Unladylike: Resources for Teaching Women’s History from PBS Learning Media


Dr. David J. Childs, D.D., Ph.D.
Northern Kentucky University

Social studies and languages arts classrooms are wonderful spaces to introduce topics centered on diversity and inclusion. It is good to start teaching concepts of diversity and equity at an early age, as it will help students be more open minded towards those different than themselves. Educators often need resources to help them implement a more multicultural curriculum into their classrooms. In honor of women’s history month, PBS Learning Media has developed a collection of resources entitled “UnladyLike.”

Daisy Bates (Civil Rights Activist) with six members of the Little Rock Nine.
Courtesy of Independent Television Service.

PBS Website Description
There are a number of wonderful resources available on the site. It presents a diversity of women from various walks of life. Depending how the site is used, elementary, middle grades and secondary elementary teachers can implement these resources into their curriculum. The description on the PBS website states: 

“These digital resources present the rich history of 26 little-known Progressive Era women, diverse in profession, race, ethnicity, geographical and class backgrounds, sexual orientation and gender expression, who broke barriers in then-male-dominated fields such as science, business, journalism, exploration, and the arts. Touching on topics such as the labor movement, immigration, politics, civil rights, and women’s suffrage, these resources develop students’ historical thinking skills and help them make connections between past and present. Unladylike2020 is a timeless resource that was created to honor the centennial of women’s suffrage in August 2020. Recordings of the Unladylike2020 Webinar Series Elevating the Hidden History of American Women are now available…” on the website as well. 

There is a growing effort to limit the exposure of students to a more diverse curriculum. It is ever more important that our students be exposed to conversations surrounding social justice. In this same way, parents that homeschool their children can also use these as teaching resources, even if schools limit what students can be exposed to.   


  1. I liked that there were videos that talked about the women. This could be used in a classroom because students may not want to read all the time and having a video can be something they watch whenever there is time. I didn’t know about these women because I was never thought about them. I think that it is important that students, especially girls, understand that there were influential women in history. I think women in history are not talked about as much because during that time only men were the focus.

  2. I think this is a great article! I really enjoyed reading through the resources from PBS. I think it is difficult for many people to remember about women in history, as opposed to rather not wanting to learn about it. Student’s need to be seen and feel represented in history, and I think these resources provide the opportunity for educators to teach women’s history in a great fashion.

  3. I thought this article included many great resources for teaching students, especially young ones, about the importance of women’s history as well as the many contributions that women have made to society. I love when Dr. Childs states that, “it is good to start teaching concepts of diversity and equity at an early age, as it will help students be more open-minded towards those different than themselves.” I think this is something that all teachers need to remember when teaching about history. By creating a diverse curriculum, all students can feel represented and empowered. I will keep the resources posted in this article for future use in my classroom when I need content ideas when teaching about women’s history. I can incorporate women’s history into other subjects, such as reading and writing, to integrate subjects and topics. 

  4. I gained a lot of insight by reading this article on classroom activities for women’s history, diversity and inclusion.  I think Dr. Childs made an excellent point that diversity and inclusion can be incorporated in several subjects especially in social studies and language arts.  In the article it gave a link to PBS women’s history activities that you can use in your classroom.  I will use the Bessie Coleman activities in my classroom and incorporate it with the book “Flying Free How Bessie Coleman’s Dreams Took Flight” by Karyn Parsons.  Incorporating these activities will make the lesson more engaging and memorable for the students.  I also like the variety of activities that each lesson has on the PBS website.  It includes vocabulary, discussion questions, and classroom activities for elementary, middle and high school grades.  Including these diverse resources in my classroom will help my students to be more open-minded toward students of different races and cultures.        

  5. This article is delightful. It is important to teach diversity early just as it is to teach languages early. Once those doors are open, the children grow to have more open mindedness when faced with people who are not like themselves. Instead of learning about another culture to satisfy cultural movements, it would be something they enjoy. It would be second nature. That will be an amazing world if younger generations are raised this way.

  6. This is a great article. Women’s history is still a part of American history. Students need to learn and understand different perspectives to truly grasp what life was like for diverse groups. Schools need to start including concepts of diversity immediately. Students can create a false reality about their world without fully learning all sides of their history. Introducing these topics early is crucial in developing a diverse curriculum. They will be able to use this information to make more educated decisions and view future topics and events through multiple perspectives.

  7. This was a great article, very interesting! I absolutely agree that education about diversity and inclusion should begin at a young age. In a school system focused very much on curriculum and state standards to meet, I think it is important to incorporate influential figures/ leaders who are of color into kids education; I believe the younger you get them talking about diversity and inclusitivioty, the better opportunity it gives for kids to be properly educated as well as be more open minded!

  8. Great article! I do agree that there is a lack of women being shown breaking the barriers in school’s curriculum and by providing students with a diverse curriculum, they will be more open-minded. I think it will also help girls see themselves be represented in male-dominated fields and make them believe that they can do anything if they put their mind to it. I’m currently majoring in Computer Science, which is a male-dominated major. I found my interest in Computer Science my junior year of high school, but I could have potentially figured out my interest earlier if I was taught about someone who looks like me in the field and knew it was a possibility for me.

  9. This was a very good article to read. It gave us multiple examples of great woman in history. The article has stories on multiple inspirational women and their outstanding achievements and what they did for woman’s rights. This is important because like the article says “There is a growing effort to limit the exposure of students to a more diverse curriculum.” Meaning that this is even more important to learn about.

  10. This was a wonderfully written article. I do strongly believe that a student’s curriculum should be diverse. A student needs to know every aspect about history; the good, the bad, and the ugly. As much as I believe that a student’s curriculum should be diverse it should also be equal. There should be all sides of the story being told and explained in their rightful manner.

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