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Women's History Month, For Teachers

How to Research a Report for Women's History Month

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[Miss Anna Bland, an African American woman, working on the SS George Washington Carver, April 1943.],Rushing the SS George Washington Carver to completion., Digital ID 1260356, New York Public LibraryOkay, so it's March 2nd and you need to do a report on a famous woman for Woman's History month.  Who do you pick and where do you start? 

The best way to pick a famous woman is to think about your interests.  When you write about a subject that you are interested in, it just comes out sounding more convincing, and instead of being just another assignment, you might really enjoy doing your homework!

Let's get started.  Do you especially love sports?  If you do, you might think about the sport you like best.  For argument's sake, let's say that you enjoy basketball.  Babe Didrikson, one of the first female basketball players, might be a good choice to critique, or if you prefer a more modern approach, you might consider writing about Lisa Leslie, a three time Olympic gold medalist and a three time MVP of the WNBA.  The New York Public Library has many books on these women, or you might consider using our wonderful database Biography in Context to gather information.  I will provide a short book and website list at the end of this blog post.  All of these resources are available through The New York Public Library's website.  All you need is a valid library card which is available to all those who live, work, or go to school in New York State.  For all the details, stop in at your local branch library in The Bronx, Manhattan or Staten Island.

Now, let's say that you are not interested in sports. You're just not that into them, but you are a wiz in the kitchen, and you would love to be a chef in the future. You might consider browsing through Women of Taste: Recipes and Profiles of Famous Women Chefs compiled by Beverly Russell, or checking out the lives of several famous chefs like Julia Child or Paula Deen.

So you think you can dance.  Why not research one of the great prima ballerinas?  That's Italian for first ballerina or the lead ballerina role in a ballet performance.  If you've seen Black Swan, Natalie Portman won the part of the prima ballerina in that movie.  However, that movie is fiction, so you would have to research a real ballerina like Margot Fonteyn, for example. If modern dance is your dance of choice you might consider Paula Abdul or Martha Graham.

I've highlighted just a few categories to think about.  There are plenty more to choose from.  Do you want to be a teacher?  Then you might consider Annie Sullivan who taught Helen Keller, or Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher in space who died on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. The topics go on and on... 

Rule number one is to write about something that interests you.  Just think outside the box, be creative and you will surely get an A+.  Good luck with your Women's History Project, and don't forget to stop by your local library; we are here to help you.

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This is really great, thanks

This is really great, thanks Joanne.

Is that you?

Fifty years ago I attended St Brendan's High School in B'klyn and in my class was a student, Joann Conti. Would that be you?

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