While March is dedicated to Women’s History Month, we know that women affect and change our lives all year round. Whether it’s women we know personally or well-known public figures, women play an important role in our lives.
Use this lesson plan to guide students as they learn more about women with great character who inspire others. Students are then encouraged to identify and write a brief description about an inspiring woman of character in their lives and share it with the class or on social media using the hashtag #PBSWomenWhoInspire.
Social studies, government, English
One 45-minute class period
Middle and high school
Character and inspiration
First, ask students, “What does it mean to have good character?” Then ask, “What does it mean to inspire?”
Ask students to think of three women with great character who inspire them either from today or the past and write it down. Then ask students to assess their choices by picking out the reasons they felt these women were particularly special and share their answers with a partner. Did they see any connection between the women they chose?
Now ask students to put themselves in the shoes of the women they identified as truly inspiring and ask themselves, who would be inspiring to you?
Explain to students that without always knowing it, our heroes tell us a lot about our own character and what is important to us. In the next part of the lesson plan we are going to look at the lives and work of two truly incredible women and find out which woman inspires them.
Angelique Kidjo and Kerry Kennedy
Explain to students that they are now going to learn about two examples of women who have great character and are inspiring to others.
Have students watch the video introducing Angelique Kidjo.
Before passing out her profile, have the class guess what kind of woman they think would be Angelique Kidjo’s hero? What would her character be like? What might she have fought for? What were her hero’s goals? Write your answer down on your paper.
Now watch the video introducing Kerry Kennedy.
Again, before passing out her profile, have the class guess what kind of woman they think would be Kerry Kennedy’s hero? What would her character be like? What might she have fought for? What were her hero’s goals? Write your answer down on your paper.
Now pass out both Angelique’s and Kerry’s profile and let students read their “Women Who Inspire” profiles.
Have students respond on their handout whether their guess was correct.
Last but not least, have students write a brief description (2-3 sentences) about a woman in their lives who has strong character and inspires them. Students can share their picture and description on social media using the hashtag #PBSWomenWhoInspire.
By Katie Gould, PBS NewsHour Extra Teacher Resource Producer