The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

Profiling Notable Women

Third graders have discovered the stories of some transformative women this term as they researched and wrote biographies. 

In previous years, there were no parameters on who third graders could focus on for their biography project, but as a result, many of the same historical figures and cultural icons were chosen each year. This year, third grade teachers connected the project to Women’s History Month and their study of the U.S. states and asked students to select a woman from one of the states that they had researched. This enabled students to uncover some lesser-known figures, such as Martha Lane Collins, the first female governor of Kentucky, and executive and education expert Lois Rice, who lobbied for the creation of the Pell Grant. “This is the first time we’ve had a student profile Judy Bloom, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Caitlin Clark is in there too,” says third grade teacher Katie Buteau. “It was cool that students were thinking about current events but also the history of their state.” 

The project allowed students to expand their nonfiction research skills into researching people as well. They scoured books and Fay’s online databases, gleaning information about their subjects’ early and adult lives, the reason for their fame, fun facts about them, and a timeline of important events in their lives. Students also tapped into the inferencing skills they have been working on in reading class to build on that research by highlighting traits they believe their person embodies. Each student included a quote from their subject in their project, which gave Katie and third grade teacher Rachel Lipkin a chance to talk about the importance of attributing material accurately and putting the facts they uncovered in their research into their own words. Students used a graphic organizer, which helped them organize their research, craft their paragraphs, and separate essential information from fun facts. The final projects were laid out like jackets with information on the front, flaps that open to reveal more detail, and “bobblehead-style” pictures of the biography subject on top. 

Not only did the project help students refine their research skills, but it also helped them form deeper connections to the states they learned about. “The students feel ownership over the states that they research in social studies, and it’s neat for them to learn about people from their state because it makes it a little bit more human,” says Rachel. 
main number 508-490-8250
admission 508-490-8201