Learning from the Source: Perceptions & Roles of American Women

Perceptions & Roles of American Women

Enduring understanding

Time, place, and culture influence our perspectives on people and issues.

Essential question

How have perceptions of women in America and their roles in society evolved over time?

Lesson prep

  1. Review and read all primary sources.
  2. Prepare primary sources for online or paper analysis.
  3. Have packs of sticky notes (three different colors) available.

Lesson plan

  1. Divide students into three or six groups and instruct each group complete one of the guided primary source analysis activties linked to below.
  1. Direct each group to create a brief presentation in order to share their learnings from the primary source analyses with the class. (If there were six groups, you may wish to combine groups who completed an analysis of the same source together to create the presentation.)
  2. Allow student groups to share their presentations with the class.
  3. Tell students they will be researching perceptions of women in America today and their roles in society. Ask them to consider areas where they think women have advanced and achieved equality with men as well as areas in which they think women have not achieved parity.
  4. Inform students that they will work in groups to create different source types to comment on the perceptions of women in America today and their roles in society; one group will create an illustration, one group will create a political cartoon, and one group will write a feature article (which may include photos or illustrations).
  5. Once again divide students into three or six groups. (You may wish to allow students to choose their groups based on the type of source they will create.) Remind students that their sources may document a positive perception, negative perception or balanced coverage.
  6. Display the sources students created and have them complete a gallery walk. (Each source should have several packs of sticky notes of a single color nearby.)
  7. Direct students to use the sticky notes to make a comment or ask a question about the sources. (You may wish to require students to post a note to one or more of the sources. You may also consider having students include their name on the sticky notes.)
  8. After the gallery walk, ask each group to review and collate the comments and questions. Inform them that they will need to prepare to present their source to the class and explain how it responds to the lesson’s essential question in addition to addressing comments made and responding to questions raised during the gallery walk.
  9. Instruct each group to present their source to the class.
  10. After, brainstorm ways that citizens can work to achieve greater equality for all.