OC teacher’s Sally Ride classroom lesson part of International Women’s Day program

Irvine Unified School District teacher Judy Richonne has created a lesson for students about famed astronaut Sally Ride that’s been added to a national publication to help commemorate International Women’s Day, celebrated on Friday

The lesson crafted by Richonne, a teacher at University High School, is one of 20 focused on prominent women who have been included in “Herstory: Women in American History,” sponsored by National History Day, a nonprofit created to promote the study and appreciation of history among students.

Sally ride in the cockpit of the space shuttleThe 20 classroom-ready activities are available for educators in an online workbook here. These resources, created by teachers, encourage fellow teachers to integrate the story of women into American history. This work features the stories of women from colonial America through recent history, including those who fought for the right to vote. The workbook also includes a forward by Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Richonne’s lesson focuses on Ride, the first American woman to fly on a space shuttle crew. The lesson asks teachers to divide students into small groups. From there, students can work on exercises that include considering the value of space exploration and Ride’s impact on encouraging others into space exploration careers.

“We are proud to share this teacher-driven resource with teachers around the world,” National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn said in a news release. “National History Day appreciates the contributions of our teachers and the various strategies they use to engage students and promote historical thinking skills in the classroom.”