International Museum of Women


Women of Courage Biographies

Teacher Lesson Description

An interdisciplinary/Collaborative Activity
By Lyn Reese

This lesson offers a novel way for students to learn about notable historic and contemporary who live in countries other than their own. It links the disciplines of social science and art in a research-based activity which has the protential of becoming a class web site or school display. With modification, it is appropriate for classes at any educational level. It also illustrates a process in which instutions such as museums and schools can work together to enhance public awareness of our globes’ extradinary women.

Student learn:

  • about contemporary or historic woman from countries other than their own.
  • to research and write a biography by following a defined format.
  • to write biographies geared to a general audience.
  • to illustrate biographies.
  • ways to arrange materials for a public display.

The project:

  • uses a multiplier technique to disseminate knowledge.
  • creates collaboration between art and social science classes.
  • uses student created materials as basis for public display.

Lesson Description:

  • 1) Students research the life of a woman who does NOT live in their own country. She may be either an historic or contemporary figure, either selected from a list provided by the teacher or one they find on their own.
  • 2) Students create a biography which adheres to the criteria outlined on the following BIOGRAPHY CRITERIA SHEET.
  • 3) Remind students that their biographies should be easy to read by a general audience.
  • 4) After completing the biographies, students’ work is given to an art class for illustration.
  • 5) Art students select one or more biography to illustrate. They use the criteria found on the ILLUSTRATION CRITERIA SHEET.
  • 6) The art work then accompanies the biography in a display which can appear on a teacher or student created web site, or on classroom or school displays.

Modified Lesson:

To make this project more appropriate for display, after their research students might write a two sentence Overview Description of the woman, create a short Time Line, and provide a Quote. The art work accompanying the biographic information remains the same. Click to see an example!

Women of Courage Project

Introduction | Teacher Lesson | Portraits | Biographies | Quotes | Student Participants

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