree. Then have students write a letter to this person detailing why they are such an important and inspiring woman in their life.

Women's History Month Activities for Middle School and High School Students 

Celebrate the accomplishments women have made during the course of history with the following middle school and high school Women’s History Month activities.

6. Power of Persuasion (Rhetorical Analysis) 

Have students read a speech advocating for women’s suffrage. They might read Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?” or Susan B. Anthony’s “Women’s Rights to the Suffrage.” Have them answer the following questions about the speech: 

  • Who is the audience? How do you know?
  • What assumptions does the writer make about her audience?
  • What strategies does she use to persuade? Do you think those strategies would be effective for her particular audience? Why or why not?

Then, challenge students to write a one-minute speech tackling an issue facing women today, such as equal pay, paid maternity leave, the lack of women in positions of power, or gender bias in the workplace. Tell students to take a position

7. Get the Message? (Editorial Cartoon Analysis)

Tell students that an editorial cartoon is an illustration depicting a political or social message that typically relates to current events. Invite students to examine the scene depicted in the 1909 editorial cartoon “Election Day!” available on the Library of Congress website. Ask questions including: 

  • What is happening in the scene?
  • What issue does the cartoon address?
  • What do you think is the cartoon’s message? How can you tell?
  • Who might disagree with the message and why?

Have students create speech bubbles for the man and woman in the cartoon to represent what each might say in this situation. Allow time for students to share their writing with the class. Then, challenge students to create an editorial cartoon expressing support for women’s right to vote. This includes first having them brainstorm a list of reasons why women should be guaranteed the right to vote. Students can read some of the arguments women of the time made here. Challenge students to convey those reasons in the cartoon.

8. Lights, Camera, Action! (Research and Art) 

For this Women's History Month project, have students produce a short “film” spotlighting an influential woman. Choose a theme for a film series, such as “Voting Rights Heroes” (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Alice Paul, Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin, or Adelina Otero-Warren); “Female Firsts” (Shirley Chisholm, first African American congresswoman; Sandra Day O’Connor, first woman to serve on the Supreme Court; Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman physician in U.S.; Ellen Ochoa, first Hispanic woman to travel into space; or Junko Tabei, first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest); or “Women in STEM” (Marie Curie, Katherine Johnson, Edith Clarke, Mareena Robinson Snowden, Mary G. Ross, or Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski). 

Once you’ve settled on a theme and students have chosen a woman to spotlight either individually or in small groups, they can begin researching and writing a short script describing their subject’s background and accomplishments. Then have students fill in the frames of this “filmstrip” organizer with drawings depicting the highlights of the woman’s life and work. If you wish, you can have students bring the script and drawings to life by creating a short film. The film might involve actors or use photos and voiceover to tell the story. It should be limited to five minutes and include any historical information that would help their audience understand the woman’s contribution. 

For background information, students might read Women’s Suffrage Movement by Jill Keppeler. You can download a lesson plan based on the book here.

9. Caption It! (Writing)

Challenge students to compare historical views of women’s suffrage with contemporary views. Begin by drawing students’ attention to the photos below and asking them to describe what they see. Ask:

  • Who are the people in the photos?
  • What are they doing?
  • Who do you think is the target audience for the photo, and how can you tell?
  • What does the language in the photos tell you about women’s position at the time?
  • How are women in the second photo using language to convince men to support their cause? Do you think it’s an effective tactic? Explain.

Have students choose one of the photos and write a caption from the point of view of a news editor at the time. Then have them write a second caption from the point of view of a modern-day historian.

10. Amplifying Women’s Voices (Research and Interview)

Invite students (Grades 9-12) to produce a podcast featuring an inspirational female figure in their community. Students can work individually or in groups to conduct and record a 15-minute interview with a woman who is making an impact locally. Before recording with their guest, students will need to:

  • Collect information about her.
  • Identify topics to highlight in their episode.
  • Draft questions to ask.
  • Outline a script of their episode.
  • Receive permission from their guest to record.

Students can use a tablet, laptop, or phone to record the audio and use free tools online to edit their podcast. Have students get creative and brainstorm a name for the podcast and design artwork to promote their podcast.

Share Your Women's History Month Lesson Plans and Activities

Have any other Women’s History Month lesson plans or activity ideas? Share them with us at Shaped@hmhco.com.

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Give your students the chance to act like historians and develop their analytical skills with HMH Social Studies (Grades 6-12).

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This blog, originally published in 2020, has been updated for 2024.

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