Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Lesson Plan Investigates the Effects of Title IX

We started working on the lesson plan, "Women and Sports: Tracking Change Over Time," in 2012--so you can imagine how pleased I am to finally be able to share it with you.

I'm excited about this lesson (aimed at students grades 4-8) for several reasons:

First, because it looks at how federal legislation affects our daily lives and at how larger historical patterns influence individual experiences. These are big questions that fascinate me--and that I believe are essential for students to wrestle with.

I'm also excited about this lesson because it is truly cross disciplinary, integrating math into a history/social science lesson--and science too--by having students use the scientific method (creating a hypothesis, collecting and analyzing data) to create new knowledge.

The lesson starts by having students examine a photo of a women’s basketball game in Missoula circa 1900 using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). (Unfamiliar with VTS? Learn more here.) After this "hook," students read an essay to learn about the ways that Title IX (a federal civil rights law enacted in 1972 that prohibits sex discrimination in education) changed girls’ opportunities to participate in school sports. Then we get to the fun part: having students conduct a survey of their community, analyze the data they collect, and compare it to a data set we collected.

Women and Sports: Tracking Change over Time is just the latest addition to the women's history lesson plans and resources we created as part of our Women's History Matters project (honoring Montana's 2014 suffrage centennial). The Women's History Resources and Lesson Plans page (part of our online Educator Resources material) includes links to several other lesson plans, including

I hope you'll check these out--and let me know what you think. One of the great things about web publishing is that we can update the material easily and inexpensively--so we can and do improve lessons based on teacher feedback. Let us know what worked--and, as importantly, what didn't--by sending an email to me at mkohl@mt.gov.

P.S. I'll be presenting on our women's history lesson plans at the Montana State Literacy Conference October 15 in Belgrade, Thursday morning, 9:45-10:45, in room #115 and in Billings at MEA-MFT, on Friday, October 16, 2:00-2:50, Skyview High School: Room 238. Even if you can't make it to either presentation, I hope you'll stop by our booth at the MEA-MFT exhibit hall to visit informally.

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