Did you know on March 8 each year it is International Women’s Day? It wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned IWD has been celebrated globally for over 100 years. Wow, and I’ve been alive for three of those decades. I started reflecting on why I didn’t hear about IWD a lot when I was growing up or why it didn’t register in my memory bank from a young age? For this reason, Ashleigh and I believe it is important for us to share what we do in the classroom to celebrate and empower young girls and women.
International Women’s Day (IWD) got me thinking about Valentine’s Day and how there are usually two types of people; those who really get into the day of love, and the others who think every day should be about showing love to those you care about, rather than on one particular day. I feel IWD could have two similar groups.
I see International Women’s Day as a day for everyone to really recognise the positive differences being made for women by sharing, talking and celebrating these achievements and basic human rights! We need these kinds of days to remove any stigmas placed on women and for these conversations to continue for the following 364 days until the next International Women’s Day.
So here are a few ways we celebrate International Women’s Day with our students and continue to do so throughout the year:
Read stories about influential women
There are many amazing women in the world who have done amazing things, just like the amazing girls in your care who will also do amazing things in their lives. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls is packed with 100 stories about 100 extraordinary women. As well, they have a second book Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2. We also like Shout out to the Girls: A Celebration of Awesome Australian Women. That equals a total of 250 stories about amazing women!
Do a research study about Influential Women
We have put together a free research pack about International Women’s Day consisting of three parts. The purpose and history of IWD, female inventors and colonial women and influential women (Aussie version). My class loved learning about female inventors and it led to a good couple of weeks discussing what life would be like without these inventions and what else may need to be invented in the future.
Additionally, we put together a free research project to provide students with a better understanding of the important impact Indigenous Women have had in Australia in celebration of International Women’s Day. Click the images at the bottom of the post to get your free copies of our research projects.
There are many fabulous women in our community. Provide students with a writing template and have them to write about an important woman in their lives. It could be to their mum, aunty, grandmother, teacher, coach, best friend’s mum or another woman who has played a positive role in their life so far.
Create a positive classroom community
Teachers are daily encouragers. How about providing a platform for kids in your class to do the same. Our ‘Hey You’ slips are a great way for kids to encourage girls and boys to recognise others who are doing amazingly kind and courageous acts in class. Not only are we celebrating other’s successes, but creating a loving and positive environment for everyone!
Below we have collated some helpful websites about International Women’s Day and the awesome women who have and continue to grace our world:
You may not get all the time you need on the day to celebrate IWD, but reassured you still have the rest of the year to recognise all the amazing women who have helped shape our world.
Click the images to get your free copies of these research tasks.
What to read next: