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Gallery + Classroom Program: Women's History

Dates Available: All school year

Grade Level: K–5th, 6th–12th

Minimum Number of Students: 25 students

Maximum Number of Students: 70 students

Galleries Visited:   Seeking St. Louis: Currents & Seeking St. Louis: Reflections

Program Duration: 2 hours

St. Louis and America have been shaped by the actions and aspirations of women. Explore American history through the experiences of women who lived in St. Louis for centuries. Through hands-on activities, primary sources, and engaging discussions, students will encounter a diverse group of famous and lesser-known women who worked to increase opportunities for themselves, their communities, and other women.

In the Gallery
Students will visit three areas in the Currents and Reflections galleries. At each stop they'll explore the experiences and impact of St. Louis women around a different theme. They'll also assess the relative presence or absence of women’s stories and evaluate the role museums play in shaping our understanding of historical themes.

  • At Stop 1 students will consider the different ways women have and use power. They'll investigate artifacts left behind by Marie Chouteau (of St. Louis's “founding family”) and Jeanette Forchet (a free, property-owning black woman in early St. Louis). Students will draw conclusions about the power these women had and compare and contrast their lives.
  • At Stop 2 students will learn about jobs that women have held throughout history. They'll investigate the careers of Elizabeth Keckley (a formerly enslaved woman who was able to purchase her freedom from the profits of her seamstress work) and Charlotte Rumbold (the recreation supervisor for the St. Louis Parks Department). Students will also be challenged to select artifacts to include in a new exhibition design that better tells women’s work stories.
  • At Stop 3 students will discover how St. Louis has changed because of the dedication of women such as the Sisters of Charity, Margaret Bush Wilson, Rev. Carol Cureton, and others who wanted to make the city a safer, more inclusive place for all people. Students will identify what each woman wanted to change, the actions they took to achieve their goals, and the effect they had on our community. 

Please note that the above stops may not occur in chronological order. Also, portions of each stop may be cut out if your group arrives late.

In the Classroom

  • K–5th: Younger students will create a map of St. Louis that traces the experiences and impact of women throughout our city’s history. They'll produce a view of St. Louis that illustrates important—yet often forgotten—parts of our history, from the Kaskaskian women who formed political alliances with fur traders that shaped our regional economics before St. Louis was an American city, to the women who created and staffed St. Louis’s first schools, to the local women who fought for civil rights. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with objects from our Teaching Collection as they evaluate and select artifacts to best represent these important stories and people.
  • 6th–12th: Older students will critically analyze and evaluate sources of historical information as they participate in a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. In teams, students will receive a Wikipedia page about an important event in St. Louis’s history. First, they'll compare and contrast references to men and women within their page. Then they'll investigate boxes of documents to learn how women contributed to their event. Finally, they'll write a recommended edit to their Wikipedia page that includes women’s stories. 

Please note that portions of the activity may be cut out if your group arrives late. Also, if your group is over 36 students, half of the group may do the classroom first.

 Please read our K-12 Policiesbefore booking this program.

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Critical Thinking
Regardless of which field-trip experience you choose, all of our K–12 programs are designed to emphasize the critical thinking skills students use at museums, in the classroom, and as lifelong learners. Each one facilitates experiences in which learners can individually and collaboratively use Museum spaces, objects, and content to:

  • compare and contrast the past and the present
  • make connections between the people, places, and stories of history and their own experiences
  • comprehend and evaluate multiple perspectives and past choices
  • express and support their personal views on history

Here are some Pre-Visit Activities and other resources.

Program Modifications
We understand that many factors may cause your bus to be late. However, due to other group reservations and the schedules of our museum educators, we can't extend the length of your visit past your reservation time.

If you arrive late, we'll still do our best to deliver the program you reserved. However, modifications may be necessary depending on your arrival time. (NOTE: Excessively late groups can expect significant program changes.)

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