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Create a Women's History Museum

Students will identify famous women, categorize them into groups and conduct research to learn more about them. They will use what they learned to create a classroom museum focused on women's history.

PROCESS:

  1. Instruct students to name as many famous women as they can. Tell them to make a list. Then have them categorize the women into groups. (i.e., sports, social activism, science, etc.)
  2. Give students time to conduct research so they can identify more women who fit into these groups. If you wish, challenge them to identify famous women who fit into other types of groups they hadn't thought of before.
  3. Encourage students to brainstorm ideas about how they could compile the information they've collected into a classroom museum dedicated to women's history. 
  4. Give students time to create their vision. Provide necessary supplies or have students bring items from home. When the museum is complete, invite other classes to visit. Issue "time tickets" to keep the event organized-just like a real museum does when it opens.

ASSESSMENT: 

As a class, create a survey to gauge visitor response to the classroom museum. Include questions related to individual exhibits as well as the overall organization of the museum. Have each visitor fill out a form. Analyze and discuss the results.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
As a class, identify famous women and categorize them into groups. Encourage students to share their ideas for a classroom museum. Then divide the class into small groups. Assign each group one category of women. Challenge them to create an accurate and interesting display that fits into the type of museum the class envisioned.

Grades 5-6:
As a class, identify famous women and categorize them into groups. Have students conduct research to identify more famous women who belong to these groups. Then have students brainstorm ideas for a classroom museum. If necessary, point out that there are different types of exhibits in a museum. Some resemble dioramas. Others are interactive. And some are just a series of panels on the wall. Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group one category of women to investigate. Instruct groups to select the type of exhibit they'd like to create. Then give them time to make their displays for the classroom museum. 

Grades 7-8: 
As a class, identify famous women and categorize them into groups. Have students conduct research to identify more famous women who belong to these groups as well as new categories they hadn't thought of before. Rejoin as a class to brainstorm ideas for a classroom museum. Tell students that the museum will have three wings and each wing will have a different theme. Encourage them to identify those themes and then sort the categories of women appropriately. Divide the class into pairs. Assign each pair one category of women. Give partners time to conduct additional research. Challenge them to create a compelling exhibit for the classroom museum. 

Grades 9-10:
As a class, identify famous women and categorize them into groups. Have students conduct research to identify more famous women who belong to these groups as well as new categories they hadn't thought of before. Rejoin as a class to brainstorm ideas for a women's history museum. Have students identify five overall themes they would like to feature and decide how the categories of women they identified should be sorted to support these themes. Then divide the class into small groups. Assign each group one theme. Utilizing a variety of display types-diorama, interactive or flat panels-challenge groups to create accurate and engaging exhibits for the classroom museum.