Collection: Photographs and articles from the Northern Illinois
University yearbook, the Norther and photographs
and articles from the Northern Illinois monthly
newspaper, the Northern.
Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy. RH9-10.3
Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events
caused later ones or simply preceded them.
Objective: The students will be able to create a chronological narrative of women’s experiences as
students at Northern Illinois University through the first two decades of the twentieth
century. The students will determine which events caused changes in the narrative.
The students will consider whether civil rights legislation would have made a difference in
Time Frame: This lesson will take 1-2 days.
Essential Question: Has the passage of Title IX made a difference for female students?
Set Induction: The students will read Title IX and put it into their own words. The vocabulary words that
follow will assist them in their understanding.
Download Lesson Plan
Work Sheet Link
Documents and Images
Northern Illinois University was chartered in 1895 as a normal school, a school to train teachers for the northern region of the state. Of the 173 students who attended Northern in 1899, 146 of them were women. The women of NIU had a basketball program when the school began and it grew over time to become one of the premier women’s basketball programs in the nation. This did not occur without some serious administrative challenges along the way. The texts and images in this lesson plan highlight the team’s administrative challenges and changing circumstances over time at the university during the first two decades of its founding.
The students will divide into three groups. Each group will be given a distinct group of documents.
Group A: 1900, 1901
Group B: 1904, 1905, 1906
Group C: 1912, 1914
Group D: 1917, 1922
Step 1: The students will work together to analyze their documents with a document analysis work sheet to
Step 2: The groups will compose and present a general declaration regarding the state of women’s basketball
at Northern Illinois University during the time period of their documents and based on the evidence
their documents presented.
Step 3: The students will view photographic images of the women’s basketball teams of Northern Illinois
University and compare the years with their document summaries.
Step 4: Based upon the summaries and the images, the students will compose a visual and textual timeline
for Northern Illinois Women’s basketball from 1900- 1922. If the students have computers available
the students can use the photo images for their timelines.
Step 1: In their respective groups, the students will view the Northern Illinois University men’s and women’s
basketball schedules for 1905, 1906, 1912, 1914, 1917, and 1922
Step 2: The students will go to their timelines and note the data of the compared schedules, taking care to
include the number and locations of games played.
Step 3: The students will write a three paragraph essay which argues the question of whether Title IX would
have changed the events that influenced the NIU women’s 1900 - 1923 basketball team.
The students will participate in a group discussion about Title IX and the changes that it brought about for women and girls in sports education.