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Monday, March 3, 2014

Celebrate Women's History Month; Check out the Women's History Matters Website and Facebook Page

I know I wrote about resources for teaching about women's suffrage last week, but March is Women's History Month, so it seemed like a good time to draw attention to other aspects of our grand yearlong project, the Women's History Matters website.

In January, when we launched this project, I wrote a few posts on the website and some of its resources.


But now we've been operational for two months, I wanted to revisit the project to draw attention to the twice weekly posts that appear on the site's main page. The topics of these 500- to 1000-word posts are various. A selection of titles includes


As we move forward, posts will continue to discuss nineteenth and twentieth century women, organizations, and issues from all parts of the state--from the Women's Christian Temperance Union to Title IX.

If a particular entry intrigues you, it's worth using the categories and tags at the bottom the article to find related posts. Categories include geography, for example "Eastern Montana"; era, for example, "1900-1945"; and subject matter, for example, "medicine." If you click on a category ("Eastern Montana," say) you'll find other articles published about that region.

I'm interested in other ways teachers can imagine (or are actually) using these articles in the classroom. The articles have the advantage of being shorter than most scholarly articles. They are also designed to be both interesting and significant. Thus, they seem ripe to be used in middle and high school classes as informational texts. (Do note, however, that while most of the entries are entirely age appropriate, a few of the upcoming topics might be too controversial for middle school, specifically ones on abortion, lesbian activism, and birth control.)

Brenda Johnson of Browning High School told me that she plans to choose a couple of these articles for her students to read as part of a formative assessment. In addition to reading two blog entries, she's having her students read the Great Falls Tribune article about the Women's History Matters project. Then the students will find a woman in their home community to profile.

Anya Jabour at University of Montana has assigned the blog in its entirety to one of her classes in lieu of a textbook, holding students responsible for the readings through periodic quizzes.

If you use any of these blog posts--please let me know how. Or if you have ideas of how we could make them more useful to classroom teachers, please let me know that as well.

P.S. In addition to visiting http://montanawomenshistory.org/, I hope you'll consider liking and following our Montana Women's History Matters Facebook page for all the latest and greatest.

P.P.S. I just received an email from Clark Begger from Roberts School, who said that he teaches Ronald Schaffer's essay, . “The Montana Woman Suffrage Campaign: 1911-14,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly 55, no. 1 (January 1964): 9-15, in his freshman/sophomore Montana history class.  I can't post that article, because it is copyrighted by PNQ, but I'm sure your librarian can get you a copy via interlibrary loan. However, Clark kindly shared the worksheet he created to use with students reading the article, which I am sharing here.


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