International Women’s Day was originally a socialist celebration, but since the UN adopted it in 1975 it has gone from strength to strenth, and is now celebrated around the world. It’s a great theme to build a lesson around, so we’ve put together some resources for you that will appeal to ESL students of all ages!
If men and women switched for the day
This video imagines an alternate universe with reversed gender roles and stereotypes – it’s only three minutes long and comes with a lesson plan pack for teachers. It’s an excellent resource which covers all four skills, and it’s appropriate for teenage and adult students – it should provoke a lot of discussion! If you want to increase the focus on grammar, you could prepare an additional segment on third conditionals and then get the students to use that structure when doing the final exercise. Depending on how advanced your students are, it might also be a good opportunity to introduce the subjunctive mood.
Favourite female role models
Start your lesson off with a short biography of your favourite female role model, making sure to include both the past simple form and past perfect form. Do a quick review of the difference between the two forms, and then get your students to do a webquest on a female role model of their own. It’s another exercise which covers all four skills; they read about their role model, write a short presentation, make the presentation and listen to one another. You could hold a vote at the end of the class for the most impressive role model!
Learning about IWD
Breaking News English has a great IWD lesson plan for students that are intermediate-level and above. Only suitable for adult students due to a brief mention of sexual violence, the article gives a brief overview of International Women’s Day and then follows it up with a gap fill exercise, synonym and phrase-matching and discussion questions. There’s also a great selection of two minute debate questions.
The Everyday Sexism Project
Our very own tutor Tim has a free lesson plan on his website based on the Everyday Sexism Project, started by Laura Bates in 2012 with the aim of documenting everyday instances of sexism and discrimination. The lesson looks at some accounts of everyday sexism and catcalling videos, with vocabulary exercises and related questions for student discussion.