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Gertrude Ederle: First Woman to Swim the English Channel

Portrait of Gertrude Ederle by artist Amelie Chabannes.

Grade Level Grades 6-12
Resource Type Activity, Handout

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Learn about record-breaking swimmer Gertrude Ederle who rocketed to international stardom in 1926 at the age of 20, as the first woman to swim across the English Channel in this video from the Unladylike2020 series. Considered one of the toughest endurance tests in the world, Ederle battled 21 miles of frigid water and treacherous tides between France and England to emerge on the other side of the channel. She beat the fastest man's existing record by two hours -- the first time in sports history that a woman had completed an event in a faster time than a man. Dubbed “Queen of the Waves” and “America’s Best Girl,” Ederle's accomplishment helped to demonstrate that women could be great athletes and challenged conventional wisdom about women as the so-called "weaker sex." Support materials include discussion questions, tips for research projects on female athletes, and primary source analysis. 

Sensitive: This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students. Teachers should exercise discretion in evaluating whether this resource is suitable for their class.

UNLADYLIKE2020 is a production of Unladylike Productions in association with THIRTEEN’s American Masters. UNLADYLIKE2020's collection of educational resources was created by The WNET Group’s Kids Media & Education Department with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

More information and resources available at: https://unladylike2020.com/ and https://ny.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/unladylike2020/

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Files

Gertrude Ederle Lesson Plan.pdf

Activity
June 28, 2021
1.3 MB
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Gertrude Ederle Handout.pdf

Handout
June 28, 2021
0.4 MB
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Gertrude Ederle puede ser Aquabelle_Artículo.docx

Handout
March 16, 2022
1.3 MB
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Copy of Gertrude Ederle_Recursos Educativos.docx

Activity
March 16, 2022
1.3 MB
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Videos
The First Woman to Swim Across the English Channel | Unladylike2020 | American Masters | PBS
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