Celebrating Women in Government Through Picture Books

There are so many differing opinions about this year’s election making it very challenging to host classroom conversations about the current candidates. Plus, it may be difficult to stay neutral about your own political views, so you may be avoiding the topic all together.

This election season I’ve taken a different approach to teaching students about our country’s leadership. Moving away from talking about political parties and the electoral college to creating a unit that shares uplifting stories and qualities that make up a strong leader. All the picture books I’ve chosen for this unit feature noteworthy women who have helped change the narrative and paved the way for future generations!

Let’s be honest, GIRLS run the world and it’s finally time to celebrate that!

This Laudable Ladies in Government Unit is intended to be three weeks long, but time with students is all over the map this year because of each districts’ unique learning model. So, adjust the pacing as you see fit!

Remember, vocabulary learning is more about the depth of knowledge, less about trying to cram a ton of new words into each week. Over the 3 week unit students learn 6 character trait words and are given multiple times to interact with each.

You most likely don’t have all of the recommended books in your classroom library, so each book mentioned also pairs with a video of the book read aloud.

Note: A lot of time was spent evaluating each read aloud video and providing you with the one that is most engaging and visually appealing for students. Each video is safe shared, so all ads and distracting links have been removed.

Notes About the Unit
– All lessons are meant to be 15-20 minutes, even if that means splitting up an interactive read aloud across 2 sessions!

– Although each lesson comes with a printable/shareable sheet, discussion is encouraged and students should always be turning & talking about the characters from our books or sharing the stories they’ve written.

– All resources are Google Drive slides and docs. You can download them as a PDF or PowerPoint by clicking ‘File’ –> ‘Download’ OR you can make your own copy in Google and share with students via Google Classroom!

Week 1: Day 1

  • Characteristic: laudable
  • Lesson:
  • Guided Practice: Word Web
  • Extension: Time to Write!
    • Brainstorm 5 characteristics of a strong leader

Download Resources

Week 1: Days 2 & 3

  • Characteristic: tenacious
  • Lesson: Interactive Read Aloud (video): Elizabeth Leads the Way
  • Guided Practice: Word Web
  • Extension: Time to Write!
    • Explain how Elizabeth Cady Stanton showed tenacity

Download Resources

Week 1: Days 4 & 5

  • Characteristic: authentic
  • Lesson: Interactive Read Aloud (video): I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes her Mark
  • Guided Practice: Word Web
  • Extension: Time to Write!
    • Explain why it’s important to be authentic and true to yourself

Download Resources

Week 2: Day 1

Download Resources

Week 2: Days 2 & 3

  • Characteristic: resilient
  • Lesson: Interactive Read Aloud (video): Turning Pages
  • Guided Practice: Word Web
  • Extension: Time to Write!
    • Identify a time you showed resilience

Download Resources

Week 2: Days 4 & 5

  • Characteristic: visionary
  • Lesson: Interactive Read Aloud (video): Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea
  • Guided Practice: Word Web
  • Extension: Time to Write!
    • Identify a character in your independent reading book that has a vision and works hard to achieve his/her goal

Download Resources

Week 3: Day 1

Download Resources

Week 3: Days 2 & 3

  • Characteristic: determined
  • Lesson: Interactive Read Aloud (video): Sofia Valdez, Future Prez
  • Guided Practice: Word Web
  • Extension: Write a Story!
    • “If I Become President, I Will…”

Download Resources

Week 3: Days 4 & 5

  • Discussion: Share stories from “If I Become President” Activity
  • End of Unit Review:
  • End of Unit Assessment: Google Form Quiz (Coming soon!)

Download Resources

Comment below with additional picture books that are great for teaching about strong female leaders!

Published by Liz Siracusa (Vocabulicious)

* Elementary Educator * Instructional Literacy Coach * Vocabulary Lover * The history behind Vocabulicious is simple - I love to help students growth their vocabulary, and I want to help YOU make your classroom a word conscious environment. I’m excited to share all of the vocabulary activities I have had success with throughout the years, plus great mentor texts to use for interactive read alouds. I live in Burlington, Vermont and enjoy hiking, biking and running!

2 thoughts on “Celebrating Women in Government Through Picture Books

    1. Absolutely! Thanks for reading 🙂. Please share this Women in Government unit with any colleagues that you think would like it!


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