Women’s History Annotated Bibliography




Dr. Ava L. McCall





Young Adult And Children’s Books

Biographical Series

Dear America Series

Women’s World History Series

Children’s Coloring Books

Children’s Periodicals

Children’s Plays

Adult Resources: Books

Adult Resources: Curriculum Guides

General Resources For Women’s History




Young Adult And Children’s Books


Amstel, M. (2000). Sybil Ludington’s midnight ride. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books.


Picture book, elementary level. In the “author’s note” and “afterword,” the author compares the differences between Paul Revere’s and Sybil Ludington’s ride during the American Revolution. Sybil’s ride took place later in the war (1777), but was just as important in readying colonial troops to resist a British attack. Sybil’s father was a commander of troops, but he and his soldiers were all at their homes when the British attacked nearby Danbury, Connecticut. Sybil was the only person who could ride her horse and call all the soldiers to gather at Colonel Ludington’s home to prepare for battle. The text contains a map of Sybil’s journey and a sketch of a statue dedicated to her in Carmel, New York.


Bardhan-Quallen, S. (2008). Ballots for Belva: The true story of a woman’s race for the presidency. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers.


Upper elementary. The picture book portrays the efforts of Belva Lockwood to accomplish very unusual tasks for women during the 19th century. Belva was the first woman to graduate from the National University Law School, the first woman to practice law in federal courts, and the first to argue a case before the Supreme Court of the U.S. In 1884, Belva was the first woman to run officially for president, representing the Equal Rights Party, even though women could not yet vote. In 1872, Victoria Woodhull also was a presidential candidate for the Equal Rights Party, but suspended her campaign before Election Day. Despite many obstacles to her campaign, Belva won 4,711 votes, although Grover Cleveland was elected president.


Bausum, A. (2004). With courage and cloth: Winning the fight for a woman’s right to vote. Washington, DC: National Geographic.


Upper elementary/middle school level. The text is well-illustrated with many archival photographs to portray the author’s focus on Alice Paul and other suffragists who struggled to win voting rights for women from 1913-1920. Using parades, pickets and “watch fires” in front of the White House, demonstrations, and lobbying state and federal legislators, suffragists communicated their message. However, they often found that police rarely protected them from opponents who harassed and attacked them during their pickets. The pickets also faced arrest, deplorable conditions in jail, and forced feedings when they went on hunger strikes. When the public became aware of this treatment, they became more sympathetic toward the suffragists’ cause. The author includes sources for each chapter, profiles of the women who led the fight for suffrage, and a timeline of the struggle for women’s suffrage from 1788 when the Constitution is adopted for the U.S. to 1920 when the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote is ratified.


Blumberg, R. (1993). Bloomers! New York: Bradbury.


Picture book, elementary level. During the 19th century, the appropriate dress for middle-class women was a corset, layers of petticoats, and a heavy, long dress which was uncomfortable and constraining. This book portrays a few women such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, and Susan B. Anthony who challenged that style and began wearing bloomers or ballooning, ankle-length trousers topped with a knee-length dress. This style was easier for women to move around and carry things, including children, but most people considered it scandalous that women would assume dress more appropriate for men. The three women also began to engage in other activities deemed unseemly for women including traveling together and speaking publicly about the importance of women's rights, such as the right to vote. For this period of time, the bloomers became a symbol of women's rights.


Bolden, T. (Ed.). (2002). 33 things every girl should know about women’s history: From suffragettes to skirt lengths to the E.R.A. New York: Crown.


Middle school level and adult resource. The editor collected poems, essays, letters, diary excerpts, fiction, timelines, a play, annotated bibliographies, and profiles of important women to introduce girls to a chronological history of women in the U.S. The pieces begin with letters between Abigail and John Adams discussing women’s rights through a short play discussing the importance of the ERA Constitutional Amendment. One very interesting selection includes three stories portraying Native American, European American, and African American women settling in “Indian Territory” in the 19th century. A brief history of women’s participation in politics through voting, running for office, and serving in the U.S. Congress is included. Other interesting segments clarify changing women’s fashions, definitions of beauty, reproductive and economic rights.


Brill, M. T. (2001). Margaret Knight: Girl inventor. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook.


Elementary level. In the introduction to the text, the author describes the circumstances which led Margaret Knight and her family to work in Amoskeag Mills, a giant cotton factory in Manchester, New Hampshire. After the father’s death, the entire family needs to work to earn money, including Margaret. In 1848 at the age of 10, Margaret’s job in the mill is removing thread-filled bobbins and replacing them with empty ones. However, the cotton fibers in the air lodge in her lungs and Margaret stays home for months at a time to clear them. Another hazard of working around the looms is when a thread breaks, the fast-moving shuttle can hurt or kill the worker, who are often children. After witnessing several deaths and injuries, Margaret decides to invent a safer shuttle. She first studies the looms and the use of the shuttle, then makes several drawings of a safer shuttle, and finally made a model. Despite the skepticism of many men that girls can invent improvements in machines, Margaret’s invention is added to every loom in the factory. However, Margaret never receives any monetary rewards for this invention.


Brown, D. P. (1985). Sybil rides for independence. Niles, IL: Albert Whitman.


Picture book, elementary level. The author portrays Sybil as a young woman who was more interested in riding her horse and serving as a soldier for the colonies than doing traditional women’s chores. However, this motivation is speculation. The text provides a description of the known facts of Sybil Ludington’s ride to gather her father’s troops to defend the area and prevent the British from doing more damage and taking territory. The author describes General Washington’s visit with Sybil to thank her for her assistance with defending the colonies. The additional information at the end of the text clarifies which aspects of the text are fiction and which are factual.


Casey, S. (1997). Women invent! Two centuries of discoveries have shaped our world. Chicago: Chicago Review.


Middle school level. The author reviews different motivations for women’s inventions, including life’s necessities, health problems, national defense needs, career demands, and educational concerns as well as inventions resulting from accidents. One significant clarification is that although women have always invented, they have few patents in their own name. She identifies three criteria in order for a product, process, or an improvement to be considered an invention: (1) it must be new and different from what already exists; (2) it must be useful and needed by some people; and (3) it must be unobvious. The process of making one’s inventions known occurs by keeping a log or record of the process of creating the invention, making a model, getting a patent (preventing others from making, using, and selling an invention for a period of time) or trademark protection (preventing others from using the same words, symbols, designs without revealing the contents of the invention), manufacturing the product oneself or licensing or selling one’s invention to another company to produce. The text also contains a list resources about inventions and patents, internet sites, places to visit, invention camps, and invention programs and contests.


Chang, I. (1991). A separate battle: Women and the Civil War. New York: Puffin.


Upper elementary and middle school level. The author focuses on women involved in different roles during the Civil War period. She includes women as writers and speakers against slavery; as producers of clothing and distributors of supplies for soldiers; as nurses for wounded and ill soldiers; as soldiers and spies for both the Confederacy and Union; as workers in factories and at home; as teachers for “contraband” or former slave children; and as survivors of the war. The text provides not only a description of women’s activities, but also their hardships and views regarding the war.


Cheney, L. (2003). A is for Abigail: An almanac of amazing American women. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.


Picture book, upper elementary. The text follows an alphabetical order format with very detailed illustrations showing women who have made important contributions. It begins with “A is for Abigail Adams, who knew that women should be heard” and focuses only on Adams’ life. The following pages recognize individual women or groups of women who wanted to heal, went west, were educators, wrote poetry or were writers, served as First Ladies, wrote news, defended their beliefs, documented the past, became inventors and entrepreneurs, “lifted others up,” made notable achievements as pilots, astronauts, or artists, accomplished “firsts” in government, became performers or quiltmakers, served in war, participated in feminism’s second wave, became trailblazers in different fields, worked for suffrage, achieved in science and math, and became notable athletes.


Chin-Lee, C. (2005). Amelia to Zora: Twenty-six women who changed the world. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.


Picture book, upper elementary. The author creates short biographies of 26 women she admires with the goal of encouraging readers to further study each woman. Chin-Lee focuses on each woman’s given name rather than her family name, which is often based on her father’s or husband’s name. She includes women who are well known entertainers, such as Lena Horne and Oprah Winfrey, famous athletes, such as Babe Didrikson Zaharias and Kristi Yamaguchi, as well as less- known scientists, such as Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, an astronomer and first woman professor at Harvard University, and Grace Hopper, a computer scientist who helped make UNIVAC. The text also portrays political activists, such as Nawal El Sadaawi who fought for equal rights for women in Egypt, Suu Kyi who fought for democracy in Burma, Dolores Huerta who struggled for better working conditions and wages for farmworkers, and Vijaya Lakshimi Pandi who advocated for India’s freedom from Great Britain.


Christensen, B. (2003). The daring Nellie Bly: America’s star reporter. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.


Picture book, elementary level. The text clarifies how Elizabeth Cochran obtained her first position as a newspaper journalist and wrote under the pen name Nellie Bly. It details her reports of the difficult lives of working girls and women, the lives and customs of Mexican people, an expose of the inhumane conditions of the Women’s Lunatic Asylum, and unfair and illegal practices affecting women. Some of her most notable accomplishments include a record breaking trip around the world with reports about what she saw during her travels, her position as the first woman journalist from the Eastern Front during World War I, her inventions, and her efforts to gain rights for women, the working class, and homes for orphans. The text also includes a timeline and additional resources for investigating Bly’s life.


Corey, S. (2000). You forgot your skirt, Amelia Bloomer! New York: Scholastic.


Picture book, elementary level. The author bases her whimsical text on the life of Amelia Bloomer, an early 19th century reformer dissatisfied with women’s rights, women’s work, and women’s clothing. Amelia addressed these issues by advocating for women’s suffrage, creating her own newspaper, and sewing a new style of clothing eventually called “bloomers.” The pantaloons covered by a short skirt allowed women more freedom of movement, but were severely criticized by others as “improper” dress for women. The author’s note provides more background information on Amelia Bloomer’s life and her activities promoting women’s rights.


Davis, L. (1998). Susan B. Anthony: A photo-illustrated biography. Mankato, MN: Bridgestone Books.


Picture book, elementary level. The text is excellent for introducing readers to Susan B. Anthony and the important contributions she made for equality for women and African Americans. It illustrates Anthony’s early experiences in her family and as a teacher which influenced her to fight for women’s equality. It depicts Susan’s work with Elizabeth Cady Stanton in speaking, writing, and petitioning for women’s rights, women’s suffrage, and the abolishment of slavery.


Epstein, V. S. (1984). History of women for children. Denver, CO: Quality.


Picture book, upper elementary level. The text focuses on women in the history of western culture, particularly the United States. It begins with early history when people lived in caves, forests, and on the plains; women’s involvement in providing food and clothing for their families; the development of patriarchal cultures in which men “owned” women and children; the formation of hierarchical cultures in which a few men ruled and controlled wealth; the erosion of women’s rights; and women’s work to gain rights to vote and receive fair treatment in work.


Gleiter, J. & Thompson, K. (1985). Molly Pitcher. Nashville, TN: Ideals Publishing.


Picture book, elementary. The text introduces the contributions of Molly Hays who accompanied her husband from camp to camp as he fought in the American Revolution. Molly used a pitcher to carry water to fighting men during hot weather, which led to the name Molly Pitcher. When her husband was overcome by the heat during battle, Molly took his place at a cannon. The book celebrates the courage of the young woman who became known as Molly Pitcher and her contributions to the American Revolution.


Gourley, C. (2003). Society’s sisters: Stories of women who fought for social justice in America. Brookfield, CT: Twenty-First Century Books.


Upper elementary/middle school level. The text is embellished with photographs and drawings of the women and issues portrayed during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It addresses women’s challenges to their separate sphere; their concern with children’s welfare and rights; women’s efforts to improve health care for low-income immigrants; and women’s leadership in the temperance movement, the fight for racial equality, women’s suffrage, and world peace. The author reveals differences among women in their orientations to solving social problems. For example, she contrasts Carry Nation’s violent approach to the abolition of alcohol with Frances Willard’s focus on women’s rights as an avenue to abolish the sale of alcohol.


Harness, C. (2001). Remember the ladies: 100 great American women. New York: HarperTrophy.


Picture book, upper elementary level. The brief text and illustrations provide an overview of women who have made significant accomplishments in U.S. history. The profiles of each woman are arranged chronologically, beginning with Virginia Dare, the first English child born in America, to Ruth Simmons, the President of Smith College. Women include writers, educators, painters, soldiers, suffragists, congresswomen, medical doctors, and social reformers. The text contains a timeline of important events in U.S. history and a list of the 100 women portrayed in the book.


Harness, C. (2003). Rabble rousers: 20 women who made a difference. New York: Dutton.


Picture book, upper elementary level. The text briefly describes 20 women who tried to make the world better during 200 years of U.S. history. It begins with Ann Lee, founder of the Shaker community, who advocated for religious choice, and ended with Doris “Granny D: Haddock, who walked across the country to awaken interest in campaign reform. Other rabble rousers fought for suffrage, women’s education, temperance, labor rights, abolition of slavery, civil rights, and women’s control of their bodies. The text also includes timelines for the abolitionist, women’s, labor, and civil rights movements; social action suggestions, resources, and places to visit for readers to learn more about social change movements and what they can do to make a difference in the world.


Hoose, P. (2001). We were there, too! Young people in U.S. history. New York: Melanie Kroupa Books.


Upper elementary, middle school level, and adult resource. Although the text does not exclusively focus on girls and young women, nearly half the stories portray young female contributions to U.S. history. The first section deals with the encounter of Europeans and Native Americans and includes the activities of Taino girls and boys. In the second section, “Strangers in Paradise: The British Colonies” readers consider the stories of Pocahontas, Salem girls considered “witches,” a young girl captured by the Mohawks, a female indigo planter, and Phillis Wheatley, poet. Within the section on the American Revolution are stories about girls who spun their own cloth rather than use English imports, young female spies, and the contributions of Sybil Ludington and Deborah Sampson during the war. The fourth section deals with becoming a nation and focuses on two sisters who scared away a British ship during the War of 1812, a young girl who helped sew the large flag which inspired the song “The Star Spangled Banner,” mill girl workers and strike leaders, and a determined young slave who escaped to Canada. Section five focuses on the Civil War and portrays an African American teacher, a European American girl’s experience during the burning of Atlanta, and Vinnie Ream’s talent in creating Abraham Lincoln’s statue. Stories of Sacajewa and a young girl who traveled with her family to Salt Lake City, Utah are included in “The West” section. The “New Century” section focuses on young women sweatshop workers, strike leaders, and suffragists. Section eight concentrates on “Wars, Depression, and Dust” and includes portrayals of young women and the sacrifices and conflicts they experienced during World War I, teen girls who “rode the rails” during the Great Depression, and a young Japanese American girl whose family was sent to an internment camp during World War II. The final section provides stories of girls participating in the civil rights movement, integrating racially segregated Little Rock, Arkansas schools, becoming a United Farm Workers organizer, becoming a championship girls’ basketball team, and becoming an environmental activist.


Igus, T. (Ed.). (1997). Book of Black heroes, volume two: Great women in the struggle. East Orange, NJ: Just Us Books.


Upper elementary and middle school level. The editor includes a photograph or drawing of each African or African American woman and a one-page description of her notable contributions. Forty-six women are included who distinguished themselves as freedom fighters, educators, writers, fine or performing artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, lawyers and policy makers, scientists, and healers.


Jones, B. (2002). Learning about equal rights from the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. New York: PowerKids Press.


Picture book, elementary level. The author briefly profiles Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, and explains how her life was influenced by the lack of equal rights. The text emphasizes that the U.S. Constitution, the basis of U.S. laws, was written by 55 men who did not include equal rights for women. Ginsburg was one of only nine women out of 500 students at Harvard Law School in the 1950s; was denied a job interview with one Supreme Court justice because she was a woman; and was only the second woman to teach at Rutgers University School of Law. These experiences contributed to her dedication to fighting for equal rights for women.


Keenan, S. (2002). Scholastic encyclopedia of women in the United States. New York: Scholastic.


Upper elementary, middle school level, and adult resource. The author highlights women from different fields who made significant contributions to U.S. History during different eras: first American women 1500s-1700s, growth and conflict 1800-1880s, rights of women 1890s through 1920s, hard times, tough choices 1930s and 1940s, American dream 1950s and 1960s, and woman power 1970s through 2000s. Authors to actors are included in the arts/entertainment field while entrepreneurs to labor leaders are highlighted from business/labor. Teachers to college presidents are portrayed in the field of education while print to television journalists are included from media. Women who served as soldiers to spies are depicted as members of the military while historians to suffragists to senators are included as representatives of politics/law. Temperance leaders to social workers are included as members of the reform/social service field while spiritual leaders represent religion. Biologists to physicians reflect science/math while different types of athletes are highlighted from sports. The author includes a helpful topical and author index to help readers quickly find women from different fields.


Knight, A. S. (1993). The way West: Journal of a pioneer woman. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks.


Picture book, elementary level. The text contains the journal of Amelia Stewart Knight as she, her husband, and seven children travel from Iowa to the Oregon Territory in 1853. Readers learn of illnesses, accidents, the effects of the weather on traveling in covered wagons, interactions with Native Americans, and the challenges of crossing rivers. Most entries reflect the difficulties of the journey. Native people, for the most part, were helpful to pioneers by trading or selling food and assisting in crossing rivers, for a fee.


Kramer, B. (2003). Mahalia Jackson: The voice of gospel and civil rights. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow.


Upper elementary/middle school level. This biography of Mahalia Jackson illustrates the importance of music in her life from childhood on. Growing up in poverty in segregated New Orleans, Jackson sang in the Baptist church choir, but listened to the Pentecostal Church music and blues and jazz which influenced her singing throughout her life. She focused on singing gospel music, and made records, toured nationally and internationally, performed for Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, and won awards for her music. When Jackson met Martin Luther King, Jr., she became involved in the civil rights movement, often singing for events or to raise money. Because of her own experiences with racism in racially segregated schools and trains, the refusal of service in hotels and restaurants, and the struggle to purchase a house, Jackson understood the importance of racial equality. She believed her music was an avenue to diminish hate and fear between Whites and Blacks.


Krull, K. (2004). A woman for president: The story of Victoria Woodhull. New York: Walker.


Picture book, upper elementary level. The text portrays the unconventional life of Victoria Claflin Woodhull, who grew up poor, made a living as a fortune teller and healer, earned and lost wealth, married three times and divorced twice, and accomplished many notable feats for women in the 19th century. She and her sister Tennessee formed the first female-owned American company which bought and sold stocks and founded their own newspaper. Victoria was the first woman in history to address Congress and spoke about the Constitutional right for women to vote. She was the first to run for President in 1872, although she was not allowed to vote.


Lasky, K. (2003). A voice of her own: The story of Phillis Wheatley, slave poet. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick.


Picture book, elementary level. The text portrays the life of Phillis Wheatley from her capture on the west coast of Africa in 1761 and her travel to Boston on a slave ship until her freedom in 1774. Although it was not done in the North, Phillis’ owner, Susannah Wheatley, taught Phillis to read and write. Phillis’s success in reading the Bible led to her study of other subjects, a contrast to the very limited education for most White colonial girls and women. The text describes experiences and events which prompted Phillis to write poetry about them and includes excerpts of the poems. Although Phillis remained Mrs. Wheatley’s slave until after Mrs. Wheatley’s death, she supported Phillis’ writing. She took Phillis to people’s homes to read her poems and sent her to England to get her poems published after all the Boston printers refused to publish the poetry of an African American. The author emphasizes slavery’s dehumanization through enforcing silence and the importance of Phillis Wheatley’s voice in becoming free.


Leon, V. (1998). Outrageous women of ancient times. New York: John Wiley & Sons.


Upper elementary and middle school level. In the introduction, the author explains her purpose is to tell the stories of women from long ago (2300 B.C. to 300 A.D.) who were usually not included in history texts. She devotes several pages to each woman and describes her life and daring contributions based on library and archeological research. Each chapter is illustrated with photographs and drawings. Leon portrays women from five different regions of the world: Rome; Greece and Turkey; Egypt and Northern Africa; the Middle East, and the Far East and includes a map of the region at the time these women lived.


Leon, V. (1998). Outrageous women of the middle ages. New York: John Wiley & Sons.


Upper elementary and middle school level. In the introduction, the author sketches in the historical context for the 15 women she portrays from the middle ages (500 - 1350 A.D.), including the major political, religious, and social changes as well as lists the evidence on which the descriptions are based (church documents, court records, city archives, and archaeological evidence). Leon describes the lives and accomplishments of women from four different regions of the world: British Isles, France and Scandinavia; Germany and Italy; Middle East and North Africa; and the Far East and includes maps of the regions, photographs, and sketches to embellish the narrative.


Levinson, N. S. (1983). The first women who spoke out. Minneapolis: Dillon.


Middle school level and adult resource. The author concentrates on six women from the 19th century who were actively involved in the abolitionist and the women’s rights movements. The Grimke sisters were the first female abolitionist agents in the U.S. while Sarah Grimke also wrote about women’s rights. Lucretia Mott, a Quaker minister, was considered the “soul and spirit” behind the women’s movement. Sojourner Truth became a well-known abolitionist and women’s rights speaker. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the first woman to run for Congress and the first president of the National Women’s Suffrage Association. Lucy Stone helped organize the first national woman’s rights convention and the American Woman Suffrage Association.


Levinson, N. S. (1997). She’s been working on the railroad. New York: Lodestar.


Upper elementary/middle school level. This text provides valuable background knowledge on a gap in most people’s understanding of railroad workers in the 19th and 20th centuries. The author’s purpose is to inform readers of women’s participation in the railroad industry despite the sexism they encountered in lower pay and resistance from male workers. Many women began working on railroads in the late 19th century as telegraph operators who controlled train traffic and also sold tickets and dispatched trains. During World War I and World War II, women were recruited to replace men who served in the armed forces. At this time women worked as clerks, machinists, dispatchers, flaggers, drawbridge tenders, welders, brakers, and freight handlers. It wasn’t until the 1970s and the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that women were able to become engineers. However, a woman has yet to become president of a major railroad.


McGovern, A. (1975). The secret soldier: The story of Deborah Sampson. New York: Scholastic.


Upper elementary/middle school level. The text clarifies the limited options for women during the revolutionary era. Women usually had little or no education in the academic subjects, were expected to marry young and raise a large family, and could not own property or make decisions about what happened to their children. Deborah Sampson came from a poor family whose mother could not afford to raise all her children. Deborah was sent from her home and worked for 10 years for a family in exchange for a place to live. Once she was free, she decided to become a soldier rather than accept women’s traditional role. Deborah disguised herself as a male and became a continental soldier, Robert Shurtliff. She discovered war was not the adventure she expected. Deborah saw the injuries and death from battle and was wounded herself. After nearly dying from a fever, her female identity was discovered and Deborah received an honorable discharge from the army. She served for one and one-half years. Later, she married a farmer and raised a family, but also traveled to different cities and gave talks about her experiences as a soldier. Deborah Sampson was one of the first women to travel alone and earn money from public speaking.


Miller, B. M. (1995). Buffalo gals: Women of the old West. Minneapolis: Lerner.


Upper elementary and middle school level. The author includes women from different cultural backgrounds and provides descriptions of women who emigrated west and endured the challenges of cooking, crossing rivers, and giving birth on the journey. Once African American and European American arrived at their destination, they struggled to build homes and endure the isolation they often felt. Women also worked as teachers, writers, cooks, maids, farmers, ranchers, miners, and prostitutes to earn money as well as care for their families in the West. Picnics, quilting bees, harvest parties, church socials, and the theater provided necessary social outlets for women. Although women had few rights during the 19th century, the importance of women’s contributions to the survival of families in the West opened the door to greater rights, such as suffrage. The author closes the text by focusing on the clash of cultures among European Americans, Native Americans, and Mexican Americans.


National Women’s History Project. (1998). Las Mujeres: Mexican American/Chicana women. Windsor, CA: Author.


Upper elementary and middle school level. The text is written in English and Spanish and contains photographs or sketches of 17 Mexican American women from the 1770s to the present. The women worked in early missions in the northern frontier of Mexico or were ranchers, journalists, civil rights advocates, civic leaders, union organizers, businesswomen, artists, historians, or attorneys. Readers are introduced to the greater legal rights of Spanish/Mexican women during the 18th and 19th centuries than Anglo women in the United States. These included the right to retain their property when they married, one-half interest in property obtained during marriage, operate their own business, buy and sell anything they produced, enter into contracts in their own names, and bring suit or testify in court.


Peavy, L. & Smith, U. (1985). Dreams into deeds: Nine women who dared. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.


Middle school level and adult resource. The author profiles women who entered diverse fields changing the lives of others and opening opportunities for succeeding generations of women. Jane Addams was a social reformer and advocate for the poor; Elizabeth Cady Stanton worked for women’s equality; Alice Hamilton was an advocate for workers’ safety; and Mary Harris Jones was a labor reformer concerned about workers’ exploitation and child labor. In science, Rachel Carson endeavored to protect the environment while Margaret Mead cultivated deeper understandings of women’s and men’s roles in different cultures. Juliette Gordon Low brought scouting to girls while Marian Anderson sang in different settings previously closed to African Americans. Babe Didrikson Zaharis endeavored to live the life of an athlete before professional sports were open to women.


Plourde, L. (2008). Margaret Chase Smith: A woman for president. Watertown, PA: Charlesbridge.


Picture book, elementary level. The text is a biography of the life of Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to become elected to both houses of Congress and the first woman from a major political party (Republican) to run for president. Although Chase Smith was not elected president, she was a very conscientious Representative and Senator, never missing a roll-call vote in the Senate for 13 years. Chase Smith was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1940 to take over her partner’s seat when he died suddenly. The text portrays Chase Smith’s family’s economic struggles and challenges, the various jobs she held and organizations she was involved with following high school, and her commitment to helping women in the military and promoting flight and space exploration as a member of Congress. She was also willing to confront Senator Joseph McCarthy about his unjust accusations that many people were communists. The text also contains valuable timelines which document when different groups achieved voting rights, the percentages of women working outside the home during different eras, women who served in U.S. Congress, and women in U.S. politics. A timeline of Margaret Chase Smith’s life is also included.


Rappaport, D. (1988). The Boston coffee party. New York: Harper & Row.


Picture book, lower elementary. This simple text is historical fiction. The story is fictional, but it is based on an incident in which colonial women forcefully took a Boston merchant’s coffee supply hidden in his warehouse. They spoiled his plan to hoard coffee, one of the British products in short supply, until no other merchant had it, then sell his own stock at exorbitant prices. It illustrates an action women took to protest the merchant’s focus on self-gain rather than support for the colonists’ boycott of British products, including coffee. The text also portrays women sewing shirts for the colonial soldiers as one of their contributions to the patriot cause.


Redmond, S. R. (2004). Patriots in petticoats: Heroines of the American Revolution. New York: Random House.


Upper elementary and middle school level. The author briefly profiles 24 women who fought in different ways for freedom during the American Revolution. She includes women writers, such as Phillis Wheatley, Mercy Otis Warren, and Mary Katharine Goddard, who wrote letters or poems or published a newspaper publishing the Declaration of Independence. Redmond describes women who supported the patriot cause through sewing, nursing, defending their homes, serving as spies and messengers, and warning soldiers of dangers, such as Dicey Langston and Sybil Ludington. Women who served in the American Revolution are also portrayed, including Deborah Samson, Margaret Cochran Corbin, and Mary Hays. The text lists the states where each woman lived and a timeline for the women’s activities.


Rockwell, A. (2002). They called her Molly Pitcher. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.


Picture book, elementary level. In the author’s note, readers discover the integration of facts about Mary Hays McCauly (also known as Molly Pitcher) and the legend of Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth. The text and detailed illustrations portray how Molly Pitcher, like many women who followed male relatives to Valley Forge, continued to trail her husband William Hays to the Battle of Monmouth in 1778. During the battle she carried water in a pitcher for soldiers to drink. When her husband became wounded, Molly Pitcher continued to fire his cannon. General Washington designed Molly Pitcher as a sergeant in the Continental Army for her bravery. No evidence exists that Molly Pitcher fought in any subsequent Revolutionary War battles.


Rynbach, I. V. & Shea, P. D. (2010). The taxing case of the cows: A true story about suffrage. Boston: Clarion Books.


Elementary level. The text is historical fiction based on events in the lives of Abby and Julie Smith who lived in Glastonbury, Connecticut in the 19th century. The author lists sources for the text. The Smith sisters protested the town leaders’ decision to tax single female landowners more than other landowners, especially since they and other women had no voice or vote in this decision. The sisters were not allowed to speak at town meetings when they demanded the right to vote. The sisters refused to pay the additional tax at first, then they paid a portion of it, a practice allowed for male landowners. However, the tax collector took their seven cows as payment for the tax. When the tax collector attempted to auction the cows to pay the tax, no one bid more than a few dollars for the cows, which allowed the sisters to purchase them for the amount of the tax bill. When the sisters continued to refuse to pay the additional tax, they fought the tax collector’s attempt to take some of their land as payment, in violation of the law. The Smith sisters eventually won their case and toured the U.S. speaking about women’s rights. Neither lived to see women achieve the right to vote.


Savage, C. (2001). Born to be a cowgirl: A spirited ride through the old West. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press.


Upper elementary/middle school level and adult resource. The text is liberally illustrated with historical photographs and posters and focuses on cowgirls who rode across the prairies of western Canada and the U.S. beginning in the mid-19th century. The author provides readers with very interesting portrayals of individual cowgirls, how they learned to ride horses so well, the equipment they used, the clothing they wore for riding, diverse chores they completed as part of ranching, and how “ranch sports” led to the creation of rodeos in the late 19th century. Although few women ride broncs and bulls at rodeos today, most rodeo cowgirls concentrate on barrel racing or racing their horses around barrels in loops and different patterns.


Sigerman, H. (2001). Elizabeth Cady Stanton: The right is ours. New York: Oxford.


Upper elementary/middle school level and adult resource. The author traces Stanton’s early awareness of women’s inequality through experiences in her family, schools, anti-slavery and temperance organizations, and the influences of other women’s rights leaders. Unlike many suffragists, Stanton did not focus solely on gaining the right to vote for women, but fought for women’s rights to keep their own property and wages and their legal rights to sign contracts, divorce their spouses on more favorable terms, keep their children after a divorce, have a voice in making laws, and controlling their own bodies. Stanton also called for greater educational and employment opportunities for women. Much to the author’s credit, readers are introduced to Stanton’s limited understanding of working women’s lives and the racism and classism of her views that educated European American women deserved the vote before uneducated immigrant and African American men. The text portrays Stanton as a human, but visionary leader.


Silcox-Jarrett, D. (1998). Heroines of the American Revolution: America’s founding mothers. Chapel Hill, NC: Green Angel.


Picture book, upper elementary level. The author focuses on 24 women who participated in different ways in the American Revolution. She includes women who spoke out about freedom with their husbands, those who boycotted English tea and cloth, women who made warm clothing for Patriot soldiers, those who spied or carried messages to Patriot soldiers, women who directly attacked British soldiers, and women who participated in battle. Most women are European American except for Nancy Ward, a Cherokee, and Phillis Wheatley, and African American.


Stevens, B. (1984). Deborah Sampson goes to war. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books.


Picture book, lower elementary level. The simple text portrays the life of Deborah Sampson, who grew up in a poor family, but was able to attend school because she lived with and worked for another family. Deborah supported the patriot cause and challenged traditional gender roles by active participation in the American Revolution at age 21. Since only men could fight, she disguised herself as a man and joined the army as Robert Shurtleff. After being wounded in battle, she tried to remove the musket ball from her own leg rather than risk a doctor discovering her female identity. Deborah continued to serve in the army, but a doctor treating her for another illness learned of her true identity, a surprise to her commanding officer! The author’s note clarifies that Deborah Sampson was honorably discharged from the army in 1783, and later became the first woman lecturer in the U.S. Deborah Sampson traveled to different cities telling about her experiences in the Revolutionary War.


Thimmesh, C. (2000). Girls think of everything: Stories of ingenious inventions by women. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.


Picture book, upper elementary level. After reviewing a brief history of women’s inventions and the different motivations and circumstances leading to them, the author portrays 10 women inventors. The women invented such diverse products as chocolate chip cookies, windshield wipers, Kevlar fiber, liquid paper, Scotchgard fabric protector, Snugli baby carriers, paper bag folding machines, illusion transmitters, and space shields. Young girls who invented paper which glows in the dark and a no-spill feeding bowl are also described. She closes the text with advice on how readers might protect their inventions through patents.


Thimmesh, C. (2004). Madam President: The extraordinary, true (and evolving) story of women in politics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.


Picture book, upper elementary level. The text reviews women’s political roles in U.S. history as a response to one girl’s desire to be president of the United States. She reviews notable first ladies, such as Abigail Adams, Edith Bolling Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, Rosalyn Carter, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Women who worked bravely to win the right to vote are portrayed, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Charlotte Woodward, Susan B. Anthony, Sara Bard Field, and Mrs. J. L. Burn. Another aspect of women’s political participation was serving in Congress, such as Jeannette Rankin, Margaret Chase Smith, and Nancy Pelosi. Women also were appointed to significant positions in the federal government, such as Frances Perkins as secretary of labor, Madeline Albright as secretary of state, Sandra Day O’Connor as a Supreme Court justice, and Condoleezza Rice as national security advisor. Although no woman has ever been elected to the office of president of the U.S., around the world there have been many women leaders in Sri Lanka, Iceland, Great Britain, and Pakistan. Nothing in the Constitution prevents a woman from being elected president, which opens the discussion about the possibilities of women serving as president.


Thomas, J. C. (1998). I have heard of a land. New York: Joanna Cotler Books.


Picture book, elementary level. Written in verse, the author describes the possibilities for women and African Americans to obtain land in Oklahoma during the late 19th century. Building on family stories of her African American great-grandparents move to Oklahoma, the author focuses on one African American woman pioneer who plants crops, grows all the food she eats, sleeps in a sod hut, and builds a log cabin with the help of her neighbors. The Oklahoma Territory was one of the few places in the U.S. where a woman could own land in her own name. The text celebrates the possibilities for a better life in Oklahoma for women and African Americans.


Wallner, A. (1994). Betsy Ross. New York: Holiday House.


Picture book, elementary level. The author also illustrated the text briefly describing Betsy Ross’ life. In the author’s note, Wallner explains the lack of historical evidence that Ross sewed the first American flag. However, Ross’ family and friends passed down the story of George Washington commissioning Ross to sew the flag and Ross’ suggestions to modify Washington’s design. It was possible that Ross met with Washington regarding the flag design because Washington was in Philadelphia where Ross ran her upholstery shop at the time she claimed they met. The text could be used to discuss conflicting evidence and interpretations of historical events and people.


White, L. A. (2005). I could do that! Esther Morris gets women the vote. New York: Melanie Kroupa Books. 


Picture book, elementary level. The author acknowledges in the author’s note the limited facts known about Esther Morris’s early life and the specific actions she took which led women to gain the right to vote in the Wyoming Territory in 1869. Although some aspects of the text are fictional, the book is an engaging account of Esther Morris’s sense of independence and desire to challenge conventions. She owned a millinery business to help support her family, advocated for women’s suffrage, and became a justice of the peace, the first woman to hold political office in the U.S. She was able to vote in local elections beginning in 1870, but never voted for president.


Winnick, K. (2000). Sybil’s night ride. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press.


Picture book, elementary level. The author portrays the historical figure Sybil Ludington, daughter of a colonel in the Revolutionary War. When Sybil’s family learns that the British were coming, Sybil volunteers to ride her horse 40 miles through the rainy night to call the militia to prepare for battle. Because of Sybil’s efforts, Colonel Ludington’s regiment joined with other regiments to resist the British advances and pushed them back to New York City. The author’s note provides additional background information on Sybil Ludington’s contributions to history.


Zeinert, K. (2001). The extraordinary women of World War I. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook.


Upper elementary, middle school level and adult resource. The author first describes the events leading to World War I, the different countries involved in the war, and their alignment with either the Central Powers or Allied Powers. In order to provide a more complete context for women’s participation in World War I, the author traces the history of women’s involvement in paid labor outside their homes, from the Civil War until World War I. The text concentrates on women’s involvement in the war, from serving as activists for peace, to working in nontraditional manufacturing positions (operating drills, milling machines, grinders, and welding tools), to traditional jobs in garment and textile mills, to serving in noncombat positions such as clerical workers and telephone operators in the armed forces (Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army Signal Corps), to working in health care as nurses, doctors, physical or occupational therapists, or as sculptors who made portrait masks for soldiers with facial wounds, to serving as war correspondents, to serving as Red Cross, YMCA , and Salvation Army volunteers. However, readers are introduced to the sexism and strong resistance to women’s participation in the war and the divisions among women due to social class and race at this time. While women were forced to return to traditional jobs following World War I, the author links women’s participation in the “Great War” to the passage of the 19th amendment allowing women to vote.


Biographical Series


Childhood of Famous Americans is a series of books published by Aladdin Books dealing only with the childhood of well-known women and men in the U.S. The texts are suitable for elementary age students. The following books focus on women:

            Monsell, H. A. (1960). Susan B. Anthony: Champion of women’s rights.

            Stevenson, A. (1962). Clara Barton: Founder of the American Red Cross.

            Stevenson, A. (1983). Molly Pitcher: Young patriot.

            Wilson, E. (1962). Annie Oakley: Young markswoman..


Women of Our Time is a series of the lives of 20th century women published by Puffin Books suitable for upper elementary students and includes:

            Giff, P. R. (1986). Mother Teresa: Sister to the poor.

            Knudson, R. R. (1985). Babe Didrikson: Athlete of the century.

            Meltzer, M. (1985). Betty Friedan: A voice for women’s rights.

            Meltzer, M. (1986). Winnie Mandela: The soul of South Africa.

            Meltzer, M. (1987). Mary McLeod Bethune: Voice of Black hope.

            Saunders, S. (1987). Margaret Mead: The world was her family.


Troll Associates publishes biographies of famous American women suitable for elementary students, including:

            Bains, R. (1982). Clara Barton: Angel of the battlefield.

            Bains, R. (1982). Harriet Tubman: The road to freedom.

            Brandt, K. (1983). Marie Curie: Brave scientist.

            Sabin, F. (1982). Elizabeth Blackwell: The first woman doctor.

            Sabin, F. (1982). The courage of Helen Keller.

            Sabin, F. (1982). Narcissa Whitman: Brave pioneer.

            Sabin, F. (1983). Amelia Earhart: Adventure in the sky.

            Santrey, L. (1986). Louisa May Alcott: Young writer.



Dear America Series


Dear America Series published by Scholastic is a series of historical fiction focusing on the diaries of young girls who lived during different eras in U.S. history. The reading level is suitable for upper elementary level. The diaries are fictional, but are based on historical research. Some books have been criticized for their lack of authenticity (especially those dealing with Native American girls), but the following books appear consistent with other research regarding the perspectives they portray:


Denenberg, B. (1996). When this cruel war be over? The Civil War diary of Emma Simpson.

Denenberg, B. (1997). So far from home: The diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish mill girl. Lasky, K. (1996). A journey to the new world: The diary of Remember Patience Whipple.

            Lasky, K. (1996). A journey to the new world: The diary of Remember Patience Whipple.

            Lasky, K. (2001). A time for courage: The suffragette diary of Kathleen Bowen.

            Hansen, J. (1997). I thought my soul would rise and fly: The diary of Patsy, a freed girl.

            McKissack, P. C. (1997). A picture of freedom: The diary of Clotee, a slave girl.



Women’s World History Series


Women in History is a series of books looking at the part women have played in the past, using an evidenced-based approach published by Cambridge University Press. These texts are suitable for middle school students and older and as an adult resource. Examples of such texts include:

Adams, C., Bartley, P., Bourdillon, H. & Loxton, C. (1990). From workshop to warfare: The lives of medieval women.

            Atkinson, D. (1988). Votes for women.

            Bourdillon, H. (1988). Women as healers: A history of women and medicine.

            Porter, C. (1987). Women in revolutionary Russia.



Children’s Coloring Books


Canon, J. (1990). Civil war heroines. Santa Barbara, CA: Bellerophon Books.


Upper elementary level and adult resource. This coloring book contains sketches and several paragraphs of background information on mostly “unknown” women who played an active role in the Civil War, including: Ella Bishop, Harriet Tubman, Captain Sally Tompkins, Mary Ann Bickerdyke, Mary Jane Safford, Dr. Mary Walker, Belle Boyd, Julia Ward Howe, Susie King Taylor, Laura Ratcliffe, Loretta Velazquez, and Clara Barton.


Canon, J. (1995). Heroines of the American Revolution. Santa Barbara, CA: Bellerophon Books.


Upper elementary level and adult resource. This coloring book contains one-page descriptions and sketches of the activities of women who were involved in the Revolutionary War, but are often omitted from textbooks. Some of the more well-known women are profiled, such as Deborah Sampson Gannett, Sybil Ludington, Molly Pitcher (Mary Ludwig Hays), and Mercy Otis Warren as well as relatively unknown women, including Margaret Whetten, Elizabeth Zane, Sally Townsend, Jane Thomas, Mary Slocumb, and Dicey Langston.


Tomb, U. (1990). Cowgirls. Santa Barbara, CA: Bellerophon Books.


Upper elementary level and adult resource. This coloring book provides background information and sketches focusing on such topics as women in western fiction, women in wild west shows and rodeos, cowgirls in the movies, and cowgirls at work. Descriptive text and sketches of individual women such as Dale Evans, Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, and Belle Star are also included.



Children’s Periodicals


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (1995, March). Emily Dickinson: American poet. Cobblestone, 16.


Elementary level. This issue focuses on Emily Dickinson’s years growing up in Amherst, Massachusetts; her attendance at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary from 1847-1848; the significance of Dickinson’s correspondence with others; the sources of inspiration for her poetry; the efforts of Dickinson’s sister to have her poetry published after her death; and a short play about Dickinson’s life.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (1999, March). Jane Addams: 1860-1935. Cobblestone, 20.


Elementary level. Articles concentrate on Jane Addams early years; reasons for opening Hull House; the importance of the arts at Hull House; Addams’ efforts to make positive changes in Chicago; her activities promoting world peace; and her involvement in child welfare.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2000, March). Elizabeth Cady Stanton: The fight for women’s rights. Cobblestone, 21.


Elementary level. The issue reviews Stanton’s years growing up with traditional expectations, which she exceeded; the conventional and unconventional aspects of her marriage; her connections with abolitionists and suffragists; and some of her writings and work in organizing for women’s rights.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2001, March). The mill girls: From farm to factory. Cobblestone, 22.


Elementary level. Articles review the development of the Lowell textile factories, the motivations which led farm women to leave their families and work in the mills, some of the women’s experiences and different jobs they had in the mills, the hazardous working conditions leading to injuries and death, women leaders who fought for better working conditions, and the creation of a literary magazine describing women mill workers’ experiences.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2002, March). Literary ladies of the 19th century. Cobblestone, 23.


Elementary level. Articles summarize women’s participation in the publishing industry as low-paid printers and as writers. Most articles review different women writers who published children’s and adult books, newspapers, and magazines for adults and children. Readers learn about women whose writing especially influenced the public’s view on issues of slavery and Native American rights.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2003, March). Elizabeth Blackwell: First woman doctor. Cobblestone, 24.


Elementary level. Articles review the historical context for women’s participation in medicine from the Middle Ages through the 19th century, which prevented women from becoming physicians, although they were midwives, healers, and nurses. However, Elizabeth Blackwell was part of a family who advocated for equality in education and rights for girls. After applying to 29 medical colleges, she was admitted as a joke to New York’s Medical College. She graduated first in her class, but continued to struggle to find a hospital that would allow her to practice and patients who trusted her to treat them. Blackwell taught patients to care for their health with cleanliness and healthy ways of living. During her lifetime, Blackwell started a successful medical practice, founded a women’s hospital staffed by female physicians only, and established a medical school.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2003, November). Anne Hutchinson: Puritan rebel. Cobblestone, 24.


Elementary level. The issue provides some background on Anne Marbury Hutchinson, including her family origins in England which allowed Hutchinson to learn to read and understand the Bible during the late 1500s and early 1600s and her marriage to William Hutchinson which was based on equality and respect. Articles also clarify the origins of the Puritans, the Hutchinson family’s move from England to Massachusetts, and Hutchinson’s talents in medicinal herbs, midwifery, and religion. However, Hutchinson’s willingness to criticize Puritan beliefs and religious leaders, a bold action for women at the time, led to her trial and forced move to Rhode Island and eventually New Netherland.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2005, February). Women in the Civil War. Cobblestone, 26.


Elementary level. Articles focus on descriptions of women who served as nurses, secret soldiers, spies, and volunteers for the Union and Confederacy during the Civil War. One article concentrates on Mary Todd Lincoln and Varina Howell Davis, first ladies of the Union and Confederacy, during the war while another article portrays a young female Civil War reenactor who explains children’s lives to audiences during this period.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2006, March). The Great War: Women Join the Fight. Cobblestone, 27.


Elementary level. The issue contains articles focusing on women’s participation in World War I. Women served as nurses, pilots, as charity workers, as “yeomanettes” who performed clerical work in the Navy, and as telephone operators. The articles portray the difficulties for women to transcend traditional gender boundaries in order to participate in the war. First Lady Edith Wilson’s contributions to the war are portrayed as well as peace activists Jane Addams and Jeannette Rankin and women entertainers. The irony of the country’s fight for democracy in the world is contrasted with women’s lack of suffrage in the U.S. in one article.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2007, February). Not so Little Woman: Louisa May Alcott. Cobblestone, 28.


Elementary level. The issue provides background information on Louisa May Alcott’s parents as well as her literary and social reform efforts. The articles explain the connections between her novel Little Women and Alcott’s own family, her nursing experiences during the Civil War, and her support of the abolitionist, temperance, and women’s rights movements. Given the time period in which Alcott lived, she is notable for supporting her family economically through her writing.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2009, March). Women want the vote! Cobblestone, 30.


Elementary level. The issue focuses on individuals, organizations, and actions taken to gain women’s right to vote. Articles explain the roots of the suffrage movement in the abolitionist and temperance movements, leaders in the suffrage movement, African American women’s contributions and racist experiences in the movement, men who supported women’s rights, the leadership of Wyoming and other western states in giving women the right to vote, reasons for denying women’s voting rights, and actions taken to gain suffrage, including conventions, a parade, cross-country automobile and train travel, and White House pickets. The articles demonstrate that not all women supported suffrage and even suffragists did not agree on strategies.


Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2011, March). The importance of being Eleanor. Cobblestone, 32.


Elementary level. The issue provides background information on Eleanor Roosevelt’s years growing up in her family and at Allenswood Academy, a boarding school in England, and their effects on Eleanor’s development. Following her marriage to Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the birth of their five children, the articles focus on people who encouraged and guided Eleanor in becoming a public figure during Franklin’s political career, including her years as the First Lady. Eleanor took on social justice issues, such as child labor, labor conditions, women’s rights, African Americans’ rights, and world peace. She traveled around the country to learn about these issues firsthand and to see the effects of the New Deal on people’s lives. She communicated with people through speeches, press conferences (with women-only reporters), newspaper and magazine columns, and personal letters. Following Eleanor’s years as an equal partner to President Franklin Roosevelt, she served for seven years as a member of the American delegation to the United Nations and chaired the Commission on Human Rights. Her last official position was chair of the Commission on the Status of Women in 1961.


Kanetzke, H. (Ed.). (1979, September). Wisconsin women. Badger History, 33.


Elementary level. This issue of Badger History focuses on several women who contributed to Wisconsin history, including Jane Fisher Rolette Dousman and Elizabeth Therese Fisher Baird who lived during the early years when Europeans moved into Wisconsin; several Mears women who were writers, artists, and sculptors; Cordelia Harvey who led the effort to have a hospital in Wisconsin for Civil War veterans; Ada James who fought for women’s suffrage; and writer Edna Ferber.


Nankin, F. (Ed.). (1980, December). Willa Cather: 1873-1947. Cobblestone, 1.


Elementary level. This issue provides background information on Willa Cather’s contributions in documenting through writing life on Nebraska’s prairies during the late 19th century when European Americans were moving west. One of Cather’s short stories for children is included.


Yoder, C. P. (Ed.). (1985, March). Susan B. Anthony and the women’s movement. Cobblestone, 6.


Elementary level. The spotlight of this issue is women’s rights, especially the right to speak in public and vote. It concentrates on leaders in the anti-slavery movement and the suffrage movement, including the Grimke sisters, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and groups who opposed women’s suffrage.


Yoder, C. P. (Ed.). (1986, November). Eleanor Roosevelt: First lady of the world. Cobblestone, 7.


Elementary level. The articles in this issue provide readers with background information on Eleanor Roosevelt’s childhood which motivated her to serve the poor, her teaching as a young adult, her growing involvement in politics through her marriage to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, her world wide human rights activities during Roosevelt’s presidency, and her work at the United Nations after her husband’s death.


Yoder, C. P. (Ed.). (1988, December). Louisa May Alcott. Cobblestone, 9.


Elementary level. In order to provide background information to readers on the writer Louisa May Alcott, articles describe Alcott’s parents; a chronology of significant events in her life; the year Alcott’s family lived in a communal society; her experiences as an army nurse during the Civil War; her little-known writing of “blood-and-thunders” dramatic tales; and the background to the creation of Little Women.


Yoder, C. P. (Ed.). (1990, July). Amelia Earhart: Heroine of the skies. Cobblestone, 11.


Elementary level. This issue contains a collection of articles about Earhart’s childhood; her first flight across the Atlantic as a passenger and her subsequent solo flight; her involvement in the women’s air derby; her unconventional marriage; her disappearance during an around-the-world flight; and the continuing search for Earhart’s remains and plane.


Yoder, C. P. (Ed.). (1991, January). Annie Oakley and the wild west. Cobblestone, 12.


Elementary level. As part of the focus on Annie Oakley, articles concentrate on Oakley’s childhood; her marriage to Frank Butler, a sharpshooter, and their subsequent sharpshooting act; background information on Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show which established stereotypes of Native American-cowboy relationships; and Oakley’s later years participating in shooting exhibitions and raising money for charities.


Yoder, C. P. (Ed.). (1992, March). First ladies. Cobblestone, 13.


Elementary level. Articles review some of the duties of First Ladies; Lou Hoover’s involvement in the Girl Scouts; public receptions held at the White House hosted by presidents and First Ladies; First Ladies’(such as Edith Roosevelt and Jacqueline Kennedy) efforts to restore the White House; Edith Wilson’s role as surrogate president due to her husband’s illness; and Rosalynn Carter’s perspective on the role of First Lady.


Yoder, C. P. (Ed.). (1994, June). Women inventors. Cobblestone, 15.


Elementary level. One of the articles in this issue addresses the problem of women’s contributions to inventions not being credited to them, but men they worked with. Another describes the racism African American women inventors faced. Others focus on Margaret Knight’s 22 “machine shop” inventions; Rose O’Neill’s invention of the Kewpie doll; women’s inventions for the changes during World War I; and Gertrude Elion’s inventions of four major drugs.



Children’s Plays


Burges, L. (1991). American women making history. San Francisco, CA: Author.


Upper elementary and middle school level. This play includes a chorus, different voices, and specific characters in U.S. History. It moves chronologically from colonial days, to the American Revolution, moving West, the Civil War, women fighting for their rights, the age of reform, through World War II. It emphasizes the challenges, activities, and contributions of ordinary women as well as more famous women. Available from the National Women’s History Project.


Burges, L. (1995). Rhyme time: A living time line of remarkable American women. San Francisco, CA: Author.


Upper elementary and middle school level. This play opens and closes with a chorus about American women, and includes a series of rhyming poems about Sacagawea, Maria Mitchell, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Mary Harris Jones, Nellie Bly, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Helen Keller, Dorothea Lange, Rachel Carson, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dian Fossey, and Dolores Fernandez Huerta. Available from the National Women’s History Project.


Stevens & Shea. (1975). Susan B. Anthony. Stockton, CA: Author.


Upper elementary and middle school level. This three-scene play has parts for 15 actors and deals with Anthony and a group of women’s experiences in registering to vote, voting in an election, being arrested and tried for voting illegally.


Stevens & Shea. (1989). Harriet Tubman. Stockton, CA: Author.


Upper elementary and middle school level. This play describes the head injury Tubman incurred while helping a slave escape, her escape from slavery, and her activities as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. The play includes parts for 15 actors.



Adult Resources: Books


Bletzinger, A. & Short, A. (Eds.). (1982). Wisconsin women: A gifted heritage. Madison, WI: Wisconsin State Division AAUW.


This text contains brief profiles of well-known and “ordinary” Wisconsin women who made contributions in education, health care, government, business, science, art, music, architecture, literature, dance, the temperance and women’s suffrage movements.


Brackman, B. (2000). Civil War women: Their quilts, their roles, activities for re-enactors. Lafayette, CA: C & T Publishing.


The author describes different women and their roles during the Civil War and matches each to a quilt she might have made. She provides patterns for making each quilt, such as “Kansas Troubles,” “Free State Album,” “Seven Sisters,” and “Jeff Davis’s Daughter” and suggests activities for Civil War women re-enactors, such as giving speeches, holding quilting parties, and collecting signatures for an album quilt. Examples of women’s roles include lecturers, freedwomen, newspaper correspondents, refugees, nurses, spies, plantation owners, government clerks, and soldiers’ wives.


Brown, V. (1975). Uncommon lives of common women: The missing half of Wisconsin history. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Feminist Project Fund.


The author briefly describes the contributions many “ordinary” women made to the state of Wisconsin during different periods: the frontier era, the Civil War era, the Progressive Era, and the 1920s and beyond.


Buel, J. D. & Buel, R. (1984). The way of duty: A woman and her family in revolutionary America. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.


This biography focuses on Mary Fish and her accounts of her life and family during the 1700s. The authors used primary sources, including letters between Mary and family members, her journal, and her final written reminiscences about her life. They also used letters written by other members of Mary’s family, public records for 18th century Connecticut, and knowledge about important public events of the era, including the Great Awakening, the American Revolution, the westward movement, Jeffersonian democracy, and the Industrial Revolution. The biography primarily revealed how these historical events affected Mary and her family. Mary’s religious faith seemed most powerful throughout her life through her formative years, her three marriages, and her seven children and the growth of their own families. As Mary faced various family tragedies and difficulties, her religious faith helped her cope with these events.


Chick, K. A. (2008). Teaching women’s history through literature: Standards-based lesson plans for grades K-12. Silver Spring, MD: National Council for the Social Studies.


The author provides an overview of the importance of history, especially women’s history in social studies, including how to engage boys’ and girls’ interest in women’s history. She then explains the rationale for teaching women’s history through literature in primary and intermediate grades in elementary school as well as middle school and high school. The text is divided into sections focusing on each grade level and introducing children’s or young adult literature to teach about historical topics such as slavery, immigration, school integration, equal rights, the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II. Each literature selection is used to teach specific social studies standards and develop language arts skills through the teacher and students reading and discussing the text and completing a follow-up activity. The author offers a wide variety of literature and activities teachers may use to teach women’s history at various grade levels.


Clark, J. I. (1956). Wisconsin women fight for suffrage. Madison, WI: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin.


This brief text contains a description of the struggle Wisconsin women engaged in to gain the right to vote during the 19th and 20th centuries and groups opposed to women’s suffrage.


DuBois, E. C. & Dumenil, L. (2005). Through women’s eyes: An American history with documents. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.


The authors concentrate on women’s perspectives and experiences during American historical events from Native women living in the United States before European settlement to current feminism. The indepth text portrays the diversity among women due to class, race, and ideology during various eras. The authors provide rich portrayals of women’s experiences and points of view during the colonial period, the Revolutionary War, the beginning of the industrial era and expansion of slavery, the Civil War era, changes in women’s lives following the Civil War, westward expansion and immigration during the 19th century, the Progressive Era, the Great Depression and World War I and II, the civil rights era, and modern feminism. The authors also include documents and visual sources for each chapter for discussion and analysis. The text overall provides readers with a very substantive view of women in United States history.


De Pauw, L. G. (1975). Founding mothers: Women in America in the Revolutionary era. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.


The author focuses on women, half of the population living during the period of the American Revolution, but are often omitted from textbooks. She highlights the greater freedom women of the 17th century had than women in the 18th century which allowed them to participate in social, economic, political, and military activities. The author focuses on the work women did both in their homes and for money; the lives of Native American and African American women; women who identified themselves as “loyalists” and those who claimed to be “Daughters of Liberty;” women’s activities during the war; and women’s roles and rights of this era.


Evans, S. M. (1989). Born for liberty: A history of women in America. New York: The Free Press.


The author provides a correction to the focus on men’s activities in U.S. History by concentrating on the lives of women from different cultures in our country’s history. She begins with Native women who lived on this continent first; the immigration of European American and African American women to North America; and continues with women’s activities during the Revolutionary era; their involvement in associations in the early 19th century; during the Civil War; in building organizations to meet women’s needs following the Civil War; in addressing social issues affecting women at the turn of the century; in dealing with greater freedom and opportunities for women during the 1920s; in coping with the Great Depression and World War II; addressing the changes of the 1950s Cold War era; through women’s involvement in the Civil Rights movement and contemporary women’s movement.


Forbes, M. (1990). Women who made a difference. New York: Simon and Schuster.


The author provides brief descriptions of 100 women who made significant achievements in history. Examples include Catherine Greene who was the co-inventor of the cotton gin; Rosalind Franklin who co-discovered DNA; Mary Ellen Pleasant who may have financed John Brown’s raid; and Rose O’Neal Greenhow who was a Confederate spy.


Giddings, P. (1984). When and where I enter: The impact of Black women on race and sex in America. New York: Bantam Books.


The author provides a comprehensive description of African American women’s history from the 17th century until the 1980s. She makes a connection between sexism and racism which African American women endured while White feminists often demonstrated racism and African American male civil rights leaders often exhibited sexism. African American women were frequently marginalized in both the feminist movement at different times in history and the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Giddings also explains how African American women overcame both racism and sexism by striving for education and entering the professions, although many were relegated to domestic work, were underpaid, or faced unemployment. The author asserts that African American women are crucial to transforming society and eliminating sexism and racism.


Harris-Perry, M. V. (2011). Sister citizen: Shame, stereotypes, and black women in America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.


The author focuses on portraying the experiences of African American women for understanding democratic citizenship. She claims that African American women as citizens of the U.S. have endured slavery, Jim Crow, urban segregation, racism, and patriarchy, which have affected their identity and thus their citizenship. African American women also have less education, and higher rates of unemployment, poverty, disease, and isolation than White women citizens in the U.S. African American women have been stereotyped as: (1) the strong Black woman who handles all of life’s challenges, including her family and people in the broader community, earns the income, and ignores her own needs to care for others, but can be “emasculating” and brash; (2) the Mammy figure who ignores the needs of her own family to become a devoted servant for White families and concerns; and (3) the promiscuous and sexually immoral Jezebel who “asks” to be sexually assaulted and have many children. These stereotypes create problems of recognition for African American women. Citizens desire recognition of their humanity and uniqueness as part of their contract with the state to obey rules/laws and contribute to the common good in order to receive safety and services. The author cites Michelle Obama as an ideal sister citizen who refutes the stereotypes of African American women and has become a popular person.


Haven, K. (1995). Amazing American women: 40 fascinating 5-minute reads. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.


The author provides a detailed story about 40 distinct women who contributed to women’s rights and civil rights, politics, sports, science, exploration, education, medicine, military service, business, and the arts. Most women are European American, but a few African American (Elizabeth Freeman, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Mary Bethune, and Madame C. J. Walker) and Native American women (Sarah Winnemucca, Pocahontas, Queen Liliuokalani, and Sacajawea) are included as well.


Heinemann, S. (1996). Timelines of American women’s history. New York: Roundtable Press/Perigee.


The text summarizes important historical events and accomplishments women from different cultural backgrounds in the U.S. made to politics and equal rights; work and entrepreneurship; social change; education; religion and spirituality; health and medical care; science and invention; war and the military; exploration and adventure; sports; journalism; literature and other writings; entertainment and performing arts; and visual arts and design.


Hubalek, L. K. (1996). Thimble of soil: A woman’s quest for land. Lindsborg, KS: Butterfield Books.


The author collected letters written by Margaret Ralston Kennedy which described her emigration from Ohio to a new life in Kansas in 1855. At this time, Margaret was a 55-year-old widow with nine living children. Her move to Kansas was made with some of her children and the letters describe the challenges of leaving her home and moving to a new territory, building a new home and growing enough food to last through the winter from 1855 through 1860. Most interesting are her descriptions of the conflicts between pro-slavery groups and abolitionists in the Kansas territory at this time. Since the Kennedy family support the abolishment of slavery, they are often the targets of attacks and raids by pro-slavery groups. The male family members frequently hide to protect themselves. The women carry on the daily work of growing, preserving, and preparing food, caring for families, quilting, and surviving the extreme cold in winter and heat in summer.


Hymnowitz, C. & Weissman, M. (1978). A history of women in America. New York: Bantam.



This was one of the first U.S. History texts to focus primarily on women’s activities and roles. It has more of a European American women’s perspective and begins with the movement of Europeans to the continent and the Revolutionary War; then moves to the roles of women in the 19th century as slaves, “ladies,” reformers, and workers; continues with women’s involvement in the Civil War era and movement west; follows with women’s activities during the industrialization and urbanization of the country; and concludes with the “modern” women who could vote, use birth control, and, at times, work for wages outside the home.


Jamakaya. (1998). Like our sisters before us: Women of Wisconsin labor. Milwaukee: The Wisconsin Labor History Society.


This brief text features the life stories of ten women in Wisconsin who contributed to the labor movement, including: Evelyn Donner Day, Alice Holz, Doris Thom, Evelyn Gotzion, Nellie Wilson, Catherine Conroy, Helen Hensler, Florence Simons, Lee Schmeling, and Joanne Bruch. They detail the challenges women faced in gaining respect from employers and male union members. Main themes of the text include: union organizing drives of the 1930s; the impact of World War II on working women; sexism and racism in the workplace; major strikes and management’s anti-union strategies; the opening of jobs previously restricted to men only; women’s “double day” (working at home and on the job); de-industrialization; and the influence of the feminist movement in changing laws and attitudes toward working women.


Kierner, C. A. (2012). Martha Jefferson Randolph: Daughter of Monticello. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press.


The author describes the life of Martha Jefferson Randolph, the oldest child of Thomas Jefferson and Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson. She was born and lived much of her life at Monticello in Virginia, though she married and had 12 children. When Martha was young, she accompanied her father to Paris and attended school. When Thomas Jefferson was president, she interacted with “the best and brightest society,” and when he retired from public life, she continued to entertain guests who visited Jefferson at Monticello. However, Martha also suffered from the loss of her mother and five siblings, endured scandals related to her inlaws and the consistent accusation that her father had a slave mistress in Sally Hemings, which Jefferson and Martha constantly denied. Martha was devoted to her family, including her father, husband and children, although her marriage deteriorated over the years. Martha also anguished over her father’s and husband’s financial difficulties and considered ways to pay family debts. By the end of her life, Martha was homeless and widowed, but moved from place to place to live with her adult children in Boston, Virginia, and Washington. Overall, the book shows how Martha Jefferson Randolph negotiated the constraints on women of the time period, helped maintain a positive, public image of her father, dealt with her conflicting views on the evils of slavery but their importance as economic resources, and addressed the conflicting obligations as daughter, wife, and mother. The author illustrates that Martha Jefferson Randolph exerted considerable agency for a privileged woman of the 18th and 19th centuries.


McBride, G. G. (1993). On Wisconsin women: Working for their rights from settlement to suffrage. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.


This text contains a wealth of information regarding Wisconsin women’s work in the abolitionist, temperance, and suffrage movements from 1848 through 1920. It documents the efforts of mostly privileged, educated European American women in clubs and as writers in gaining greater equality for all women.


McGrayne, S. B. (1998). Nobel prize women in science: Their lives, struggles and momentous discoveries (2nd ed.). Secaucus, NJ: Carol Publishing Group.


The author describes fascinating accounts of 15 women who either won a Nobel Prize or played a crucial role in a Nobel-Prize winning project. She focuses on the women chronologically, beginning with Marie Curie who won a Nobel Prize in 1903 and another in 1911 and concluding with Christiane Nusslein-Volhard who was honored with a Nobel Prize in 1995. Other women include Lise Meitner, Emmy Noether, Gerty Radnitz Cori, Irene Joliot-Curie, Barbara McClintock, Maria Goeppert Mayer, Rita Levi-Montalcini, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, Chien-Shiung Wu, Gertrude Elion, Rosalind Franklin, Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, and Jocelyn Bell Burnell. The author portrays each woman’s passion for science, positive influences on their interest in science, and the discrimination and barriers they had to overcome.


McHenry, R. (Ed.). (1980). Famous American women: A biographical dictionary from colonial times to the present. New York: Dover.


The editor has collected brief biographies of over 1000 women who were abolitionists, actresses, archeologists, artists, diplomats, editors, educators, feminists and suffragists, physicians and dentists, poets, political organizers, public officials, reformers, religious leaders, scientists, singers, social workers and welfare workers, and temperance leaders. The index of categories and women’s names is a quick reference for identifying examples of women from different fields.


Read, P. J. & Witlieb, B. L. (1992). The book of women’s firsts: Breakthrough achievements of almost 1,000 American women. New York: Random House.


The authors have compiled brief sketches of the first women in U.S. history to achieve something notable in such diverse areas as government, science, entertainment, the arts, aviation, industry, education, exploration, labor, law, medicine, the military, sports, and journalism. Beginning with the late 16th century to the present, the authors acknowledge that the women included faced immense obstacles in breaking new ground. They also note a European American bias due to the limited written records of the achievements of Native American and African American women.


Smith, C. R. (2003). Extraordinary women from U.S. history: Readers theatre for grades 4-8. Portsmouth, NH: Teacher Ideas Press.


The text contains warm-up theatre activities and readers theatre scripts for Sacagewa, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Blackwell, Nellie Bly, Amelia Earhart, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Babe Didrikson Zaharias. Each script offers background information, presentation suggestions, possible props, follow-up activities, and additional resources. The scripts include at least 14 parts and as many as 31 which can be photocopied for classroom use.


Springer, M. & Springer, H. (Eds.). (1988). Plains woman: The diary of Martha Farnsworth 1882-1922. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.


The editors condensed the 4,000 page diary of Martha Farnsworth into about 300 pages of entries in which Martha Farnsworth described the everyday events of her life in Kansas, beginning at the age of 14 until a year before her death. Martha Farnsworth was a housewife, bereaved mother, young widow, and then remarried. She wrote about her experiences as a wife and mother, Sunday School teacher, waitress, and live-in nurse. Her first marriage was to an abusive husband and her second marriage, although happier, was laced with financial problems. In addition, Martha was also actively involved in gaining the right for women to vote.


Stewart, E. P. (1942). Letters of a woman homesteader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.


The text is a collection of 26 letters written by Elinore Pruitt Stewart over a four-year period to her former employer in Colorado beginning when Elinore and her young daughter moved to southwestern Wyoming in 1909. She remarried, had four more children, raised all the food on the ranch, helped with every ranch job, and proved that women could ranch and homestead.


Stratton, J. L. (1981). Pioneer women: Voices from the Kansas frontier. New York: Touchstone.


The text is based on the memoirs of 800 European American women who migrated to Kansas between 1854 through 1890. They moved to Kansas for greater economic opportunities, although most were unprepared for the difficulties of pioneer life. The stories are categorized into such chapters as moving to Kansas, building their homesteads, daily life, and the challenges of bad weather, loneliness, clashes with Native people, and building schools, churches, and towns.



Adult Resources: Curriculum Guides


Aten, J. (1986). Women in history: Discovering America’s famous women through research-related activities. Carthage, IL: Good Apple.


Upper elementary and middle school level. The guide provides brief (one-page) background information on 40 individual women from earlier periods and contemporary times, discussion questions, and suggestions for students to complete additional research. Examples of women who are profiled include: Abigail Adams, Jane Addams, Louisa May Alcott, Marian Anderson, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, Pearl Buck, Shirley Chisholm, Amelia Earhart, Chris Evert, Geraldine Ferraro, Mahalia Jackson, Coretta King, Sandra Day O’Connor, Sally Ride, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sacagewea, Gloria Steinem, Harriet Tubman, and Frances Willard. A trivia game is included which reviews all 40 women.


Cuevas, M., Morgan, B., MacGregor, M. M. & Ruthsdotter, M. (1985). Myself and women heroes in my world: Kindergarten social studies. Windsor, CA: National Women’s History Project.


Lower elementary level. This unit contains six lessons based on biographies of Amelia Earhart, Queen Liliuokalani, Sonia Manzano, Maria Tallchief, and Sojourner Truth. It contains a brief narrative about each woman’s life, flannel board figures which can be used in telling and retelling the stories about each woman, additional activities to help students deepen their understanding of the woman and her contributions to society, and other resources for learning about these women. The curriculum encourages young students to think of themselves as heroes.


Cuevas, M., Morgan, B., MacGregor, M. M. & Ruthsdotter, M. (1985). Women as members of communities. Windsor, CA: National Women’s History Project.


Lower elementary level. This unit contains six lessons focused on the biographies of women, past and present to represent the ways women work as members of, and leaders for, their communities. For each woman: Abigail Adams, Sarah Winnemucca, March Fong Eu, Shirley Chisholm, and Carmen Delgado Votaw, there is a two- or three-page reading for students, a picture for coloring, a student worksheet to reinforce main ideas, discussion questions, and suggestions for additional activities.


Cuevas, M., Morgan, B., MacGregor, M. M. & Ruthsdotter, M. (1985). Women as members of groups. Windsor, CA: National Women’s History Project.Elementary level. This unit focuses on six different women from diverse groups: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Elizabeth Blackwell (European American), Annie Wauneka (Navajo), Rosa Parks (African American), Dolores Huerta (Mexican American), and Shirley Cachola (Filipino-American), includes a brief biography of each woman, discussion questions, follow-up activities, a picture to color, and a student worksheet to reinforce important ideas about each woman. The authors also provide a review of the six women, a list of additional resources for investigating each woman, and an activity to encourage students to see themselves as members of groups.


Cuevas, M., Morgan, B., MacGregor, M. M. & Ruthsdotter, M. (1985). Women at work, home, and school. Windsor, CA: National Women’s History Project.


Lower elementary level. This curriculum contains six lessons based on the biographies of women who have worked outside the home in the past and present. The women are from different cultural backgrounds: Susan LaFlesche (Omaha), Mary McLeod Bethune (African American), Nancy Lopez (Mexican American), Chien-Shiung Wu (Chinese American), Rachel Carson and Dorothea Lange (European American). For each lesson, there is a student reading, picture of the woman for coloring, discussion questions, and additional activities. Students are encouraged to think about their career interests.


Eisenberg, B. (1989). Women in colonial and Revolutionary America 1607 - 1790. Washington, DC: Mid-Atlantic Equity Center, The American University.


Upper elementary and middle school level. This curriculum provides general background information on Native American, European, and African women in the U.S. colonies, then focuses on specific women. Discussion questions follow the reading about each woman and suggestions for classroom activities are given. European American women focused on include: Abigail Adams, Mary Katherine Goddard, Anne Hutchinson, Mary Jemison, and Eliza Pinckney; Native American women encompassed Mary Brant and Weetamoo; African American women were Elizabeth Freeman, Tituba, and Phyllis Wheatley.


Eisenberg, B. (n.d.). Emma Lazarus & the Statue of Liberty. Windsor, CA: National Women’s History Project.


Upper elementary level. This unit introduces students to Emma Lazarus, a poet and social activist, who wrote the poem inscribed on the Statue of Liberty’s base describing the hope many immigrants had of finding a new life for themselves and their families in the U.S. The unit contains a photograph of and background information on the Statue of Liberty; a picture and reading about Lazarus; her poem “The New Colossus;” worksheets for students to review main ideas about Lazarus and to explore their family’s migration to the U.S.; and extension activities.


Eisenberg, B. (n.d.). Women’s suffrage movement: 1848 - 1920. Windsor, CA: National Women’s History Project.


Upper elementary and middle school level. The author provides a brief overview of the suffrage movement in the 19th and early 20th centuries. She describes the contributions of individuals and groups to the movement and groups who opposed women’s suffrage. Discussion questions and suggestions for further research are also provided.


Hinz-Junge, J. (Producer). (1985). Women of courage: Volume 1 [Book and Cassette Recording]. St. Paul, MN: Dog Day Records.


Elementary level. The text is written for elementary-age students, includes illustrations by children about Sybil Ludington, Sally Ride, Mutsimiuna, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, and Gertrude Ederle, and suggests additional activities for readers to extend their learning. The cassette recording tells the story in words and music of each woman.


Hurwitz, S. (Ed.). (n.d.). In search of our past: Units in women’s history, U.S. History. Newton, MA: Education Development Center.


Middle school level. This curriculum contains three units, including: (1) Native American women in pre-Columbian America; (2) southern women, 1820-1860; and (3) women in struggle: immigration and labor, 1820-1940. Each unit has brief background information for teachers, a bibliography of readings for completing additional research, instructions for teaching the units, and reading materials for students. The first unit focuses on the Zuni and includes a story about a Zuni girl, a Zuni legend, and readings on Zuni women as leaders and as artists. The second unit concentrates on African American slave women, southern European American women, and the resistance to slavery from slaves and abolitionists. Students read a story about a slave girl, excerpts from a southern European American woman’s diary, a story about Harriet Tubman, and letters between Sara Grimke (an abolitionist) and her mother about slavery. The third unit focuses on immigrants’ identity and work and includes reading materials for students: poetry by immigrants, a survey on women’s and men’s work, reasons for immigrants’ movement to the U.S., biographies by a Chinese and Hispanic women immigrants, and biographies of women involved in the labor movement.


Hurwitz, S. (Ed.). (n.d.). In search of our past: Units in women’s history, world history. Newton, MA: Education Development Center.


Middle school level. This curriculum contains three units, including: (1) women under feudalism in western Europe and China; (2) women and the Industrial Revolution; and (3) women in change: 20th century women in transition. Each unit has brief background information for teachers, a bibliography of readings for completing additional research, instructions for teaching the units, and reading materials for students. During the first unit, students read excerpts from an historical novel about a woman from western Europe; examine illustrations of women’s work during feudalism; read a legend about a woman who fought for women’s equality during this era; read a story about a Chinese woman who challenged women’s traditional role; read a legend about a Chinese woman warrior; and read letters between mothers and daughters about becoming women. The second unit contains readings about a woman coal miner; a young girl’s life as a maid; a Japanese woman factory worker; middle-class women’s lives, and tensions which arose between middle-class women and working women (as illustrated by the young maid’s employer). During the third unit, students read stories about a woman’s resistance to traditional farm women’s role; women’s resistance to apartheid in South Africa; women’s participation in the Chinese Revolution; and women’s involvement in changing family life in Cuba. The final reading for students contains information on the international women’s movement.


MacGregor, M. M. (n.d.). Women and the Constitution: A curriculum unit. Windsor, CA: National Women’s History Project.


Middle school level and teacher resource. This unit contains a chronology of events related to women and the Constitution, explanation of key concepts, background information on the Revolutionary War, Patriot and Loyalist women, slavery, Native Americans, the first Constitution, and the concept of “Republican Motherhood.” Several documents are provided for reading aloud to students or for student independent reading with discussion questions, including the Blackstone Commentaries on English common law (which defined the legal status of women from colonial times to the 19th century); communication between Abigail Adams and John Adams about limiting men’s power over women; and an African American slave Elizabeth Freeman’s struggle to gain freedom through the courts during the Revolutionary War period.


Phillips, E. (1987). Women in American history: An introductory teaching packet. Brooklyn, NY: Organization for Equal Education of the Sexes.


This packet contains a poster of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, her daughter, and granddaughter and a curriculum guide which begins with an overview of why teach women’s history and approaches to women’s history. The first lesson suggests activities for students to realize women are often excluded from history; the second lesson focuses on Stanton and her efforts to gain rights for women; and the third lesson encourages students to write biographies of women. The curriculum guide suggests women students might select to research and resources for gathering additional information, such as: organizations, curriculum guides and kits, books for teachers and students, films, filmstrips, and records.


Reese, L. (1990). Spindle stories: Three units on women’s world history book one. Berkeley, CA: Women in World History Curriculum.


Middle school level. This curriculum contains the following three units: Nothing Lasts Forever: Roman Pompeii, The Needle and the Brush: Renaissance Florence, and Gifts for Queen Amina: African Songhay and Hausa Kingdoms. Each unit has a story about a young girl or woman from that culture and time period, discussion questions, an explanation of specific terms, a map of the region, follow-up activities, additional background information on women’s status and roles in that culture and era, and a bibliography of resources.


Reese, L. (1991). Spindle stories: Three units on women’s world history book two. Berkeley, CA: Women in World History Curriculum.


Middle school level. The three units included in this collection are: The Bird of Destiny: Ancient Egypt, The Garnet-Eyed Brooch: Anglo-Saxon England, and Samurai Sisters: Early Feudal Japan. Each unit has a story about a young girl or woman from that culture and time period, discussion questions, an explanation of specific terms, a map of the region, follow-up activities, additional background information on women’s status and roles in that culture and era, and a bibliography of resources.


Reese, L. (1993). Spindle stories: Three units on women’s world history book three. Berkeley, CA: Women in World History Curriculum.


Middle school level. Fated to be Friends: Classical Athens, Weaving the heavens: Precolumbian Guatemala, and A Message for the Sultan: Ottoman Turkey are three different units contained within this curriculum. Each unit has a story about a young girl or woman from that culture and time period, discussion questions, an explanation of specific terms, a map of the region, follow-up activities, additional background information on women’s status and roles in that culture and era, and a bibliography of resources.


Reese, L. (1998). Women in the Muslim world: Personalities and perspectives from the past. Berkeley, CA: Women in World History Curriculum.


Middle school level. The author provides background information and profiles of individual Muslim women as she focuses on the main themes of the hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca); rulers; jihad (personal or world struggle); the trades; religious leadership; the veil; and singers, dancers, and poets. She includes maps, photographs and drawings, discussion questions, examples of poetry, a glossary of terms, and a list of resources.


Reese, L. (1999). Women in the ancient Near East: Stories and primary sources from the Sumerians through the early Israelites. Berkeley, CA: Women in World History Curriculum.


Middle school level. The curriculum unit contains the stories of women from Sumer, the land of Akkad (area also known as Babylonia), Assyria, Persia, Anatolia, and from areas now known as Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. The author draws on such primary sources as clay tablets, traditional texts, myths, and artifacts for the stories about women rulers, goddesses and priestesses, and women from the Old Testament. Valuable teaching resources are included such as background information on the time period and cultures, a timeline and map, photographs of art and artifacts, excerpts from original sources, instructional activities, readings and discussion questions for students, and a list of resources.


Reese, L. (2001). Women in India: Lessons from the ancient Aryans through the early modern Mughals. Berkeley, CA: Women in World History Curriculum.


Middle school level. The curriculum contains maps, photographs of art, readings, stories, background information, questions, activities, a glossary of important terms, and a list of resources to help students learn about different aspects of women’s lives in India from 1800-1900 B. C. (before Common Era) and 1658 C. E. (Common Era or A. D.). Topics include: Hindu goddesses; two examples of heroines (Draupadi and Sita); how changing lifestyles, such as the development of the caste system, and laws affected women’s lives; Buddhist Nuns and Bhakti Saints, and Rajput warriors and Mughal rulers. The curriculum provides additional insight into India’s religious, aesthetic, and intellectual traditions, social systems, and influential people of the past.


Riley, J. (1990). Belle Case La Follette 1859 - 1931: A resource guide. Madison, WI: Her Own Words.


Middle school level. The guide gives background information on Belle Case La Follette, who along with her family were active in local, state, regional, and national politics. She was active in women’s suffrage movement and led peace groups. The curriculum guide provides excerpts from Belle’s writing, an article written about her, and a script for a dramatic reading about Belle Case La Follette’s life.


Ruthsdotter, M. & Eisenberg, B. (Eds.). (n.d.). Women’s history: Curriculum guide. Windsor, CA: National Women’s History Project.


Elementary level and middle school level. The authors suggest different activities (plays, puppet plays, dramatic re-enactments, dioramas, games, music, mock trials, research, oral histories, and discussions) to learn about Maria Tallchief, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Jade Snow Wong, Dolores Huerta, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Harriet Tubman. The authors also encourage students to collect oral histories from women in their families and communities.


Tomin, B. & Burgoa, C. (1983). Teaching women’s history in the elementary grades: A biographical approach, unit 1 Susan B. Anthony. Santa Rosa, CA: Tomin-Burgoa Productions.


Elementary level. The authors provide background information on Susan B. Anthony, list activities for teaching and learning about Anthony, a pre-test and post test about Anthony and women’s roles at different times, and a booklet appropriate for elementary students to read about Anthony’s life.


Tomin, B. & Burgoa, C. (1986). Multicultural women’s history: Curriculum unit for the elementary grades. Windsor, CA: National Women’s History Project.


Elementary level. This unit focuses on five women: Ada Deer (Menominee), Felisa Rincon DeGautier (Puerto Rican), Tye Leung Schulze (Chinese Americans), Mary Shadd Cary (African American), and Frances Willard (European American). For each woman, there is a reading and worksheet for students, key vocabulary and phrases, and extension activities. The authors also suggest individual, small group, and whole class activities to learn more about the five women and women’s history.



General Resources For Women’s History


National Women’s History Project, 7738 Bell Road, Windsor, CA, 95492, (707) 838-6000, www.nwhp.org


Women and World History Curriculum, 1030 Spruce Street, Berkeley, CA 94707, (510) 524-0304, www.womeninworldhistory.com



Annotated bibliography list