Finding the right picture book to read aloud to your class is so important! There are thousands to choose from and each one has a special purpose. One of my favorite times in the classroom was the beginning of the month where I got out all of the amazing mentor texts for that month. In March it was always St. Patrick’s Day books and of course, Women’s History Month! I’d love to share with you some of my favorite Women’s History Month Mentor texts to help you find some fun, new books to add to your classroom!
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Women’s History Month Mentor Text #1: Shark Lady
Growing up myself, I always thought I’d be a marine biologist. When I read this story, the inner 12-year-old in me connected so deeply with it! Maybe if I knew about Eugenie Clark when I was younger, my dream would have become a reality! And that’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to share these stories with our students. To show them that others before them have done what they are dreaming of doing. And that with hard work, they can do it too!
Shark Lady is an amazing story of a girl name Eugenie Clark who had a love of the ocean, and especially sharks. In a time where women were not considered intelligent enough to become scientists, Eugenie didn’t give up. She studied, worked hard, graduated, and became one of the first women scientists to study sharks. She made amazing strides in this field and opened the way for many other women scientists to follow in her footsteps. Students will love reading about her and her fearless and caring nature.
Mentor Text #2: Before She Was Harriet
We all know the amazing story of Harriet Tubman, but what I love about this book is that it goes beyond the typical Harriet. Before She Was Harriet is a poetic story of the different stages in Harriet’s life and how each one shows a different side of who she was and how she came to be the Harriet we know today.
Did you know that Harriet isn’t even her name? Did you also know that she was a suffragist, a nurse, and a union spy? Let students dive into the life of this amazing woman who has made a mark in our history in so many more ways than they have ever heard of. The story is written as if Harriet herself were taking steps backward in her life. Although not technically a poem, the story feels very poetic as well, leaving students with a sense of wonder and awe.
Women’s History Month Mentor Text #3: Dancing Hands
As someone who loves all things music, learning about women in music is definitely a happy moment. Dancing Hands is an amazing story about Teresa Carreño and her life and how she came to be one of the youngest composers and musicians of our country. Teresa learned to play the piano at a very young age. She was born into a musical family in Venezuela but her family quickly had to relocate due to war. When they arrived in the US, we were in the middle of the Civil War. Teresa found comfort in this new country and during the war by continuing to play her music.
The word spread of this amazing young girl and her talents, all the way to President Lincoln. Teresa was asked by President Lincoln to perform at the White House to help raise his and his family’s spirits. From there, Teresa continued to write and play music for others all over the world. Your students will love hearing about this amazing young girl!
Mentor Text #4: Miss Paul and the President
You can’t celebrate Women’s History Month without talking about Miss Alice Paul and womens’ right to vote! Students, especially girls, are always so fascinated with the fact that women were not allowed to vote for a very long time, and not that long ago as well! But who helped make this change? Miss Alice Paul is one of the many leaders in this amazing change for women!
In the story, we learn about Miss Alice Paul and her relentless attitude and behavior. She leads a march in Washington D.C. as well as many other events until she finally gets the attention of the president who agrees to sign it into law. Girls in your class will love making connections to Miss Paul’s character and go-getting nature!
Women’s History Month Mentor Text #5: Planting Stories
As a teacher, any stories about others who love books are at the top of my list. That’s why I had to throw this book on the list today! Planting Stories is the amazing story about Pura Belpré from Puerto Rico and her amazing impact on the stories written and told about Puerto Rican folklore and history. As a young girl, who loved the stories told by her grandmother, Pura came to New York in search of a new life. She found it in the walls of the New York Library telling stories from her country.
In Pura’s life, she works to spread seeds of stories about the culture and people of Puerto Rico and does so beautifully. I love sharing this story with my students to show them that our lives and the stories we hear from our friends and family can make a big impact on the world if we choose to let them.
Did you find a new Women’s History Month Mentor text to add to your classroom library collection? I hope so! Make sure to pin the image below to save this post for later!