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Teaching History Blog

Women’s History Month Biography Assignment

My young daughters can’t imagine a world where they couldn’t play sports, get an education, or have any career they can imagine for themselves. Frankly, I can’t imagine growing up in a society that limited me based on my gender either. However, this was not always the case which is why March is Women’s History Month. To highlight the historical significance of individuals, consider assigning a biography assignment. For this post I will highlight some hippocampus.org materials related to Women’s History Month but this same assignment could be used for any group of individuals like Presidents, Civil Rights leaders, or even outlaws.

Title: Biography Assignment
Objective/s: Learner will read the biography of one woman from United States history. Student will then summarize life of that individual in a 3-5 page paper.
Assignment type: Summative
Assignment Details:
1. Student will select a key historical female figure from US history. The instructor may want to provide a brief list and include some details that might entice students to choose less famous individuals. The instructor may also want to limit the number of students researching the same individual particularly if the papers are to be shared.
2. Using library resources, students will locate a biography on that individual and read the biography.
3. The learner will compose a well organized, grammatically sound summary based on that biography about the individual’s life. The 3-5 page summary should include the most important events that lead to that person's historical contribution to society. The student will be sure to relate the historical significance of individual to our present day.
4. The final paragraph should be a brief review of the biography. Would they recommend it to others? Did they find the story inspiring? Was the author biased in any way for or against the individual?

Rubric Based on a 100 Point assignmentComposed a 3-5 page summary of the biography -10 points
Assignment contains minimal grammar errors -10 points
Highlighted the most important events that lead to the historical significance of that individual and described the impact of their lives on our present- 50 points
Cited Biography used for assignment in proper APA or MLA format -10 points
Evaluated overall impression of the biography on the student in final paragraph- 10 points
Assignment is well organized and contains beginning, middle and end- 10 points

There are so many options with how students could present this same information to the class that my paper seems a bit “traditional” considering the online environment that I’m presenting it. However, I will carry this theme to upcoming assignments that will be less traditional.

Links
How to Make a Playlist on HippoCampus:
A four-minute tutorial video
HippoCampus U.S. History & Government Study Group on OpenStudy.com:
Library of Congress:
United States House of Representatives:
National Archives:
United States Senate:
U.S. Federal Court:
U.S. Supreme Court Media:
National Constitution Center:
Virginia Historical Society's Virginia History Explorer:

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