By: Natalie Norman

Famous Women and Human Rights

Grade 4


1. Students will be able to identify a famous woman who has fought for a human rights cause. They will briefly research the woman and be able to identify the cause she fought for.

2. Students will be able to organize and display information about their famous woman on a poster.


Day one and two: Access to a library and/or the internet, paper, pencils.

Day three: Poster board for every two students, markers, and glue.


Day One- One Hour

1. Ask the class to name famous people of the past. Most likely they will come up with mostly men. If this is the case, probe and see how many famous women they can come up with. Write these names on the board.

2. From the famous women listed, ask if the class can identify women who fought for a cause. Explain that this can be equal rights, working conditions, schooling, etc. Cross off the names that are not associated with an obvious cause. Talk about a few more options if necessary. You should end up with at least 3-5 names on the board. These names might include Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Coretta Scott King, Eleanor Roosevelt.

3. Explain that the students will be working in partners, researching a woman in history who has fought for a cause. They can choose one off the board, or choose someone else as long as they OK it with you. They will also be making a poster of the woman's life and accomplishments.

4. Break students into partners and give them a few minutes to choose a woman to study.

5. They will have two days in the library to look for information. Have them use the "Famous Women" sheet (attached) to help focus their research.

6. This might be a good time to review using encyclopedias, the library, or the internet depending on your grade and class.

7. Give students 45 minutes of library time and remind them to take notes. Assist when needed.

8. Return to the classroom and have students put their notes away.

Day Two- 45 minutes (Optional research day, if needed)

1. Library time again. Encourage students to be brief in their notes, as they are creating a poster, not a full research paper. Give help and direction where needed.

2. For students who finish early, have them sit down with their partner and begin to write a one page summary of the information they have found. This will be pasted in the center of their poster and they can arrange the information however they like.

Day Three- One Hour

1. Have students work in partners for 30 minutes to create their posters. They should include a one-page summary of the information collected, and paste this to the poster. Around the summary, they may choose to write excerpts or pieces or important information, or they may choose to draw pictures. The two things that should be very clear are who the woman is and what she fought for.

2. Give students a 5 minute warning. Then have them clean up and return to their seats.

3. Give each pair a few minutes to share their poster with the class. As they share, have the partners reflect on why they think this person was important.

4. Display posters around the room.


Assess student posters for content, looking for information using the questions on the "Famous Women" sheet (attached).





















Famous Women


My name:


My partner's name:


The woman we are studying is:


Date of birth:


Date of death:


Places this woman lived:




What this woman fought for:





How did she fight for this? Protests? Letters? Actions? Explain.





How successful was she? What did she change?





Did anyone help her? Who? How?





Why was her cause important? How does it affect your life today?