Just in time for Women's History Month! Education World offers a Women's History WebQuest. Challenge students to make use of bookshelf and online resources to create an Encyclopedia of Notable Women. Included: Ideas for adapting the WebQuest across the grades plus a simple rubric for grading students' efforts and a database of online resources.
This week, Education World celebrates Women's History Month with a WebQuest for students across the grades. We also provide ideas for adapting this WebQuest for use with younger and older students.
Propose to students to following scenario:You have just accepted a job as one of the editors of a new encyclopedia that will highlight the greatest women in history. You need to research potential candidates for recognition in your field of specialty - the arts, medicine, politics, science, or sports - and select the women who are most deserving of inclusion in the Encyclopedia of Notable Women.
Start this WebQuest with a classroom brainstorm. Ask students, "What names come to mind when you think of the greatest women in history?" As the students respond, write the names they share on a board or chart. After students have listed 20 to 25 names, ask them to group the names into the following categories.
- Arts and Humanities (for younger students, Artists and Writers)
- Health and Medicine
- Politics and Government
- The Sciences (Science and Math)
After they develop a list, students should use a biographical dictionary to confirm that each woman listed lived during the past century. This list will serve students as a starting point for the WebQuest task. Teachers might print out the list so each group has a copy of it.
Groups of students will be assigned as "editors" of one of the sections of the encyclopedia (in the bulleted list above). Each person in the group will contribute an article to the section. Then each group will select one woman and create a class presentation.
Teachers might choose to adapt the task.
- Add sections to the encyclopedia. For example, add a section called "Women of Diversity" or one called "Heroic Women." You might adjust the size of the groups to accommodate those sections, or each group might contribute an entry to the new section(s).
- Tired of the "same old biographies"? Older students might create an Encyclopedia of Unsung Women. To select women for "unsung" status, a teacher might give a quick matching quiz. Ask students to match a list of women's names to major accomplishments. A woman will qualify for inclusion if fewer than 50 percent of students correctly identify her.
- Teachers might adapt this activity for any century or for a more specific time period. Examples: Great Women of the Civil War or Great Women of the '90s.