Gender and power are key themes in our world: both past and present. Women, especially, have been fighting for equality and power for generations. But where did this gender and power separation begin?
The attached lesson plan allows teachers and students to view primary and secondary sources surrounding the theme of gender and power in world history. The central theme implies that technology, in this case the invention of the plow, reduced the position of women in agricultural societies to a secondary role.
Key to the lesson (besides students digesting select sources) are two analytical essay questions (a document-based essay question and a long essay question) which are worded in current AP® World History language. The DBQ encourages students to think about historical examples in which women have exercised power and influence, while the LEQ addresses women’s loss of power due to the invention of the plow in settled agricultural societies.
The goal is that students leave this lesson with a deeper understanding of historical gender roles and how technological advancements affected them throughout history.
John Maunu is a College Board AP® World History: Modern consultant who teaches summer workshops nationally. He is a co-moderator of the College Board® APWH: Modern Teacher Community and a Digital Resources Editor for the World History Connected Online Journal. He was an AP® European and World History teacher for many years and is currently an online consultant for AP® World History: Modern in Michigan. John has also been a Senior Reviewer and item writer for many editions of the AP® World History: Modern coursebook by AMSCO® (2015, 2017, 2018, and 2020 editions).
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