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Women in Santa Clara County

8th Grade Social Studies

Women in Santa Clara County

Identifying Various Roles of Women

By looking at six pictures associated with women in Santa Clara County,
the student will identify major themes and visual clues to associate with women’s history
in Santa Clara County sufficient to match descriptions to pictures.

3.3.2, 3.3.3, 4.3.4, 8.6.6, 8.8.3, 8.12.6

Two Days

Picture Interpretation, bumper sticker, and dialogue.

1. SVHO pictures of women in the area of politics, business, education and agriculture.
“Fair Riders of the Range at the Round-Up,”
“Eastside Plant,”
“San Jose High School, Class of 1898. ”
“Sarah Winchester, ”
“Anna Stokes McColl, ca. 1905, ”
“Encarnacion Pinedo, ”
“Women Working at Intel, ”
“Coeds at SCU, ”
“DiFiore Cherry Orchard Workers, ”
“LBJ Girls, ”
“SJ Normal School Cooking Class, ”
“Ricketts Millinary Shop, ”
“Girl Cutting Apricots, ”
“Tradition Shattered - SCU, ”
“Women College Students SJSU 1935, ”

2. “Bio Brief” hand-out for each group.


Day One:

1. Post the recommended SVHO pictures on the whiteboard. Facilitate a discussion about the pictures by discussing with the students the occupational role of the women. Students may try to identify occupational roles that they are familiar with.

2. Divide students into groups of five or six. Give each group a picture to answer the following questions on their Bio Brief worksheet.

3. Have the following four categories listed on the whiteboard or somewhere clearly marked in the classroom; Politics, Education, Business, and Agriculture. As groups finish have them post their Bio Brief worksheet and picture under the appropriate category heading.


The instructor should review the posted Bio Briefs and point out the specific issues facing women of the day. Determine what skills and education were needed for these roles. What challenges women faced in the variety of positions.

Homework: Use the Internet site to research women’s roles in World History to create a summary of their contributions. Create a bumber sticker, which briefly summarizes the contributions. Be prepared to present your analysis.

Day Two:

1. Have the students post their bumper stickers in the class (possibly posted on an automobile drawn on the board). Review the various struggles and challenges women faced in their occupations.

2. Briefly describe the contributions of local women pioneers. These may include the following;

3. Have the students use the Internet to compare the challenge and accomplishment of one nationally known woman and one locally known woman. Compare their interests, talents, challenges, and contributions.

4. Students will then prepare a one-page dialogue between the two female leaders as they are standing in line at a cash register in a store. Both characters need to describe their background in the dialogue. Be sure to identify similarities and differences.

Alternative Procedure for Elementary students

1. Omit the Bio Brief, so that the teacher helps the students verbally identify the main topics of each picture and helps them identify clues within the picture.

2. Working in pairs, the students can write down what is going on in each picture.

3. At the conclusion, the teacher reviews with everyone what is going on in each picture by using the clues. They might include a few vocabulary words which include the following; abolition, frontier, citizenship, government, and equal rights.

Debrief: Women played a critical role in the development of Santa Clara County in education as students, teachers, and administrators, in politics as activists, in business as entrepreneurs and management and in agriculture as labor.


  1. History of Santa Clara County; With Biographical Sketches of the Leading Men and Women (1922), Eugene Sawyer; Call 979.4 at San Jose City Library
  2. Some Pioneer Women of Santa Clara County (1999), California by Mary Lou Lyon; Call CWA R 979.472 at San Jose City Library and Santa Clara County Library
  3. Some More Pioneer Women of Santa Clara County (1999), California by Mary Lou Lyon; Call: CWA R 979.472 at San Jose City Library and Santa Clara County Library
  4. Women of Our Valley. 1955-1956 v. 2, Bertha Marguerite Rice. Call: R 920 Rice Santa Clara County Libraries
  5. Santa Clara County Superior Court is run by the Court.

Bio Brief

Print Bio Brief Handout


Main Topic:









Dialogue/Thought Box