6 Women's History Month Picture Books for Upper Elementary


6 Women's History Month Read Aloud Picture Books for Upper Elementary

During the month of March, we are knee-deep in learning about biographies and writing biography research reports. I love reading aloud biography picture books about amazing women to tie in to both our biography project of the month and our weekly book talks.

While there are so many amazing books that celebrate women heroes, I have found that these 6 are my favorite to use with upper elementary students as we celebrate Women's History Month. I love that the students learn so much from these read-aloud books and get to meet amazing women that they may not of heard of. Inspiring stories such as these, truly do make an impact on students.

Read about each of my favorite read alouds to share to celebrate women who changed the world below and scoop up some fun and FREE activities to use with these books below.

Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World
Written by Katherine Halligan

6 Women's History Month Read Aloud Picture Books for Upper Elementary

I love this anthology that tells the stories of 50 amazing women! One of the great things about this book is that the contents page categorizes the biographies by topic, 10 amazing women for each topic. For example, one topic is "Think & Solve." This category has 10 biographies about women who solved problems like Marie Curie. Each biography in the book is two pages long, making it the perfect quick read aloud for each day of the month. Perfect to read during morning meeting or snack! From Coco Chanel to Anne Frank, this book has such a variety of women to read and learn about.

Shaking Things Up
Written by Susan Hood

6 Women's History Month Read Aloud Picture Books for Upper Elementary

This book is also an anthology, but each biographical piece is written in the form of a poem! I love using poetry for read alouds! Each poem is illustrated by a different female artist, making it a true celebration of women! I especially love that these poems celebrate young women and girls as they fight and act with bravery to change the world! Complete with a timeline at the front of the book and a small bio for each poem, this book will keep students engaged and allow you to share about 14 amazing women in a short amount of time! Follow up this book by having your students write their own bio poems celebrating who they are and their accomplishments!

The Girl With a Mind for Math
Written by Julia Finley Mosca

womens history month picture books for 5th grade

This book tells the story of  Raye Montague, an engineer who is credited with changing the course of ship design forever. She was an amazing mathematician who worked for the US Navy achieving amazing accomplishments throughout her life. I love that this story connects women to mathematics, engineering, and the US Military. Written in rhyme this book is fun to read and informative!

Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller
Written by Doreen Rappaport

6 Women's History Month Read Aloud Picture Books for Upper Elementary

This is one book that I truly look forward to reading each and every year! I have driven by her beautiful home in Connecticut on my way to teach each morning and each time I would get a huge rush of inspiration. (See her home in CT HERE) The story of Helen Keller is one that I am in awe of and love sharing with the kids. This picture book does a wonderful job of bringing her story to life, both the struggles and accomplishments, through engaging text and beautiful illustrations. The kids love to see the sign language chart at the end of the book, too!

Planting Seeds: The Life of Librarian & Storyteller Pura Belpre
Written by Anika Aldamuy Denise

read alouds for womens history month

Celebrating women of all races and ethnicities is a must, not just during Women's History Month, but all year long! This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Pura Belpre, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City. She was a multi-bilingual storyteller who shared stories, legends, and her own tales that she wrote herself.  This book truly celebrates women, storytelling, books, and the power of libraries. I especially love the author's note at the end that tells more about Pura's life.

Counting the Stars: The Story of Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome

womens history month activities free

Counting the Stars tells the incredible story of the brilliant Katherine Johnson who became a NASA scientist. At a young age, Katherine loved counting and stars. Born during a time when going into space seemed impossible, Katherine dreamed the unimaginable. She skipped grades in school and was able to solve any mathematical problem, often times just in her head! Katherine, was the only woman who joined teams of men at NASA that worked together to launch satellites and space crafts.  This is a truly inspirational story!

Have more time and want to share even more amazing books with your students? Try one of these:

Other favorite titles:

Want to mix up your read-aloud block with something different? 

Share this video of the read-aloud of the book The House that Jane Built by Tanya Lee Stone about Jane Addams, the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

When it comes to engaging students in biography and nonfiction reading activities, don't overlook the power of an amazing informational picture book! These books about these amazing women can be read any day, not just during March for Women's History Month!

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Women's history month biographies for kids

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FREE womens history month activities for kids

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6 St. Patrick's Day Activities for Upper Elementary

St. Patrick's Day Fun Activities for Your Lesson Plans

When the calendar turns to March, the green comes out in my classroom! Where I live and teach spring break does not come around until April. That means that March can feel like a very, very long month! Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in a variety of ways helps to get the kids engaged during March and help us get even more excited for the arrival of spring!

I love using holidays and seasons to motivate and engage students. I especially love offering students a fun twist on the typical holiday activities that they may have already experienced by the time they get to my upper elementary classroom.

When it comes to celebrating St. Patrick's Day we focus on traditions, rainbow and gold, our favorite books, and those little leprechauns all while completing standards-aligned activities!  

Here are my favorite activities and topics related to St. Patrick's Day to help you keep upper elementary students engaged and learning during the St. Patrick's Day season.

1. Use Nonfiction St. Patrick's Day Topics

When you think of St. Patrick's Day, gold might be the first thing that comes to your mind! What better nonfiction topic to explore than gold! My students are always fascinated when we learn about how gold is made and immediately want to go out and dig for buried treasure!

How to learn about gold with students:

  • Start with a KWL
  • Read a nonfiction article
  • Watch this informative video: How is Gold Made? Video {5 minutes}
  • Wrap up by writing in our journals about what we do if we found a jar of gold, just like the couple that was discussed in the video

St Patricks Day nonfiction reading passages

Gold is not the only nonfiction topic worthy of studying during March and for St. Patrick's Day! We also love talking about the science of how rainbows are formed, and your students will love it, too!

How to learn about rainbow science with students:

2. Study Traditions of St. Patrick's Day 

Since March is such a long month, it makes it the perfect time to welcome families into the classroom to share their family traditions! We connect learning about each student's traditions to St. Patrick's Day by comparing and contrasting our own family traditions to those celebrated by the Irish for St. Patrick's Day! The children love learning more about each other, and families love participating by joining our class and sending in a short write-up about their own family traditions.

Some Irish traditions that we discuss include:

St. Patricks day reading passages for upper elementary

3. Use Procedural Writing AND Limerick Writing

There is no better writing project to complete during the month of March than a procedural writing project all about How to Catch a Leprechaun!

What I love about writing how-to pieces about catching leprechauns is how creative the project is! After students write their procedural writing piece about how to catch a leprechaun they can: 

  • Create step by step illustration of how they will catch their leprechaun
  • Create the trap that they wrote about in their writing with common household/classroom items
  • Create an illustration of the leprechaun caught in their trap {these make the cutest bulletin board display}

Grab step by step directions to successfully teach procedural writing HERE.

How to Catch a leprechaun writing activity

Don't have time to devote to this full writing project, try writing limericks instead! They are a lot of fun to write and share in class, too! 

limerick writing activity upper elementary

4. Read a St. Patrick's Day Picture Book

What is a holiday without some amazing read-aloud books to hook the kids?  My favorite read-aloud that aligns with our reading curriculum is The Leprechaun's Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards.

I especially love reading this book because of the positive message it sends and how perfectly it aligns with lessons on finding the theme in literature with upper elementary students. With one reading of this book we can cover these skills:

  • asking questions as you read
  • character traits
  • how characters change
  • themes found in the literature
  • life lessons we can apply to our own lives

ST Patricks Day read aloud activity

Other favorite picture book read-alouds for St. Patrick's Day include:

5. St. Patrick's Day Community Building - I am Lucky Writing

There is nothing more important to me than building classroom community and then strengthening it all year long! One of my favorite activities to do with students each month is writing positive letters about each student. During the month of March, we write letters to our classmates focusing on how lucky we are to be friends!

It is easy to do! Here is how: 

  • Have each student put their name on a piece of paper and collect them in a basket.
  • One by one, students select a name from the basket, making sure that they did not select their own name.
  • Once all names have been drawn, have students write a letter to tell their friend how "lucky" they are to know them and be their friend and classmate.
  • Have students use a plain piece of paper and decorate or use a shamrock template like the one in this set.

St Patricks day writing activities

6. St. Patrick's Day Bulletin Board - We are Lucky Readers!

I love celebrating my students as readers every day, but especially in March! 

During March I create a "Lucky Little Readers" bulletin board and it is my favorite of the year! The students fill out a book reflection card about themselves as readers and share them with the class. The kids love reading each other's book recommendations once they are all read and proudly displayed!

St Patricks Day bulletin board display

Create your own "Lucky Little Readers" bulletin board with the bulletin board letters and student reflection page (see above) included in this FREE download!

When it comes to engaging students, holidays and seasons are the way to go! By using standards-aligned and high-interest activities, your students will not only be completing important tasks, but they will have fun while learning, too!

These St. Patrick's Day ideas will help you engage YOUR students and keep engagement high all March long! 

You will also love to read:

Check out my favorite St. Patrick's Day activities HERE. 

Like these St. Patrick's Day NO Prep activities to just add to your lesson plans!

st patrick's day activities for upper elementary

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St Patricks Day activities for upper elementary

*affiliate links: “Think Grow Giggle is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.” (source: Section 5)

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