Women’s History Month Read Alouds for the Elementary Classroom in 2023

March is Women’s History Month, which is a great time to share quality read alouds that feature strong female characters based on real women. These Women’s History Month read alouds highlight incredible women like Pura Belpré. Your students will love listening to the stories of these women. Check out the full list of Women’s History Month read alouds below!

4 Women’s History Month Read Alouds

Below are 4 quality Women’s History Month read alouds. Your elementary students are going to love these picture books for Women’s History Month! They are sure to be a big hit!

1. One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul

The book One Plastic Bag teaches readers about Isatou Ceesay and the women of Gambia. For awhile in Gambia, people were littering. They would throw plastic bags on the ground and the pile of trash was getting bigger and bigger. Time passed and Isatou grew up. One day, she learned that the goats were eating the plastic bags and dying. She realized she needed to do something. Isatou picked up the bags and she and a group of other women washed them. As Isatou watched her sister crochet, she had an idea. They decided to make the plastic bags into string and crochet bags out of the trash. At first, everyone laughed at the women. But over time, people started to buy their creations. The trash pile started to get smaller and eventually Gambia was beautiful and trash free once more. This will become one of your students’ favorite Women’s History Month read alouds!

Check out these One Plastic Bag activities!

Worksheets based on the book, One Plastic Bagwriting paper based on the story Planting Stories

2. Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise

In Planting Stories, Pura Belpre was the first Puerto Rican Librarian in New York City. When she started working the library, she realized that there weren’t any of the stories and folktales that she was familiar with in Puerto Rico. She decides to share her stories during story hour and through puppet shows, and eventually publishes a book.

Pura travels across the country and from classroom to classroom planting her story seeds and educating about her homeland. When she returns to the library, she sees that her story seeds have bloomed and everyone is telling her stories. Students will love learning about Pura and how she shared her stories with children everywhere. 

Check out these Planting Stories activities!

printable picture book comprehension activities

3. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

The book Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty is the story of a young girl named Rosie that dreams of becoming an engineer when she grows up. She spends her time creating all kinds of inventions, but eventually hides them from her family and friends because she is embarrassed that they will be failures.

One day, her Aunt Rose comes to visit and teaches Rosie that failure is part of success. She inspires Rosie to keep working on her inventions and not to give up when they are not successful at first.

This is an inspiring story for students about growth mindset and perseverance. Students will enjoy listening to this Women’s History Month read aloud and hearing about Rosie’s inventions and listening to the upbeat rhyme in this book.

Check out these Rosie Revere activities!

Writing paper for the book, Rosie Revere EngineerSulwe book cover

4. Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o

In the book Sulwe, Sulwe had skin that was as dark as night. She didn’t look like her family; they all had lighter skin and Sulwe wished she looked like them. At school, Sulwe didn’t have any friends like her sister did. Everyone gave her sister nice nicknames like “Beauty” or “Sunshine” while they called Sulwe mean names like “Darky” and “Night.”

Sulwe wanted lighter skin so much she tried erasing it, putting on makeup, and eating light colored foods. Nothing she tried worked. When Sulwe told her mother about her problem, her mother told her that she was beautiful. She explained that it is not enough for someone else to think you’re beautiful, you must think it about yourself.

One night Sulwe had a dream where she learned about Night and Day who lived long ago. Like Sulwe and her sister, people did not like Night but they loved Day. Feeling sad, Night decided to leave earth. Eventually, the people missed Night so her sister went to find her. Night learned that there is beauty in darkness and the world needs both.

After hearing the story of Night and Day, Sulwe finally started to feel beautiful herself. She knew she had brightness inside of her and learned to love herself inside and out. This is one of the great Women’s History Month read alouds out there!

Check out these Sulwe activities!

Reading Activities

If you are looking for book-based lessons and activities for teaching about Women’s History Month, then check out my Starts With a Story resources below. They include reading comprehension questions, vocabulary activities, writing prompts, and much more.

Planting Stories book companionThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is rosie-revere-engineer-activities-worksheets-1024x1024.jpgThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is sulwe-activities-worksheets-1024x1024.jpgOne Plastic Bag

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

We hope you found this list of Women’s History Month read alouds helpful! They lend themselves to being great winter read alouds or spring read alouds, but can be used any time of the year. Many of the read alouds highlighted in this post are part of my Starts With a Story collection. Your students are going to love these Women’s History Month picture books. If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students, then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

free monthly reading logs

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The Recess Queen book cover
Try this free Starts With a Story book companion based on Alexis O'Neill's picture book, The Recess Queen!