“The work of today is the history of tomorrow and we are its makers.”  Juliette Gordon Low

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‘No’ was a word Amelia Earhart wouldn’t accept.  In fact, after hearing ‘No’ at the 1904 World’s Fair when wanting to ride a rollercoaster, Amelia took matters into her own hands. With the help of her sister, Pidge, Amelia took roller skates, an old crate, and some two-by-fours and built her own rollercoaster! Later, that determination helped Amelia ‘fly’ into the history books as the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.  

In this amazing collection, students will encounter many women who demonstrated the same steadfast determination and grit. One example, Wangari Maathai, championed the fight against deforestation and urbanization. Her mission of peace and healing changed the natural world one tree at a time. Another example, Malala Yousafzai, challenged the anti-girl climate in Pakistani culture. She fought and won the right for girls in Pakistan to be educated. For her work, Malala won a Nobel Peace Prize.

Students will be thrilled to meet six-year-old Ruby Bridges, who in 1960, made history by attending first grade in an all-white school. Her courage paved the way for many other courageous actions during the Civil Rights Movement.  Mother Teresa also showed tremendous courage by leaving home at the age of 18 to go help those who were less fortunate. She spent her entire life serving the poorest of the poor of India, living side-by-side with them. Her ‘goodwill towards all’ extended beyond the borders of India to countries across the world. She, too, won a Nobel Peace Prize. 

Long before any of these women lived, there was Sacagawea. The only Indigenous woman to join Lewis and Clark as they traversed across the hills, plains, and mountains of America, Sacagawea’s tenacity was on full display. She not only served as a translator but also carried her baby on her back the entire journey.  

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History is our strength. It helps us learn where we’ve been, who we are and where we are going.  Students will aspire to be their own ‘power of one’ by reading how these famous women in history persevered, overcame adversity, lent a voice to those who had no voice, worked to combat injustice, and sought to make the world a better place. 

Come celebrate Women in History!

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Individuals in the Spotlight:

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I am Sacagawea by Brad Meltzer

This friendly mentor text introduces readers to Sacagawea, the only Indigenous woman to join Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition across the United States. While carrying her child on her back, Sacagawea worked as a translator throughout the journey. This text showcases the strength of Indigenous women and would also fit perfectly into a history unit on the age of discovery in the Americas.

Malala: My Story of Standing Up for Girls’ Rights by Sarah J. Robbins and Malala Yousafzai

Ideal for students aged 8 to 11, this inspirational memoir is about Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai. Coming from an impoverished background, Malala defied the extremist cultural climate of Pakistan to stand up for girls’ education. Malala’s name is now known worldwide as a historic figurehead for women’s rights.

Who Was Mother Teresa? By Jim Gigliotti

Mother Teresa’s historic compassion is laid out in this informative, quick-read biography. Mother Teresa lived a charitable life, spreading her goodwill to everyone with whom she crossed paths. A woman dedicated to giving, Teresa began teaching in India and eventually expanded her charitable efforts to an international scale. 

The World Is Not a Rectangle: A Portrait of Architect Zaha Hadid by Jeanette Winter

This nonfiction picture book focuses on architect, Zaha Hadid, and her triumph over adversity. Born in Iraq, Hadid’s dreams of design-led her to London, where she eventually opened her own studio and began to design buildings that can now be seen all over the world!

Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Pevot

Wangari Maathai is a revolutionary woman who inspired radical efforts in environmentalism. Born in Africa, Wangari studied in the US and later returned home to fight deforestation and urbanization, eventually founding the Green Belt Movement. This vividly illustrated picture book tells of Wangari’s steadfast determination in leading a movement for peace and healing within the natural world.

Empress Wu: Breaking and Expanding China by Baby Professor

Empress Wu went against the grain, serving as a leader during the male-dominated era of ancient China. The only female emperor in Chinese history, Empress Wu is a perfect example of a groundbreaking woman!

I am Frida Kahlo by Brad Meltzer

This friendly biography focuses on the famous Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo. Faced with disabilities from a childhood case of polio and a near-fatal bus crash, Kahlo used her injuries as inspiration for her paintings which have left a lasting mark on art history.

Amelia Earhart and the Flying Chariot by Steve Sheinkin

Earhart’s historic journey in aviation is intertwined with fun hijinks in this combination of history and time travel! This series features siblings Abby and Doc as they race through time meeting historic figures. When Amelia Earhart accidentally lands in Ancient Greece, Abby and Doc help get her back in the sky to finish her first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

This true story begins in the year 1960 as six-year-old Ruby Bridges goes to attend first grade at an all-white school. Ruby’s courage throughout the civil rights movement is inspiring still to this day, resonating within our society more than 60 years later.

Chien-Shiung Wu: Phenomenal Physicist by Jill C Wheeler

Chien-Shiung Wu is a Chinese physicist whose scientific success is laid out in this mentor text. The history of Wu’s groundbreaking career in physics is supplemented with a timeline, glossary, index, and an additional science activity to ensure hands-on learning of this historic woman!

Collections of Amazing Women:

Ten Women Who Changed Science and the World by Catherine Whitlock

This collection features ten minibiographies of remarkable female scientists who worked to make the world a better place. Despite societal pushback, these women all persevered in their research during times when a woman’s contribution was commonly disregarded.

Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders by Kate Pankhurst

Thirteen women are introduced alongside their pioneer efforts in this collection that offers readers a kaleidoscope of different career industries. From doctors to hot-air balloonists, students can read all about the journeys of these bold women!

Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World by Vashti Harrison

Little Dreamers features the life stories of thirty-five inspiring women with careers ranging from science to art to business and beyond! Pages are information-filled and colorful to display, showcasing the accomplishments of these women in an accessible way that will inspire readers to dream big.

Black Women in Science by Kimberly Brown Pellum

Fifteen inspiring Black female scientists are celebrated for their ingenuity in this collection of biographies. In addition to learning about how these women overcame adversity in the STEM field, readers can learn about the significance of mathematics and healthcare industries.

Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World by Katherine Halligan

Fifteen inspiring Black female scientists are celebrated for their ingenuity in this collection of biographies. In addition to learning about how these women overcame adversity in the STEM field, readers can learn about the significance of mathematics and healthcare industries.

I hope you found some amazing women’s history books to use as mentor text! If you would like to see a larger list of suggested books, go to my Amazon List.

For other History Blogs click: https://rockinresources.com/category/social-studies

 

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