NWHM Young And Brave Lesson Plan

Content Area/Online Exhibit: Young and Brave: Girls Changing History

Grade Level: Middle School and High School






Students will learn about the lives of extraordinary young women in America by reading about specific individuals. Students will then attend a “party” to learn about all of the young women and will share the accomplishments and stories of the young women with the class.



90 minutes
This lesson should be split into two 45-minute class sessions.


Objective:  Students will be able to…


  • Identify key obstacles that specific young women overcame throughout American history. 
  • Understand that young women, of similar age to the students, were able to affect history. 
  • Demonstrate attentive and creative listening; improve writing and speaking skills.




  • Students should have some basic knowledge of American history from Pocahontas onwards, but there is no prerequisite beyond an elementary school background.




  • Computer Lab…access to the following link: http://www.nwhm.org/online-exhibits/youngandbrave/index.html
    • If a computer lab is not available, the teachers can print the Online Exhibit. 
  • Question Sheet: [Available for download here.]
  • If possible, name tags and markers.
  • The teacher should prepare a list of the individuals in the exhibit and then cut these names into paper slips for a lottery-style drawing.  Plan to ensure that each student can draw a name from the 30 profiles in the exhibit.  If the class exceeds 30 students, the “Little Rock Nine” can be broken down into more names; if there are fewer than 30 students, the teacher can chose which of the exhibit’s biographies to eliminate.




            Class Starter/Hook: [25 minutes]

  • With the students at their computers, give an overview of Young and Brave.  Without reading each biography in detail, click through the entire exhibit so that students see the range of individuals.  Be sure to highlight that these girls were young -- many of them the same age as your students -- when they made history.
  • Have the students draw names from your prepared container.
  • Direct them to the exhibit and tell them to carefully read the biography of the girl whose name they have drawn.  They should plan to portray this person for the next class session, which will be a conversational “party.”
  • Teachers may make this party as real as they wish, depending on school policies for food and decorations.  Plan ahead to deal with boys who may object to portraying girls.  Explain that for centuries, girls have had to identify with male role models. 


            Independent Practice: [20 minutes]

  • Using the information they gained from reading the biography, have the students answer the questions on the Question Guide Sheet. Writing this out will help them to begin to process the major accomplishments of the girl they will portray.


For the second 45-minute period, students will utilize their communication skills in a faux party [25 minutes]