Take an in-depth look at a topic that inspires you. Research the achievements and life story of a woman of impact, explore a particular topic related to gender equality, or let your imagination run wild in a creative writing project.
1. Write an essay
Conducting research and expressing your findings in an essay is one of the most effective ways to expand your knowledge. Choose a woman of impact or an issue related to gender equality that interests you, and consult your local library and online sources for information. Below are some ideas to consider:
- Examine the lives and careers of early women researchers, such as Harriet Brooks, Carrie Derick, Ursula Franklin, and Sylvia Fedoruk, and the challenges they faced.
- Look into the work of women physicians like Ann Augusta Stowe Gullen, Elizabeth Bagshaw and May Cohen, and the emergence of women’s health as a distinct field in medicine.
- Describe the efforts of early feminist trailblazers such as Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Emily Howard Stowe, Gertrude Harding and Léa Roback, and the different ways they worked to advance women’s suffrage.
- Explore the quest for equal rights in education for Indigenous children by activists like Shannen Koostachin and Cindy Blackstock.
- Research the legacies of women politicians such as Agnes Macphail, Kim Campbell, Ellen Fairclough and Rosemary Brown, and the representation of women in politics.
2. Make a timeline
Explore the timelines created for each of the categories and create your own! Choose a category of women’s achievement and come up with a list of milestones that can be commemorated using photos, graphics, or simply through written words. Consider making a timeline of swomen’s achievements in one of the following categories: sports, media, business, skilled trades, or the military.
You may also want to create a timeline of women who were the first in their field in Canada. Some firsts to consider are: who was the first woman firefighter, dentist, surgeon or lawyer? The gallery contains a number of examples for inspiration, such as:
3. Create a work of fiction
Unleash your creative side and find inspiration for a work of fiction based on the life stories of the Women of Impact in Canada. Stories are a powerful way to introduce their legacies to new audiences and give voice to their achievements and contributions. Consider one of the following creative writing projects:
- Poetry: A poem can convey ideas and emotions in lyrical and imaginative ways. Whether you choose the traditional form of a sonnet, the grand scope of an epic, or the openness of free verse, creating an original poem is a moving way to pay tribute to a woman of impact.
- Prose: Channel your inner writer and try your hand at a short story, novella or full-length novel. Create a cast of characters based on the women of impact and weave tales of their struggles and victories.
- Theatre: Whether it’s a drama, comedy or musical, an original play is a dynamic way to capture the triumphs and challenges in the life of a woman of impact. Or put yourself in her shoes and create an extended monologue that explores a moment in history from her point of view.
- Comic and graphic novel: Each woman of impact is a real-life superhero! Create a comic strip or a graphic novel based on a woman of impact that captures the sense of adventure in her life’s tale.
- Children’s literature: Turn the life of a woman of impact into a children’s story. For inspiration, look at Reading list for young learners, which includes titles like Viola Desmond Won’t Be Budged! and Four Pictures by Emily Carr.
For suggestions on women of impact to feature in your work of fiction, consult the list of ideas provided in the Group projects section.
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