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PBS Learning Media Resources
Civil Rights and the Women's Movement Lesson Plan
Compare and contrast the experiences of African American and white women facing discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s. In a culminating activity, students will then research current areas of discrimination and formulate an anti-discrimination campaign.
Women & Girls in the Criminal Justice System Collection
This collection may be used to support viewing of the documentaries Me Facing Life: Cyntoia’s Story, Girls on the Wall, and Troop 1500, while engaging participants in discussions about the criminal justice system; factors that put teens at risk; the impact of mass incarceration on individuals, families, and communities; and effective responses to these issues.
Women's Empowerment Collection
This collection includes activities and supporting video modules that encourage students to examine key social and political issues impacting women.
Women's History Month Collection
This collection celebrates Women's History Month by focusing on women and girls around the world.
The Women's Movement Collection
This collection includes resources to support teaching both the first and second waves of the women's movement, Stanton and Anthony through Steinem.
Women, War and Peace Collection
Women, War & Peace is a bold five-part PBS television series challenging the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain.
Women & the American Story Curriculum
Over the last half-century, scholars have brought more and more of their stories into the foreground. The New-York Historical Society’s Center for Women’s History continues and expands on this essential work as the nation’s first permanent public exhibition and educational center dedicated to women’s history. Women & the American Story, or WAMS for short, is the educators’ companion to the Center for Women’s History, addressing a difficulty that teachers have long encountered in their classrooms: the scarcity of material to bring women’s stories into the mainstream history curriculum. Units are being added through 2021!
Digital Public Library Primary Source Sets
Black Women's Suffrage Digital Collection
The Black Women’s Suffrage Digital Collection is a collaborative project to provide digital access to materials documenting the roles and experiences of Black Women in the Women’s Suffrage Movement and, more broadly, women’s rights, voting rights, and civic activism between the 1850s and 1960.
The Equal Rights Amendment
The National Organization for Women (NOW), established in 1966, was one of the organizations that took a leading role in this movement and the campaign for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. While many states ratified the amendment right away, it also ignited sharp debate, including among women and feminists. As the amendment approached its ratification deadline in 1979, thirty of the thirty-eight required states had ratified it and Congress granted an extension of the deadline until 1982. Despite years of protest and advocacy by NOW and other organizations, no additional states ratified the amendment during the extension period and the amendment was not adopted. This primary source set uses photographs, ephemera, political cartoons, video clips, and other documents to explore the women’s rights activism inspired by the Equal Rights Amendment.
The New Woman
Throughout history, and particularly during the Victorian era (mid- to late-1800s), women—especially from the upper and middle classes—had little opportunities beyond those of the hearth and home. The New Woman was a response to these limiting roles of wife and mother. Starting in the late nineteenth century, more and more women remained unmarried until later in their lives, gained education, organized for women’s suffrage, and worked outside the home. Women also supported the war effort during World War I. Such developments allowed greater freedom. This was manifest, for example, in the image of the bicycle rider—wearing bloomers instead of long dresses and free to go wherever, whenever she wanted, by herself or with her friends. But these changes didn’t come easily or without pushback from both men and women who were unused to the notion of women’s independence. The following set illustrates the movement’s ideals, the women who embraced it, and a society made uncomfortable by this seismic shift in the roles of men and women.
Women’s Suffrage: Campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment
On August 18, 1920, Congress ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women across the country the right to vote. This historic moment was largely the result of the work of activists and organizations advocating for universal voting rights. While these efforts started earlier, work for the amendment was the culmination of a twentieth-century women’s suffrage movement. This movement faced formidable political and social opposition and delay in moments of national concern like World War I. This set of primary sources—photos, advertisements, maps, and other documents—sheds light on that struggle toward the Nineteenth Amendment.
World War II: Women on the Home Front
Women entered the workforce in large numbers during World War II, replacing men who had joined the armed forces. Symbolized by “Rosie the Riveter,” these women significantly changed the place of women in labor and in society. From driving street cars to selling war bonds to working in defense industries, women played an important role in helping the country prepare for and win the war. Through this set, readers will learn about the opportunities and experiences of women laborers on the home front during the war.
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