Celebrate & Learn About Women’s History All Month Long!

Mountain Lake PBS is proud to celebrate Women’s History this March and all year round!

March is Women’s History Month! Started in 1978 as a week-long celebration in California, Women’s History Month is now a nationwide, month-long celebration of women’s contributions to our society. The National Women’s History Alliance has announced the theme of this year’s Women’s History Month is “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced,” in continued honor of the Suffrage Centennial and women’s right to vote under the 19th Amendment.

Today, we continue this celebration of women with documentaries, educational articles, fun activities and more, to expand our understanding of the key role in shaping society and culture women have played throughout history.

Continue below to celebrate and learn about women’s contributions to history, politics, science, art and more with PBS Parents articles and PBS LearningMedia resources for all ages, and a full lineup of programs in our weekday Learn at Home block.

Jump to article sections:

Women’s History & Contributions: Now and Then

UNC-TV’s GIRL Power! Collection

Grades K-6
UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina’s GIRL Power! is shining a light on girls of ALL ages who lead, mentor, inspire and impact those around them by tapping into their unique strengths. Check out this collection of their stories on PBS LearningMedia.

Unladylike2020 Collection

Grades 6-12
 honors the centennial of women’s suffrage. This collection of digital resources presents the rich history of 26 little-known Progressive Era women, diverse in profession, race, ethnicity, geographical and class backgrounds, sexual orientation and gender expression, who broke barriers in then-male-dominated fields such as science, business, journalism, exploration, and the arts. Touching on topics such as the labor movement, immigration, politics, civil rights, and women’s suffrage, these resources develop students’ historical thinking skills and help them make connections between past and present.

Women in STEM | The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers

Grades 6-12
Learn about contemporary women scientists in the fields of aerospace, mechanical engineering, climate science, molecular biology, astronomy and more with this collection of video interviews from NOVA’s The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers.

Women’s History Month Collection

Grades 9-12
ITVS Community Classroom
is a film and curriculum resource series that brings to life some of today’s most vital social issues by pairing film modules from award-winning documentaries with standards-based lesson plans. This collection celebrates Women’s History Month by focusing on women and girls around the world. The films tell powerful, personal stories; and the activities encourage students to learn and understand international struggles and take an active role in addressing local concerns.

Fierce Women of Art | The Art Assignment

Grades 9-12
In this episode of The Art Assignment, learn about a group of supremely awesome and unapologetic artists who take risks, question art-world practices, and also happen to be women. They are truly inspirational artists who make a wide range of work. We’re calling them “Fierce Women of Art” and this episode singles-out and celebrates five of them: the Guerrilla Girls, Corita Kent, Lynda Benglis, Xiao Lu, and Kara Walker.

Famous Feminists, Leaders & Visionaries

Cleopatra Reader | Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum

Grades 1-2
Learn all about Cleopatra, ruler of Egypt over 2,000 years ago! Cleopatra was in power for more than 20 years, despite many challenges to her throne, and was the last active Pharaoh of the Ancient Egyptian Empire. She spoke seven languages, traveled to many ancient lands, and is still one of the most famous women in world history.

Sojourner Truth | Abolitionist and Women’s Rights Activist

Grades 3-7
An abolitionist and feminist during the nineteenth century, Sojourner Truth demanded not less discrimination, but no discrimination. Truth escaped enslavement and, despite being unable to read or write, rose to be a leader in the fight for equality and fair treatment for both women and African Americans. Learn about the remarkable career of this persevering woman who lived up to her self-chosen name.

Women Advancing Equality | Asian Americans

Grades 4-6
Throughout her life, Patsy Mink faced obstacles because she was Asian and female. But Mink did not give up her pursuit of a political career. In 1964, she was elected to Congress in her second attempt. In Congress, she co-authored Title IX, a law to ensure that no one will be discriminated against in education and federally-funded activities based on gender. In addition to working on Title IX, Mink also fought racial barriers by supporting civil rights legislation.

Origins of a Leader’s Voice | Dolores

Grades 6-12
History tells us that César Chavez transformed the U.S. labor movement by leading the first farm workers’ union. But missing from this story is the equally influential co-founder, Dolores Huerta, who tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez becoming one of the most influential feminists of the Twentieth Century. In this video segment from the PBS Independent Lens program Dolores watch an overview of civil rights leader Dolores Huerta’s background and the work she continues to pursue.

Hedy Lamarr | Feminism in Hollywood

Grades 6-12
Learn how Hedy Lamarr struggled to transcend the “bombshell” label placed on her by Hollywood in this media gallery from the American Masters film Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr StoryLamarr was an early feminist—before the term was commonly used—who broke barriers as a movie producer and in daring to establish herself as an inventor. 

Audre Lorde

Grades 9-12
Examine the life and influence of Audre Lorde, a Black feminist lesbian poet who believed that naming our full identities was an essential part of radical social change. Utilizing video from First Person: Classroom, discussion questions, and teaching tips, students will learn about intersectionality, and how to speak one’s own truth.

Activities, Books & More

How to Raise Strong Girls

Grades PreK-3
When girls get the message that they have the ability to work through difficulty and learn new things, they stop giving up and start finding their way through their struggles. Try, “I’m working on this” to help your daughter remember that learning takes time.

Children’s Books About Amazing Women

Grades PreK-3
Celebrate amazing women, who have affected more lives than they could have imagined, with this collection of books for kids aged 2-8!

Positive Organizations Can Help Young Girls Find Their “Inner Girl Power”

Grades PreK-4
Getting young girls involved in positive organizations can build their self-confidence and help them discover what they love. PBS Kids for Parents shares eight organizations that help girls do just that.

Amelia Earhart Reader | Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum

Grades 1-2
Teach your little learners about Amelia Earhart with this printable 2-page biosketch from Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum! And there’s more in the support materials, like sentence starter and fill-in-the-fact worksheets too. Can’t get enough? Help Amelia Earhart find all the words related to her travels with this fun Word Search Puzzle.

Marie Curie | Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum

Grades 1-2
Learn about award winning scientist Marie Curie with this video clip, printable biosketch reader, and support materials from Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. Take the learning even further with this printable Matching Game to help Marie Curie match the similar bottles!

Women with Character Who Inspire: Lesson Plan | PBS NewsHour

Grades 6-12
In this virtual learning-ready lesson, learn about women with great character, then identify and write a brief description about an inspiring woman of character in your own life. Students can submit a picture and a short description using the tag #PBSWomenWhoInspire on Instagram about a woman who has inspired them.

How Outstanding Women in STEM Overcame Obstacles: Lesson Plan | PBS NewsHour

Grades 9-12
Use these digital resources from PBS NewsHour to explore the careers of 19 great women in STEM and the obstacles they overcame. Then, have students apply these barriers to their own lives to see whether they are personally true.

Learning at Home Programs

During Women’s History Month, check out the Mountain Lake PBS Learning at Home block, all March long! Join us as we celebrate, honor, and learn about the important contributions made by women throughout history and today.

Monday, March 1

1 PM: Discovering New York Suffrage Stories

In New York State, the epicenter for reform in the mid 1800’s, women began their battle for the vote. The movement’s success depended on these women, but today, many of their stories are absent from the history. Meet a few of the diverse suffragists who tirelessly navigated issues of religious intolerance, sexism, politics, and racism as they fought for the vote and for women’s equality.

1:30 PM: No Going Back: Women and the War

Part of a multi-part series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, No Going Back: Women and the War explores how the Civil War turned the home front into the frontline for many women in the Confederacy. As husbands departed, wives and daughters had to shoulder the full burden of daily life. Hardship and hunger forced changes in long held cultural and societal beliefs, breaking boundaries confining most women, while breaking chains for others.

Thursday, March 4

1 PM: Daring Women Doctors: Physicians in the 19th Century

Hidden in American history, all women’s medical schools began to appear in the mid 19th century long before women had the right to vote or own property. “Daring Women Doctors” highlights the intrepid, pioneering and diverse women who faced hostility and resistance in their pursuit of medical educations.

Thursday, March 11

1 PM: Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber

For seven decades foreign correspondent and photojournalist Ruth Gruber didn’t just report the news, she made it. Born in 1911 to Russian Jewish immigrants, Ruth Gruber became the youngest Ph.D. in the world before becoming an international journalist at age 24. A fearless trailblazer who defied tradition to become the eyes and conscience of the world, she was the first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic in 1935, traveled to Alaska as a member of the Roosevelt administration in 1942, escorted Holocaust refugees to America in 1944, covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946, and documented the Palestine-bound Haganah ship Exodus in 1947. Her relationships with world leaders, including Eleanor Roosevelt, President Harry Truman, and Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, gave her unique access and insight into modern history.

2:15 PM: Georgia O’Keeffe: A Woman on Paper

Georgia O’Keeffe: A Woman on Paper, highlights the artist’s career while focusing on the little-known story of O’Keeffe’s time spent in Columbia, S.C., as an art instructor at Columbia College. The program follows O’Keeffe’s career through various artistic stages, ending permanently in New Mexico, where she created more realistic paintings with vivid color.

Monday, March 22

1 PM: Without a Whisper – Konnón:kwe

Explore the untold story of how Indigenous women influenced the early suffragists in their fight for freedom and equality. Mohawk Clan Mother Louise Herne and Professor Sally Roesch Wagner shake the foundation of the established history of the women’s rights movement in the US joining forces to shed light on the hidden history of the influence of Haudenosaunee Women on the women’s rights movement.

1:30 PM: Ohero:kon – Under the Husk

Ohero:kon – Under the Husk follows the challenging journey of two Mohawk girls as they take part in their traditional passage rites to becoming Mohawk Women. Kaienkwinehtha and Kasennakohe are childhood friends from traditional families living in the Mohawk Community of Akwesasne that straddles the U.S. / Canada border. They both take part in a four-year adolescent passage rites ceremony called Ohero:kon “Under the Husk” that has been revived in their community. This ceremony challenges them spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It shapes the women they become.

Wednesday, March 24

2 PM: Hawaiiana

Hawaiiana examines the enduring legacy of Winona “Aunty Nona” Beamer, a venerated educator, storyteller, composer and hula expert who dedicated her life to preserving and celebrating traditional Hawaiian culture. In her 20s, Aunty Nona formed a Hawaiian dance troupe that toured the U.S., eventually performing at Carnegie Hall and bringing the ancient art of hula to the wider public. Later, as a teacher at the Kamehameha Schools, she became a pivotal force in bringing Hawaiian culture back into the classroom, coining the term “Hawaiiana” to represent a curriculum that included the best of Hawaiian culture, history and knowledge. Weaving together archival music and dance performances with past interviews and footage of Aunty Nona and her sons Keola and Kapona Beamer, Hawaiiana offers a profile of a pioneering woman whose wisdom and life story continue to spread the message of aloha around the world.

Friday, March 26

2 PM: Black Ballerina

Black Ballerina is a story of passion, opportunity, heartbreak and triumph of the human spirit. Set in the overwhelmingly white world of classical dance, it tells the stories of several black women from different generations who fell in love with ballet. Sixty years ago, while pursuing their dreams of careers in classical dance, Joan Myers Brown, Delores Browne and Raven Wilkinson (the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo’s first black ballerina) confronted racism, exclusion and unequal opportunity in segregated mid-century America. In 2015, three young black women also pursue careers as ballerinas, and find that many of the same obstacles their predecessors faced are still evident in the ballet world today. Through interviews with current and former ballet dancers along with engaging archival photos and film, Black Ballerina uses the ethereal world of ballet to engage viewers on a subject that reaches far outside the art world and compels viewers to think about larger issues of exclusion, equal opportunity and change.