Social Studies and Art Projects for Women’s History Month

Inspire and engage students during Women's History Month and beyond with these social studies and art projects centered around the history, successes, and accomplishments of women.


Need some project ideas for Women’s History Month this March? Defined Learning has got you covered, with several performance tasks on a variety of related topics. Some of these could be done as a whole class project if they fit into your curriculum plans and the timing is right. Or, you could assign them as “side dishes” for students to complete as enrichment activities; they could be done individually, in pairs, or in small teams.

You can find all the details about these tasks on our platform, but here are snapshots:


MS/HS United States History I Course Tasks:

Social Worker: Social Reform in the Mid-1800s

The setting for this project is the United States in the decades before the Civil War. Along with the abolition of slavery, social reformers were advocating for equal rights for women. Students conduct research on the women behind much of this activity and create one or more of these products:

  • National Park multimedia presentation on the life of Lucretia Mott, a Quaker abolitionist and social welfare reformer who worked on the Underground Railroad.
  • Women’s rights Infographic comparing and contrasting women’s rights in the time of Susan B. Anthony, also a Quaker and a leader in the social welfare movement, and today.
  • Comparison paper examining the efforts of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her neighbor, Amelia Bloomer, to rethink women’s clothing in the 1850s and the women’s “dress for success” movement in recent times.


Public Relations Specialist: A Woman Ahead of Her Time

Students learn about Dr. Mary Walker, the only woman to have ever received the Medal of Honor, our country’s highest military honor for showing bravery on the battlefield. She was a surgeon during the Civil War and became an advocate for women’s rights. She was famous – and infamous since it was frowned upon by most – for wearing pants. Students plan an awareness-raising campaign for the Medal of Honor Society (Defined’s partner in developing this project) with a written proposal, a presentation, and sample materials about her message – similar to what the fans of former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg do when creating the “Notorious R.B.G.” materials.


Intelligence Officer: Spies During the Civil War

This task looks at how spies in the Civil War used Morse code and how spies influenced major battles; the third product, an online exhibit, focuses on women spies specifically.



MS/HS United States History II Course Tasks:

Artist: Art Show “Ain’t I a Woman?”

In this project students trace the history of the women’s suffrage movement up to 1920, when the 19th Amendment was added to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote. The product choices are an infographic, political cartoons, and an artist’s statement about them. The title quote, btw, is from a speech delivered by Sojourner Truth at a women’s convention in 1851.


Journalist: Women’s Baseball Leagues

This project would be a fun “side dish” for students during a unit on the impact of World War II on the home front in the U.S. Students can create a video report, front page news article, or a film critique of the movie “A League of Their Own” starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, and Madonna.


Creative Writer: United Farm Workers Union (Cesar Chavez & Dolores Huerta)

In this task, students learn about the history of the movement to organize farm workers in the U.S. during the 1960s. They create a children’s book with illustrations, a character sketch, and a preface explaining the role of Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the effort.



MS STEM and Society: United Nations Sustainability Goals Course Task:

Goal 5: Gender Equality: Human Factor Engineer

Students learn about the underrepresentation of women in today’s STEM fields, especially engineering. They create an infographic, interview questions for women who have been successful engineers, and an advertisement for a women’s engineering support group.



K-5 Fine Arts and Literature Course Tasks:

These are not history courses per se, but several tasks in it focus on women artists of the past.


Artist: Faith Ringgold & Story Quilts

Students learn about a famous African American artist and make a Tar Beach paper quilt or a community quilt to give to another person.


Artist: Elizabeth Cattlet’s Fabric Prints

Students study the work of a 20th-century African American artist and create T-shirt prints, a sculpture, and/or a presentation.


Art Historian: Frida

Students create a self-portrait in the style of Frida Kahlo, an infographic about her life,  and/or a multimedia presentation.


The following three similar tasks are in the course’s “Women’s History Month” unit. Students create a painting in the style of one of these famous women artists, a sculpture, and/or a video about a museum sculpture garden including information they have researched about their life.


Artist: Mary Cassatt

Students will engage with online articles and appreciate the life and works of historical artist Mary Cassatt. To honor her and her contributions to women artists, students will create designs and artwork for the children’s section of a new Women’s History Museum opening in a nearby city.


Artist: Georgia O’Keeffe

Students will delve into online articles to explore the life and masterpieces of the historical artist, Georgia O’Keeffe. As part of this activity, they will not only discuss but also demonstrate how to interpret artwork using the appropriate language of art elements and principles. They will apply these terms to articulate the characteristics of their own artwork during a presentation.


Artist: Yayoi Kusama

Students will engage with online articles and appreciate the life and works of historical artist Yayoi Kusama. Through this task, students will also talk about and show others how to explain artwork using the correct elements and principles of art terms. They will use these terms to describe their artwork in a presentation.

About the Author:  

John Larmer is a project-based learning expert. In his 20 years at the Buck Institute for Education/PBLWorks, he co-developed the model for Gold Standard PBL, authored several books and many blog posts, and contributed to curriculum and professional development. John is now the Senior PBL Advisor at Defined Learning.


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