On March 8, we celebrate the role and accomplishments of women around the world on International Women’s Day. According to the International Women’s Day website, the day is celebrated globally in honor of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It aims to raise awareness of the contributions of women and the inequality that persists throughout the world.
Women and the Fight for Equality
International Women’s Day has a rich history, spurred by unrest over unequal working conditions. According to The United States Census Bureau, its origin stems from a strike organized in New York City on March 8, 1857, during which female textile workers protested unfair working conditions. One of the first strikes organized by working women, it petitioned for a shorter workday and fair wages. Later, on March 8, in 1908, women seamstresses marched through New York in protest of child labor and unsafe working conditions. They also demanded the right to vote.
Beginning in 1910, March 8 was officially observed as International Women's Day. More recently, in 1978, Women’s History Week emerged as an effort to begin adding women's history into educational curricula. Finally, in 1987, the National Women's History Project successfully lobbied Congress recognize the month of March as a celebration of the “economic, political and social contributions of women.”
Using International Women’s Day as a Writing Tool
You can introduce International Women’s Day and famous women who’ve influenced education, business, science, literature, and culture to your class in a variety of engaging ways. By writing about some of the world’s most influential women, your students can extend their learning and get writing practice at the same time.
• PBS Kids introduces the holiday to younger children and includes a video outlining the history of the day and speaks about the inequality women still face throughout the world. Using the video as a writing prompt, you can ask students to reflect upon inequality and write about where it still exists and why.
• Your students may not be aware that many popular technological products were invented by women. From windshield wipers to the underwater telescope, women have advanced science through their inventions. In our Building Writers download, your students can use prompts to explore these female inventions and write about them.
• By learning about different women throughout history, you can help your students understand how they have influenced our culture. In our Building Writers download, teachers can choose to highlight television personality Oprah Winfrey or J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series. Or they can provide facts about scientist Rachel Carson and explain how her research has still impacted environmental protection laws today. Students can use those facts to get their creative writing juices flowing.
• Finally, there are women in your students’ lives who they look up to every day. Who are they? Why are they special? Use our Building Writers writing prompt to help your youngest writers reflect on a woman who brings meaning to their lives. They can also draw a picture of her.
Building Writers Engages Students, Supports Writing Instruction
Looking to help boost writing skills with other engaging prompts throughout the year? Our Building Writers student editions are a great place to start. Created by classroom teachers, these books help your students practice and master their writing skills. At the same time, they’ll get access to rich, developmentally appropriate writing prompts.
Learning Without Tears’ Building Writers composition workbooks ease students in Grades K–5 into their writing journeys with scaffolded supports that hone writing fluency, language, and vocabulary. Your students can then build upon the skills they need to become successful independent writers through brief, focused activities. By reinforcing essential writing skills, you'll help build the next generation of confident and competent writers.
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