Women Around the World: Biography Task Cards with Activity Ideas

The ESL Nexus
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  1. These short biographies profile 100 American women and 68 women around the world who were pioneers in their field or achieved something notable. Included in each resource are 15 ways to use these task cards to help your students develop their writing, speaking and listening skills.Updated 2/7/21: B
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  2. These short biographies profile 80 African-American men and women, 100 American women of various ethnicities, and 68 women around the world who were pioneers in their field or achieved something notable. Included in each resource are 15 ways to use these task cards to help your students develop the
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These short biographies profile 68 famous and important women around the world who were pioneers in their field or achieved something notable. Included are 15 ways to use these task cards to help your students develop their writing, speaking and listening skills.

You can use this resource remotely in 2 ways:

a) When teaching synchronously or asynchronously online, explain the writing task and display the model paragraphs. Display the task cards one at a time and give students time to write a paragraph (10-15 minutes depending on your class); alternatively, you can send the task cards to students and they can select which ones to write about. Have students send you their completed paragraphs and use the rubric to assess them. Review the list of activities and decide which, if any, you want to use; then explain the task to the students.

b) For students to do on their own: Photocopy the model paragraphs and the student pages and send the material home. Tell students how many task cards they should write about and have them send you their completed paragraphs when they’ve completed the assignment. Use the rubric to correct them. Some of the tasks in the list of activities can also be done by students at home.

✓ Please Note:

* This resource is available in a small bundle with 1 more product, Famous & Important American Women Biography Task Cards, that saves you 20% over the cost of purchasing each product separately; click HERE for more info.

* It's also available in a larger bundle with 2 more resources, Famous & Important American Women Biography Task Cards and African-American Biography Task Cards, at a savings of 20% off the cost of each individual product; you can find it HERE.

Simple instructions for doing the following types of activities are included:

* Writing various types of paragraphs

* Categorizing the task cards

* Giving presentations

* Creating posters

* Doing research

* Doing map and timeline activities

* Practicing note-taking

* Playing games

The versatility of these task cards makes them ideal not just for Women’s History Month but for Language Arts and Social Studies classes any time of the year.

Each task card presents basic biographical information plus some interesting facts about one woman. The women included in this resource come from countries around the world but not the United States. They were born in ancient times, in the Middle Ages, and in the 15th through 20th centuries.

Many of the 68 women showcased in this resource were the first in their field to accomplish something and your students will be inspired by the achievements of these female scientists, teachers, mathematicians, rulers, nurses, actresses, novelists, politicians, athletes, singers, dancers, explorers, poets, journalists, women's rights activists, and judges that are highlighted on the task cards. Even a pirate is included!

The information on the task cards is not presented in complete sentences because one of the suggested activities is for students to write paragraphs about the women. By transforming the keywords and fragments into complete sentences, and including a topic sentence and a closing, your students can practice writing good paragraphs and learn about women’s accomplishments at the same time. You can use these task cards to do other types of writing activities, too. An evaluation rubric is included so you can easily assess your students' writing.

To use the task cards, just print them out and cut them apart on the dotted lines. Laminating them so they last longer is recommended but not required. Some activities can take up an entire period and some can be implemented in shorter amounts of time. Depending on the activity, students can work on their own, in pairs or small groups, or as the whole class. Some of the activities can also be used in writing centers.

This resource is appropriate for ELLs at an intermediate level of language proficiency (such as WIDA Levels 3 and up) and if you work in a WIDA Consortium state, 4 sample Model Performance Indicators are included. ELLs at a lower level of language proficiency (such as WIDA Level 2) may be able to do a few of the suggested activities and these are listed in the teacher notes. In addition, if you work in a Common Core state, a list of ELA standards this resource addresses is included.

What an educator who has used this resource says about it:

♥ "Great activities to use as a class!" -- Michelle M.

Some of your students may be familiar with several of the 68 people profiled but there are probably many other women included in this resource whom they have never heard of before. Your students are sure to enjoy using these biographical task cards to learn about women’s history!


What you get in this product:

★ A table of contents for easy reference (1 page)

★ A Notes to the Teacher section with explanatory information (1 page)

★ A list of the ELA Common Core standards addressed (1 page)

★ 4 sample WIDA Model Performance Indicators (1 page)

★ 15 ideas for using the task cards (1 page)

★ Student materials for the 2 game activities (2 pages)

★ An evaluation rubric for writing tasks (1 page)

★ Model task card biography with 2 example paragraphs at different levels of writing complexity (1 page)

★ 68 biographies of important or famous women, 4 per page (17 pages)


You might also like these resources:

Famous and Important American Women: Biography Task Cards with Activity Ideas

African-American Biography Task Cards for Writing, Speaking & Listening Practice

Writing Paragraphs, Summaries, Organizing Writing Into Outlines & Essays BUNDLE

Compare & Contrast Writing, Opinion & Persuasive Writing, MLA Citations BUNDLE

Peace Quotation Signs with Writing Prompts, Paperless Version


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Thank you and happy teaching!

Common Core Standards © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved. Any claims of correlation or alignment to the CCSS Standards or WIDA ELD standards are solely those of The ESL Nexus and have not been evaluated or endorsed by the NGA. The ESL Nexus is the sole creator of this product and does not claim endorsement or association with the creators of the CCSS or WIDA standards.


Total Pages
28 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


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