“Bad Girls” in History

In this lesson, students draw inspiration from hip hop’s ever increasing glamorization of “bad” girls to research and analyze a so-called “bad girl” in history. This “bad girl” does not have to be someone who has committed crimes or behaved maliciously, but she should be a woman who has defied social norms and rebelled against stereotypical gender roles to change history.


Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

Historian and author Laurel Thatcher Ulrich said "Well behaved women seldom make history." This comment has since been featured on mugs, greetings cards, bumper stickers, etc. While the misbehaved women she spoke of may differ from the "bad" girls referenced in rap music, one can still draw many parallels between these women. Lead a discussion about these connections with your class.

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Lesson tags: Eighth, History, Music, Ninth, Social Studies, Tenth

Cassie Brown

Cassie Brown Cassie Brown is an award-winning playwright and performer as well as an experienced educator. Cassie currently teaches enrichment classes in magic, model airplane building, and outdoor adventure skills. She has a degree in Early Childhood Development in addition to a Bachelor's in Film Studies with a minor in Education. Cassie honed her understanding of student-centered education while at Sesame Street, where she spent years learning the value of combining entertainment with education.