Florence Nightingale Activities for Kids

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Florence Nightingale was an important social reformer as well as the founder of what we think of today as nursing. This lesson offers activities that help students understand her life and legacy.

Learning About Nightingale

As a teacher of children, you might be interested in finding historical figures who embody some of the personality traits that you hope your students will acquire in life. Florence Nightingale, the social reformer and renowned nurse, can show students the importance of leadership and of caring for others. Her life and legacy can also help students understand that it is possible to accomplish many different things in their lives, and by learning about Nightingale, they will learn about different aspects of world history as well.

The activities in this lesson are designed to help students understand the life and works of Florence Nightingale while taking an active and engaged role in their own learning.

Visual Activities

Many students learn best when they can work visually, using art and images to achieve a greater understanding. This section offers activities designed to appeal to such learners.

Portrait of Nightingale

After students have learned some facts and ideas about Nightingale's life and works, ask them to envision her in action. Have each student draw a portrait of Nightingale doing what they consider her most important work. They should label all the different parts of their portraits, and they can use images from books or the internet to guide their historical accuracy. When everyone is done, bring the different portraits together and see which aspects of Nightingale students chose to emphasize through their portraits.

Quote in a Bubble

Florence Nightingale spoke many important and inspiring quotes, and this graphic organizer activity will help students make sense of them. Break students into small groups, and give each group a Nightingale quote to work with. They should write or glue the quote to the middle of a piece of paper and draw a bubble around it. Then, they should draw lines coming out from the quote. At the end of each line, they should write or draw one idea that the quote inspires in them. They can also write questions they have about the quote and what it means. Bring students together and have each group present their quote and their thinking about it; use their presentations to facilitate a discussion about Nightingale's beliefs.

Verbal Activities

Some students will do their best learning through linguistic pathways such as listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Here, you will find activities best suited to the verbal learners among your students.

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