Use a personal story which exemplifies some Irish women’s experiences of aspects life between 1900-1922 for example , politics , trade unions , nursing, education, family . Good examples might be Winifred Carney/ Delia Larkin/Hanna Sheehy Skeffington/Margaret Pirrie/Margaret Byers.
Pupils read short extracts of the story aloud around the class until the story is finished. Ask pupils which words phrases or events resonated for them or they found memorable unusual or surprising about the person in the story.
Use a line of continuum with one end labelled CERTAIN and the other end GUESS . Depending on the level of ability of the pupils the middle of the line of certainty may be labelled PROBABLY.
Pupils are asked to pin their first conclusions on the line or write them on an interactive whiteboard if being used. Pupils justify their positioning of their conclusions to the rest of the class and some agreements can be made generally across the class.
Teacher can further develop the lesson by introducing more sources which either support or contradict the portrayal of women in the story. This develops pupils understanding of the diverse experiences of women in the early twentieth century.
Did all women have the same experience as the person in the story? How would we find out about this? How did the story portray this woman? Why do you think the author chose a personal story to portray this woman’s experiences ?