February 5th is National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Posted by SM Bruner on

In honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, BrainPOP is proud to be partnering this year with the premiere girls- and women-serving organizations in the United States. We’ve joined with the National Women’s Law Center; the Women’s Sports Foundation; the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance; and Girls Incorporated in bringing attention to this important event.

Since the passage of Title IX in 1972, girls have certainly benefitted from increased participation in sports in school settings. But it is important that parents and educators continue to encourage girls—who may be less likely to sign up for a team on their own—to take part in activities that exercise both body and mind. In addition to the obvious physical benefits of athletics, recent studies have shown that girls and women who play sports have higher levels of confidence, self-esteem, body image, and psychological well-being than girls and women who do not participate in these activities. The National Women’s Law Center has discussed the importance of girls and women in sports, and offers a few BrainPOP Movies, too!

In a society that celebrates boys and men in sport at a much higher level than it celebrates athletic girls and women, we at BrainPOP have made concerted efforts to infuse our content with positive images of females taking part in various athletic activities. Especially with the Winter Olympics right around the corner, we encourage you to share the following offerings with your students this week and in the weeks ahead.

  • The Olympic Games didn’t officially allow women to participate until the early 1900s. Tim and Moby explore this history and identify some of the first women to compete in the Olympics. The related Related Reading informational texts include mentions of some record-holding female Olympians as well as information on doping scandals, some of which have involved high-profile female athletes.
  • Our Exercise topic for students K-3 features Annie cycling and playing soccer and basketball.
  • Our Basketball movie features Rita as a key team player while the topic’s Related Readings include mentions of the women’s NCAA basketball tournament during “March Madness” and some intriguing stats on women dunking in the WNBA.
  • Our Soccer movie includes various images of girls and women playing this popular sport, plus Related Readings that identify female soccer greats; soccer films featuring girls and women; and the various professional women’s soccer leagues.
  • In our Baseball movie, students will see examples of girls/women playing the game. There are also related Related Readings on the history of women in baseball and baseball films including A League of Their Own, which dramatized the rise of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.
  • Additional curriculum connections include: Feminism, which discusses girls and women in sport, including the passage of Title IX; Steroids, which discloses the effects of steroid use on women; Sally Ride, which describes the former astronaut’s early career as a tennis prodigy; Decimals, which shows Cassie and Rita in a swimming competition; and the Peer Pressure Related Readings, in which former WNBA star Lisa Leslie is quoted about the positive effects of encouragement.

As always, we’d love to hear how you’re incorporating our offerings into your classes or home schools. Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments area below! You can also follow along via social media channels with the hashtag #NGWSD to see how others are taking part in today’s events.