7 Amazing Children's Books and Activities for International Women's Day

Photo of Cassie (Teach Starter)
Updated | 6 min read

International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate women’s achievements and serves as an annual reminder and call to action moving towards gender quality. There are many beautiful children’s stories perfect for sharing around this day or throughout the entire month of March.

(1) Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

With beautiful illustrations and a simple message, this book is a personal favorite of mine. It tells the story of Rosie, a quiet girl during the day but a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets at night, who dreams of one day becoming a great engineer.

Rosie Revere Engineer

‘Build a Recycled Gizmo’ STEAM Activity Idea

One of the best messages in this book is that we are limited only by our imagination! This fun activity uses recycled materials to create a gizmo or gadget.

You will need:

  • recycled materials (e.g., boxes, bottle tops, clean aluminum foil)
  • craft materials (e.g., googly eyes, pipe cleaners, craft sticks)
  • adhesive tape and glue
  • pens, pencils
  • any other fun building materials

Tell students they are going to enter a competition called “Gizmos of the Future.” The competition requires them to build a gizmo that helps make something easier than it usually is.

  1. Ask students to think about their regular day and identify something that they find hard to do. It could be something like pouring milk out of a heavy milk bottle, tying shoelaces, or carrying their school bag upstairs.
  2. Students develop an idea for a machine or gizmo that would make that task easier. For this activity’s purposes, the gizmo doesn’t need to work within the laws of nature – the idea is to encourage unbridled creativity!
  3. Provide them with access to recycled craft and building materials to create their gizmo.
  4. Offer students the chance to show their gizmo to the class, explaining their problem and how their gizmo solves it!

Our STEM Planning and Reflection Sheet for Lower Grades and STEM Planning and Reflection Sheet for Upper Grades are great resources to support your students throughout this activity.

 

(2) You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer by Shana Corey

Have you ever thought about the brave women who made it possible for those after them to stop wearing skirts and be ‘allowed’ to wear pants? This wonderful picture book tells the story of one such woman, Amelia Bloomer. With fun text and exaggerated illustrations, this picture book helps children engage with what it took for women throughout history to instigate this cultural change.

You Forgot Your Skirt Amelia Bloomer

Timeline of Women’s Fashion Activity Idea

This activity is a great way for students to see the connection between fashion and equality.

Use the Internet to find images that show the typical dress of women or girls at the following times:

  • The 1500s
  • The 1700s
  • The 1800s
  • The 1900s
  • The 1920s
  • The 1950s
  • The 1960s
  • Today

Print out the images and create a timeline of women’s fashion throughout history. We have a few different resources you can use to help students complete this activity:

Image of Blank Timeline Template

teaching resource

Blank Timeline Template

A blank editable timeline template to use as a recording worksheet in history lessons.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: 1 - 6
Image of Biography Timeline Template

teaching resource

Biography Timeline Template

Use this multipurpose timeline template for a variety of assignments, projects, and more!

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: 2 - 6
Image of Timeline Display and Activity

teaching resource

Timeline Display and Activity

A timeline display to use in a variety of ways.

Teach Starter Publishing7 pagesGrades: 2 - 6

Mark on the timeline when Amelia Bloomer brought ‘bloomers’ to the West. See how long before pants were a common and accepted part of clothing options for women and girls.

Write a list of the activities girls and women would not be able to do in big, long skirts and dresses!

 

(3) Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

If you don’t already have this book in your teacher library, then it’s time to add it to your collection! Each double-page features a beautiful illustration and a single-page mini-biography about a phenomenal woman from history, written in the “style of a modern fairytale.”

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

Inspirational Woman Presenation Activity Idea

There are SO many amazing women in this book who provide the impetus for research and inspiration. This activity allows students to choose one and learn about them in more depth.

Students select a woman from the book to further research into the life and experiences of the woman. The research could be guided by finding information about the following points:

  • biographical information
  • early life experiences
  • passions, causes, or personal interests
  • social, political, or cultural changes they have contributed to.

We have a few different resources you might like to use to help scaffold the research for your students.

Image of 'Facts About...' Template

teaching resource

'Facts About...' Template

A template that students can use when learning to distinguish between fact and opinion.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: K - 3
Image of Biography Flipbook Template

teaching resource

Biography Flipbook Template

A flipbook template to use when writing biographies.

Teach Starter Publishing9 pagesGrades: 2 - 6
Image of Biography Writing Template

teaching resource

Biography Writing Template

A template for students to use when writing or analyzing a biography.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: 2 - 6

Students then develop a digital presentation that presents the key facts they found about the woman’s life. Writing and recording a narration to go over a slideshow of images is an excellent way for students to articulate the information they have found.

 

(4) Little People, Big Dreams Series

This series is SO wonderful for primary students. It introduces the lives and experiences of inspirational women throughout history with simple text and great illustrations. The Little People, Big Dreams series includes books about:

  • Rosa Parks (African American student activist)
  • Emmeline Pankhurst (Suffragette)
  • Coco Chanel (Fashion Designer)
  • Marie Curie (Scientist)
  • Audrey Hepburn (Actress and UNICEF Ambassador)
  • Amelia Earhart (Pilot)
  • Frieda Khalo (Artist and Political Activist)
  • Maya Angelo (Writer)
  • Agatha Christie (Writer)
  • Ella Fitzgerald (Singer)
  • Ada Lovelace (Mathematician)

Little People, Big Dreams picture book series

Dream Big Activity Idea

This simple activity is the perfect accompaniment to books in the Little People, Big Dreams series. In this activity, students draw a self-portrait in the middle of the page and draw or write their big dreams or goals in the surrounding shapes.

Positivity Posters

Displaying positivity posters in your classroom is a beautiful way to remind your students of their potential. We have a HUGE collection of printable positivity posters – here are some of our favorites:

Image of Just Be You Positivity Poster

teaching resource

Just Be You Positivity Poster

Free 'Just Be You' positivity poster to display in your classroom.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: K - 7
Image of You Can Make A Difference Poster

teaching resource

You Can Make A Difference Poster

A positivity poster to encourage students to keep trying.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: K - 7
Image of The Difference Between Good and Great is Refusing to Give Up - Motivational Poster

teaching resource

The Difference Between Good and Great is Refusing to Give Up - Motivational Poster

A free Kristian Wells motivational poster to brighten up your learning space.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: K - 7
Image of All Things Are Difficult Before They Are Easy – Motivational Poster

teaching resource

All Things Are Difficult Before They Are Easy – Motivational Poster

"All things are difficult before they are easy." - Thomas Fuller

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: K - 6

 

(5) Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win by Rachel Ignotofsky

This book’s concept and layout are similar to that of “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” but tells the stories of 50 notable female athletes from the 1800s to today.

Women in Sport picture book

Letter to an Athlete Activity Idea

Use this activity to help students make connections between the perseverance of a female athlete they admire and their own life.

Students can use this template to create a profile of a famous female athlete that they admire. After researching the woman, students can write a letter to her explaining what they admire and how the woman inspires them.

(6) Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai

Told in her own words, this is a story inspired by Malala Yousafzai’s dream – that girls and women around the world have the same right to education as their male counterparts. The book is wonderful for younger students, told gently and with illustrations to help them understand one person’s power to make a real difference.

Malala's Magic Pencil

Magic Pencil Activity Idea

Extend upon the beautiful concept in Malala’s Magic Pencil by asking students to complete this little think, pair, share activity.

  1. After reading the book, ask students to think about what they would do if they had a magic pencil.
  2. Students can write a sentence or draw a picture that shows what they would do.
  3. Place students into pairs and have students share their thoughts and drawings with their partners.

(7) The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale

The Princess in Black is a chapter book series for young people. It is described as being “for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect but also dressed in black.” The Princess in Black thinks nothing of interrupting tea and scones with the Duchess Wigtower to stop a monster.

The Princess in Black is a ‘girly girl’ who is also a superhero!

The Princess in Black

Superhero Activity Idea

LeUyen Pham’s illustrations in The Princess in Black are amazing. Let your students be inspired by this graphic novel and embrace their inner artist!

1. Show students the following video of LeUyen Pham drawing a monster from The Princess in Black.

2. Provide students with paper, pens, pencils, and any other drawing materials they’d like to use.

3. Ask students to think about their greatest strengths, whether they be physical strengths, emotional strengths, or something else that makes them unique.

4. Then, have students draw themselves as superheroes. Have them create a name and use it as the title of their artwork.


Books are just one fantastic way to engage your students in conversations and learning experiences that reinforce gender equality and remove traditional gender stereotypes!

For more ideas and teaching resources, check out our International Women’s Day Teaching Resource Collection.

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