Women’s History Month (March); Law Day (May 1)

During Women’s History Month in March, read stories in print and online newspapers that highlight the contributions that women make or have made. Conduct activities on voting to mark Law Day, commemorated on May 1. CONTENT on WOMEN Based on your newspaper reading, complete the attached GRAPHIC ORGANIZER. Complete the organizer for each woman you study. Write paragraphs built on each trait that you choose and the actions that provide evidence. You may also choose a trait, such as respect or courage and identify four women and three actions they take or took that demonstrate the trait (respect, courage). All of the women you choose may appear in current news stories or you may choose women who’ve contributed in the past to civic life. Biographies developed by students through North Carolinians of Note include author Doris Betts, actress Ava Gardner, actress Bellamy Young and actress Sharon Lawrence.  Other profiles in NC of Note develop ideas related to Women’s History Month. Reading about Anson Dorrance, for example, becomes the starting point for research about the development of women’s soccer programs at UNC-Chapel Hill and elsewhere. You may search for women who write for your newspaper and learn more about them. This site links to biographic information about women in the media: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/whmbios11.html Several 200-word blogs from NC Cultural Resources feature women in North Carolina. Simply search the site: http://nchistorytoday.wordpress.com/. Use “women” as the key word, and you’ll obtain the following:
  • Women in Salisbury Riot for Bread
  • Women Marines in WWII
  • Women’s Suffrage Leader Cornelia Petty Jarman
  • The Confederate Women’s Home Opened in Fayetteville
  • “…The Old North State”
  • Annie O’Berry, the New Deal Administrator
  • Tabotha Holton, a First for Tar Heel Courtrooms
  • Gertrude McKee, Groundbreaking Lawmaker
  • East Carolina Set Up to Educate Teachers
  • Thirteenth Amendment and the Legal End to Slavery (and the 15th Amendment that extended voting rights to new citizens; the 19th Amendment that extended voting rights to women)
  A Teaching Guide on Leadership is available here (see right side of page, red type): http://allthingsvoting.org/lesson-plans/ The guide offers ways to apply current news to concepts related to leadership. To celebrate Women’s History month, apply the lessons to women in the news. About VOTING Law Day also focuses on leadership. In particular, it focuses on elections or voting. The American Bar Association (ABA) obtains proclamations and other support from the federal government to celebrate Law Day, each year on May 1. To learn more, visit: (http://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/initiatives_awards/law_day_2014.html)  
According to its website, the coming 50th anniversaries of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 inspired ABA to choose Why Every Vote Matters as the Law Day theme.FYI—The Young Lawyers Division of the NC Bar Association sponsors an essay contest and, on May 2, 2014, the division will award funds and plagues to students whose essays are chosen. This year’s theme mirrors the national theme. Details about the essay contest can be found here (deadline is past for submitting essays): http://younglawyers.ncbar.org/media/29964818/essayContest.pdf
  ELECTIONS produce developing stories. Use local and area newspapers, print and digital editions, to follow an election that interests you. Look for stories, columns, letters to the editor, ads and more; learn about candidates, predict the outcome of elections and draw conclusions based on what you learn. Answer questions about every report or commentary you read:
  1. Who is the writer?
  2. Why does the writer write on this topic?
  3. What does the writer say?
  4. What does the story mean?
  5. Why does the story matter?
  6. What does the evidence indicate? Support what you say with reasons drawn from your reading of reports and commentary. Verify facts and information you cite.
  Searching historic newspapers AND current newspapers for information about the Civil and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 and subsequent discussion and debate about the acts makes clear the impact that legislative action has on civic life. To find historic newspapers for comparison with current newspapers, check http://allthingsvoting.org/2012/03/15/lesson-plan-working-with-primary-sources-and-historic-newspapers/   The NC Press Foundation offers more, including links to other resources: Written for the 2012 election, you’ll find background relevant to North Carolina’s elected officials, County Commissioners, Governor, members of the Council of State, General Assembly, Appellate and Trial Court Judges and more, on the site: http://allthingsvoting.org/lesson-plans/ The Mini Page archive offers information on a range of election-related topics. Search the site using election-related terms, such as voting, convention, political parties and more: http://www2.lib.unc.edu/dc/minipage/ Use background information provided by Bob Joyce, an elections’ expert who teaches in UNC-CH’s School of Government: http://allthingsvoting.org/2012/04/28/lesson-plan-elected-offices-in-north-carolina/   What skills, knowledge and disposition do you think effective leaders have? What do you consider the MARKS of LEADERSHIP?

Questions or concerns? Email nie@ncpress.com.

Prepared March 10, 2014