March begins Women's History Month. It is filled with opportunities for students to discover, celebrate, and learn about women as inventors, activists, actresses, pioneers, scientists, and influential people throughout our history. Students love to read and learn about women that they may know and recognize, but the true magic comes when they discover and connect with women's stories that they did NOT know before.
Women's History Month is also such a great time to practice researching and writing biographies. There are so many amazing women to study. It is the perfect way to celebrate women, their struggles, their accomplishments, and their impact on history.
Women's History Month Biography Writing
Biography writing is always one of my favorite writing projects because it is so inspiring. There are challenges and obstacles that people overcome and there are so many important lessons that students learn while researching.
Choosing a Biography Subject
Sometimes students may have a hard time thinking of women to research. They may decide to research women that you've already studied, they can choose someone that they know, or you can encourage them to research someone new.
To help students decide on a subject for their biographies, you can think of some amazing women and have students choose randomly (think paper out of a hat), or you can assign a topic to your students too.
It is beneficial to have a variety of books available for students to choose from. Displaying text with women that students may not know much about will give them the opportunity to look through the books and choose someone that is intriguing. Reading a book before starting their research is a great way to pique their interest while also introducing them to a variety of texts. This also introduces them to influential women they may not have heard of otherwise.
The books in the “Who Is/Who Was” series are always very informative and are always student favorites. These are great books to get students started when choosing a topic for their writing. You could have students choose a woman in history from stories that interest them.
To follow along with standards in upper elementary grades, providing students with kid-friendly research sites will help them find the information that they need to write their biography.
When students are researching, they can use a search engine to find websites that they find helpful. Students can save the websites that are helpful as favorites or write them down in a list. This way, they can come back to visit them again to continue their research.
The Joy of Publishing
I love the researching and writing process, but I also really enjoy having students share their biography writing with each other. There is so much excitement when it comes time to share what they've learned!
Not only are students excited to share their own work, but they love hearing about others' research and writing as well. Learning from their peers is the best opportunity for students to learn about important women throughout history.
To celebrate the inspiring women and amazing writers in your class, you can have students share in groups, to the whole class, create a display or any other fun ways you like to share student writing.
If you're not sure where to start with writing biographies about influential women, you can try a free biography writing project with your class. There are posters for biography writing & researching and kid-friendly search engines to use in the writing process. Your students will love using a writing process flipbook and publishing their paper with the illustration template too.
This is a great place to get started and supplement your Women's History Studies throughout March.
You might also like to check out some of my favorite books to read throughout Women's History Month.