Friday, February 26, 2010

Studying Maria Montessori for Women’s History Month in the Montessori Classroom

NAMC montessori activities women's history month maria montessori

March is Women’s History Month in the U.S. (In Canada, Women’s History Month is celebrated in October.) As a Montessori teacher, this is a wonderful opportunity to share important history with your students while incorporating activities across a variety of other curriculum areas. Montessori students of any age will enjoy hearing about Maria Montessori.

This will help students to continue to build a feeling of ownership of their school and knowledge of why their education is unique.


Maria Montessori was the first woman to graduate from medical school in Italy. Besides hard work, she had to be quite persistent in her efforts to even be admitted to medical school. Dr. Montessori’s approach to education was revolutionary and at times was met with resistance. She helped to create educational environments and completely new materials that were child-friendly. She helped to redefine the teacher’s role and wrote several books.

Studying Maria Montessori for Women’s History Month in the Montessori Classroom


Women’s History Month Activities

  • Depending on the age of your students, you can tell your class about significant women in history in a story format or ask students to research and share the stories themselves.
  • A language-oriented group of students might enjoy producing a Women’s History newsletter that can be sent home to all families of the school. This newsletter can be in a paper or digital format.
  • Students can choose to study historical or contemporary women that reflect their personal interests and create a presentation for the classroom. Students interested in music might select Alicia Keys or Norah Jones. Student dancers might select Martha Graham or Twyla Tharp.
  • Students can interview an important woman in their community about what she thinks are her greatest accomplishments.
  • Kinesthetic learners and/or history buffs might enjoy creating a timeline of significant events in women’s history.
  • Young artists can choose a new or favorite technique or medium in which to create a portrait of a woman (either famous or someone significant in their life).

NAMC montessori activities women's history month maria montessori children studying

Some Individuals for Suggested Study

  • Sojourner Truth: Spent many years spreading a message of equality
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony: Organizers of the National Woman Suffrage Association
  • Shirley Chisholm: First African American woman elected to Congress and first African America to run for President in the Democratic primaries
  • Sandra Day O’Connor: First woman to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice
  • Sally Ride: First female astronaut
  • Hillary Clinton: First First Lady to be elected to public office and later became the third woman to be Secretary of State
  • Alicia Keys and Norah Jones

Important Dates in Women’s History

  • 1920: 19th Amendment gives women the right to vote
  • 1942: Approximately 350,000 women serve in WWII
  • 1972: Equal Rights Amendment is passed in Congress but fails to get states’ approval
  • 1972: Title IX, which provides equal funding for male-oriented and female-oriented sports in schools, is passed

Recommended Books for the Montessori Classroom

  • A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women, by Lynne Cheney
  • 100 Women Who Shaped World History, by Gail Meyer Rolka
  • 33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History: From Suffragettes to Skirt Lengths to the E.R.A, by Tonya Bolden
  • The New York Public Library Amazing Women in American History: A Book of Answers for Kids, by Sue Heinemann
  • Black Stars: African American Women Scientists and Inventors, by Otha Richard Sullivan
  • The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth, by Jean L. S. Patrick
  • Remember the Ladies: 100 Great American Women, by Cheryl Harness
  • Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions, by Women by Catherine Thimmesh
  • Canadian Girls Who Rocked the World, by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
  • Outrageous Women of Ancient Times, by Vicki Leon
  • Outrageous Women of Colonial America, by Mary R. Furbee

Elissa — NAMC Graduate

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, February 26, 2010.

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