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This unit study includes lessons and activities based on the book America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle by David A. Adler.

Trudy Ederle loved to swim, and she was determined to be the best. At seventeen Trudy won three medals at the 1924 Olympics in Paris. But what she planned to do next had never been done by a woman: She would swim across the English Channel in fourteen hours and set a world record.

Learn all about the fascinating life of Gertrude Ederle, women’s rights, famous women in history and more with our free America’s Champion Swimmer unit study.

America’s Champion Swimmer Unit Study Lessons

Here is a sample of the lessons found in this America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle unit study:

Geography: The English Channel
A channel is a body of water that connects two larger bodies of water. A channel is also a part of a river or harbor that is deep enough to let ships sail through. The English Channel is the part of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic.

An interesting side note about the English Channel– the first woman to fly the English Channel (in 1912– about the same time frame that Trudy swam it) was Harriet Quimby.

Your student may want to research some other famous English Channel crossers!
First crossing by air (hot air balloon) — Jean-Pierre Blanchard
First person to swim the channel– Matthew Webb
First person to cross the channel in a heavier-than-air aircraft– Louis Bleriot

History: Women’s Rights Movement–Women’s Suffrage
Women’s Suffrage (women’s right to vote) was a major movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with suffragists protesting vigorously for many years, demanding equality with men, and the right to vote.

Prominent suffragists include Kate Sheppard, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Emmeline Pankhurst, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and later Alice Paul, and Lucy Burns.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote a Declaration of Sentiments for the first Woman’s Rights Convention, held in Seneca, New York, in 1848. She based the document on Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.

Like Jefferson, Stanton included a list of complaints including the following:
1 . Women had to obey laws created without their input.
2 . Women could not attend college.
3 . Married women were, for all intents and purposes, legally dead.
4 . Women were not allowed to vote.
5 . Women’s self-esteem was ruined due to their treatment at the hands of men.
6 . Women had fewer rights than men with low morals and men who were not citizens.
7. Unmarried women were taxed with no say in how the money was to be spent.
8 . Women could not be ministers, doctors, or lawyers. Women’s work was low-paying.
9 . Women in divorce cases had no say over matters such as who would raise the children.
10 . A married woman had no rights to property or the money she earned.
11 . Men were given complete control over and responsibility for their wives.
12 . Men were unrightfully “playing God” by deciding what was appropriate for women.
13 . Because women could not vote, they could be more easily exploited.
14 . Women were not allowed to hold important positions in the church or the state.
15 . There was a different standard of behavior for men and women.

You can grab a copy of the entire America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle unit study in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

How to Get Started with the America’s Champion Swimmer Unit Study

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle unit study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle, or grab one from your local library.
  2. Print the America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Enjoy a week of book-based learning with your student.

Download Your America’s Champion Swimmer Unit Study

Simply click on the image below to grab the free America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle unit study.

America’s Champion Swimmer Unit Study

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