National Rosie the Riveter Day Writing Prompts to Use This Women’s History Month— It took 70 years, but there is finally a special holiday in place to recognize the contributions of the 16 million women who took over labor jobs on the home front when men had to leave to fight in World War II during the 1940s.
National Rosie the Riveter Day was officially designated as March 21st in 2017 by the Senate and now serves as an annual national day of recognition for the “Rosies” (so-named after the famous “We Can Do It!” Rosie the Riveter poster) who kept the country going at home during the war.
As the “Rosies” are often glossed over in history books, this day of recognition serves as an important reminder of the contributions women have made to our country—and of the incredible things women can achieve when given the chance.
With that in mind, we’ve created 33 National Rosie the Riveter Day journal prompts to help your students learn about this important holiday (and to guide them in thinking about the inequalities and challenges women still face today).
As they reflect on topics like the struggles the “Rosies” endured, the importance of intersectionality in modern feminism, and the current wage gap, students will learn more about key women’s issues that truly affect everyone. And most importantly, they’ll have the opportunity to form their own ideas and opinions on the best ways to move forward as a society.
Use these National Rosie the Riveter Day journal prompts to celebrate this important holiday (and to promote women’s issues all throughout Women’s History Month!). You’ll be amazed by all of the incredible ideas your students come up with.
National Rosie the Riveter Day Writing Prompts for Students
- What do you know about the “real-life Rosies”? Explain why these women played such an important role in American history.
- Why is it important for us to have a day honoring the contributions of the “real-life Rosies”?
- The first National Rosie the Riveter day was held in 2017, 70 years after WWII ended. Why do you think it took so long to recognize these special women?
- How is the role of women changing in today’s political climate? Explain how modern political movements are making a difference in the lives of women.
- Write about a real-life woman you know who is an inspiration to you.
- What does “feminism” mean to you? Define the word and describe your experiences with it.
- Do you consider yourself to be a feminist? Why or why not?
- Do you believe women in our country have equal rights? Why or why not?
- Write about a time when you were treated differently because of your sex. What happened? How did the experience make you feel?
- Intersectionality is often considered to be an essential aspect of modern feminism. Read about intersectionality online, and then explain why it is such an important thing to focus on.
- Think about the adults in your extended family. How many of the women have jobs outside the home? How many of the men have jobs outside the home? How do these examples impact your own goals and ideas of how families and adult men and women should function?
- Why is it important for both women and men to be able to choose whether or not they want to work outside of the home?
- What are some things that can be done to eliminate the wage gap? Describe a few practical, realistic solutions.
- The wage gap is even larger when you contrast the pay of white men with women of color. Consider your solutions from the previous question and modify them to focus on the challenges that minority women face.
- Do you think men and women are different in any non-physical ways? Why or why not?
- Imagine that you lived during WWII and had to work as one of the “real-life Rosies.” What do you think the hardest part would be? Why?
- How do you think the roles of women in society will change in the next 30 years? The next 100?
- What do you think the greatest challenge that women face today is?
- List three famous women whom you admire (past or present) and explain what you find admirable about each one.
- Write about an aspect of feminist philosophy that also has real benefits for men.
- Why is it important for us to have specific holidays like National Rosie the Riveter Day that focus on the achievements of women?
- Write about an aspect of modern culture that limits what women can do. Explain how it could be changed.
- Do you feel like people in your life expect anything from you because of your sex? Why or why not?
- Write about another woman or group of women who are often ignored by history and deserve a day of recognition as well.
- What is one thing you can do to honor the legacy of the “real-life Rosies”?
- How will you celebrate National Rosie the Riveter Day and Women’s History Month this year?
- Write about a time when someone surprised you by saying that girls or boys could or couldn’t do something because of their sex.
- Why do you think that we, as a society, are so quick to separate and differentiate boys and girls from one another?
- Write about one thing you can do to promote equality for all people.
- Write about a few glass ceilings that women have yet to crack. Which one would you most like to see broken? Why?
- How would our country be different if we had a matriarchal society rather than a patriarchal one? Reimagine the world through this lens.
- ‘A lack of equality harms everyone.’ — Do you agree or disagree? Why?
- What is the greatest hope you have for our world in regard to women and feminism? Explain what would need to happen in order for this change to occur.
Related Resources & Links
- 50 Women’s History Month Questions and Prompts
- 35 Journal Prompts to Celebrate Women’s Equality Day
- Celebrating Amazing Women in (Motor) History
Who was Rosie The Riveter and why did she become such an icon for women, equal rights, and the labor movement ?
Rosie is a woman who became an iconic figure for women’s rights and labor movements in the 1940s. She was such an important symbol because she represented the idea that women were taking over traditionally male-dominated jobs during wartime, an act that was seen as being revolutionary.
As the U.S. entered World War II, women were encouraged to take jobs that had been traditionally reserved for men in order to aid the war-effort and create more jobs for them after the war ended.
When Rosie first began making waves in 1943, she was a symbol of resistance against gender barriers and female oppression during wartime, which helped her become a powerful icon among feminists and labor activists .She was such an important symbol because she represented the idea that women were taking over traditionally male-dominated jobs during wartime.
During World War II, millions of women entered the workforce to aid in the war effort. It wasn’t just Rosie The Riveter who took on these jobs that were traditionally reserved for men; it was her friends and family members as well. Women were needed in factories, on the home front and in the military.
The women who enlisted as soldiers during World War II did so with very little fanfare. The women did not want to be seen as heroines. They simply wanted to do their part for the war effort and give their lives in service of their country.
How Many Rosie Were There?
Many tributes and homages have been paid to Rosie over the years, and there have been multiple iterations of the iconic image. Tributes to Rosie The Riveter in popular culture include:
- During the “Rosie era” there was a brief time when a “Wendy the Welder” character was circulated based on a worker at a California-based shipyard.
- “Josephine the Plumber” was a 1960s character in a series of TV commercials for Comet cleansing powder.
- Pop singer Pink appeared in a music video for Raise Your Glass as a Rosie character/tribute.
- Beyoncé also dressed as a We Can Do It!-style Rosie in 2014.
- The popular video game BioShock features a character named Rosie who carries a rivet gun.
- DC Comics’ Green Lantern series featured a character called Rosie The Riveter, who carries a rivet gun as a weapon.
- A short 2017 book, The Women Behind Rosie the Riveter: Working for the U.S. War Effort, chronicles the Rosie movement for young readers.
Ok, that’s all for today.
Until next time, write on…
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