ELA High School
Jane Austen wrote a new type of female character. Emma Woodhouse of "Emma" and Elizabeth Bennet in "Pride and Prejudice" are two memorable characters. They were charming but normal, flawed but winning. The legend of Austen is that she wrote her novels exactly as they were published, but the release of her original manuscripts suggests she had an active editor. Does it matter that an editor helped clean up Austen’s prose or is it her genius that shines through?
ELA Middle School
"A Wrinkle in Time," a famous novel by Madeleine L’Engle, is the story of teenager Meg Murry. Meg is transported on an adventure through time and space with her younger brother and friend as they try to rescue her father. When it was originally published in 1963, no publisher knew how to promote it. What is it about “A Wrinkle in Time,” and why is it so controversial 50 years after its publication?
ELA Middle School
One of the most enduring novels written for young adults is "Anne of Green Gables," by Lucy Maud Montgomery, published in 1908. It was one of the first YA novels to feature a strong, unconventional female lead—Anne, the unwanted, unloved, but unbowed orphan who grabs hold of a chance for a new life and refuses to let go, no matter how difficult things get. Before Anne, most heroines were beautiful and angelic. "Anne of Green Gables" is over 100 years old, but its heroine measures up to any female lead contemporary YA novels have to offer.
ELA Middle School
Maya Angelou was an author, poet and icon. She grew up during segregation and used her work to empower and give voice to the African American community. Her memoir, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" changed the literary world and opened doors for African American authors and women.
Current Event December 31, 2014
Conflict and violence in Syria have displaced women and children to surrounding nations. Refugees living in Beirut, Lebanon have found voice and kinship through the ancient tragedy Antigone. Sophocles wrote Antigone in 441 BCE. The play is about a Princess dealing with the loss of war and daring to challenge the powerful. 250 years later some Syrian women see themselves in Antigone and have adapted the play to reflect their experiences.
Current Event December 5, 2014
In the Marines, ground combat units have always been made up of just men. A new yearlong experiment is putting female Marines to the test to see if they can make it through combat training and join male Marines in ground combat. If women can’t make it through the training some ask if the combat standards be changed. Listen to learn more about this experiment and the debate surrounding it.
Current Event October 31, 2014
When we imagine a witch today, we think about a halloween costume with a pointy black hat, warts and a broom. This public radio story takes us back to a darker period in colonial America, when people believed that witches lived among them unnoticed. At this time, accusations of being a witch led to the Salem witch trials and the execution of more than a dozen women. We hear from an author who recently compiled a book about the reality behind these accusations of witchery, and what they say about society and stereotypes.
Current Event October 23, 2014
Illness can be caused by viruses and bacteria, but some very serious illnesses come from your actual genes, your DNA. Scientist have been able to identify genes that cause illness but until now they haven’t been able to fix them. A new discovery creates the framework for editing these problematic genes. This public radio story tells the unlikely story of this discovery and discusses its potential.
Current Event October 22, 2014
When Michelle Howard was growing up, women weren’t admitted to the Naval Academy. Now she is second in command of the Navy. And she is the first African American woman to earn the rank of a four-star admiral. This conversation with her will inspire listeners to pursue their dreams, overcome barriers, and find community no matter where you are.
Current Event September 8, 2014
The gender gap in voting preferences in the 2012 election was the largest in history. Men voted overwhelmingly for Republican candidates, women voted Democratic. Men also vote less frequently than women. This has pushed politicians to focus on how they can effectively reach men, particularly young men. Today’s public radio story looks at ad placement and self-presentation as candidates try to reach more men.
Current Event June 18, 2014
Studies show that people react differently to male and female named storms. There is more preparation and fear of storms with male names, such as Victor, versus a storm named Christina. As a result, there are serious implications of this unconscious gender bias. Listen to this public radio story to learn more.
Current Event May 30, 2014
Olin College in Massachusetts has one of the largest student populations of female engineers, which is rare because so few women go into the sciences. There is a documented gender and confidence gap for female engineers, but students think it can be closed by reaching girls at an earlier age. Listen to this radio story to find out how schools are fixing this problem.
Current Event May 29, 2014
Current Event March 7, 2014
Being a working mother is difficult, but being one of the first two females on the Supreme Court may be even harder. Learn how the female judges of the Supreme Court juggled family obligations and the demands of the court. This month is Women’s History month and we are highlighting stories about women.
Current Event March 5, 2014
During Women’s History Month, it’s good to remind students that although the Constitution granted the right to vote, American women were not given that right until the 1920s during the suffrage movement. The nineteenth amendment, which would allow women to vote, was sent to the states for ratification in 1919. The ratification vote came down to one man and his mother’s advice. Listen to the story to hear more about how U.S. women fought for an important civil right.
Current Event November 12, 2013
Author Jane Austen is well known for her novels that reflect on romance and the familial and cultural standards of late 18th century England. Some paint Austen as a drab spinster, but a new biography by Paula Byrne explores the real Austen through objects that were important to her in her life and literature. This portrait of an opinionated, fun loving Austen will help you understand her life, family and themes she revisits in her works.
Current Event October 25, 2013
In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, activists are challenging the ban on women driving by taking the wheel and documenting their protests by video. Madiha Al Ajroush, a longtime advocate of women driving, compares the inability to drive like cutting one's legs off and taking the wheelchair away. This is not the first attempt to challenge the ban. There were two previous attempts in 1990 and 2011. Use this story to talk to your students about the struggle for women's rights on a global scale and how that compares to rights women currently have in the United States.