I hope you are having an EPIC Black History Month celebration at your Club! We love every opportunity we get to highlight special holidays and fun events, as it helps to keep programming fresh, relevant, and diverse. The good news is that the celebrations keep on coming, with Women’s History Month in March! In this post, we will be focusing on ideas for celebrating Women’s History Month throughout the Club. The ideas below are just to kick-start your own creativity, so be sure to send us your favorite activities or décor so that we can share with the Movement!
Why is it important to celebrate Women’s History? Unfortunately, in both American and global history, women haven’t always been given the opportunity to participate fully in society, whether that be government, industry, sports, arts, science, and others. And yet? Women persevered and fought their way into these spaces. All youth can draw inspiration from their triumphs, and it gives us a chance to consider the remarkable women who are achieving great things today. By shining a light on women from many different backgrounds and cultures, we show youth that greatness can come in many different forms, from all kinds of people.
I always love pairing activities with picture books for younger youth, and this list highlights women from around the world and across the timeline. Don’t forget that your local library’s children’s librarian is a GREAT resource and can often special order books if they don’t have them on hand.
I ESPECIALLY love this book list that features African American musicians that are all women. Pairing a book with listening to their music or watching a video performance truly brings their stories to LIFE!
One way to celebrate various holidays and events is through bulletin boards or other Clubhouse décor. An even better idea is to have youth help to create these displays! Consider having your Torch Club, Keystone, SMART Girls, or other groups choose either quotes by women or women to feature and create graphics for the board either by hand or digitally.
Speaking of quotes, this site (which is very visually painful I know lol, but you can flip through the quotes on the left side) gives 35 quotes that make great discussion starters. Consider using them in a community builder activity by giving groups of 2-3 youth a quote, having them discuss what it means and how they can apply it to their lives. You can give each group different quotes or have all groups use the same, and do it several times throughout the month.
While I try to share ideas that are free, seems like each Link Roundup these days I’m including one that does cost a little. BUT these Guess Who cards can be used in several ways, and if you print and laminate would last a while. The set also includes blank cards for youth to add additional women they admire, which could be a great chance to highlight women from your local community or state! Consider introducing the game in the Gamesroom and then researching women to add to it in the Education Room for a nice cross-over. The full pack with alternative rules for playing in larger groups is a $7 download.
Women’s History Month also lends itself well to activities for your Arts programming. If perler beads are part of your supply closet, here are patterns to make some famous women in American History:
You can also use this month to highlight famous women in art. These two links give ideas for activities around Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter, and Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese contemporary artist.
(PS I went to an exhibition of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms a couple of years ago and it was AMAZING!)
Finally, I found the activity below with a worksheet (that I linked to), but right away thought about how to take it to the next level using MyFuture. In the Media Making Program, there are several activities you could have youth choose from as a way to highlight an influential woman they choose to learn about. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Portrait Photography: Have youth create costumes and gather items that relate to the women they highlight to create Renaissance-style portraits
- Storyboarding: Create a storyboard for a short film about an event in the influential woman’s life
- Spoken Word: Write a spoken word story or poem about the woman they chose, then perform and record it. The activity contains several links to spoken word videos, and don’t forget Amanda Gorman’s poems read at both the Presidential Inauguration and the Super Bowl
- Create a Podcast: Have youth work in pairs to create a short podcast segment on the woman they chose. Better yet, have youth interview a woman in the community they find inspirational
And there are others, suitable for whatever level of tech you have at your Club. Here are the instructions from the original activity I found, and the very basic worksheet (but you should for sure use MyFuture instead!):
Challenge students to produce a short “film” spotlighting an influential woman. Choose a theme for a film series, such as “Voting Rights Heroes” (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Alice Paul, Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin, or Adelina Otero-Warren); “Female Firsts” (Shirley Chisholm, first African American congresswoman; Sandra Day O’Connor, first woman to serve on the Supreme Court; Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman doctor in U.S.; Ellen Ochoa, first Hispanic woman to travel into space; or Junko Tabei, first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest); or “Women in STEM” (Marie Curie, Katherine Johnson, Edith Clarke, Mareena Robinson Snowden, Mary G. Ross, or Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski).
I hope this gets your program planning kickstarted! Stay tuned to the ClubX Blog because on the docket for this year is a refresh of our SMART Girls core programming, which we will absolutely feature here. It’s gonna be GREAT!