This lesson can be taught in 78 class periods.
The focus for grades 3—5 in Women's Suffrage is on change
of attitudes through the passage of time. Students will read background on the fight for women's suffrage and its eventual
success in the United States and around the world.
As a class, discuss women's suffrage in the United States. Why
is it important to vote? Who has the right to vote today? Who
does not have that right? Why would women ever not have the right
to vote? Write on the board any ideas and facts students bring
to the discussion.
Before the class, print copies of the articles available in "History
of Women's Suffrage" to hand to students. Students should
individually read each article, circling the vocabulary words
they find within the articles.
Once students have read and understood the articles, send them
to the computer stations to take the interactive, "Show What
You Know," quiz. Students should print their final page and
turn it in for assessment. If computers are not available, you
can print the quiz and have students return the printout for assessment.
Continue the lesson by directing students to read Effie Hobby's
story on voting in 1920. In their notebooks, encourage students
to write short responses to each "Think About It" question
on the bottom of each section.
When students have completed the "Show What You Know"
quiz and Effie's story, regroup as a class to discuss what they
have read. See Discussion Starters below. Add to the board any
new ideas and facts.
Focus students on why some people wanted women to vote while
others were against the idea and what world events might have
allowed people to change their opinions. Expand the discussion
to women's rights around the world. Do women have the right to
vote in every country?
Hand out printouts of the Voting
Dates Fact Sheet and direct students to the "When Did
Women Vote?" section of the activity. Depending on the availability
of computers, you may have individual students on each computer
or group students according to reading level. If time is a concern,
you can ask half the class to explore the U.S. map while the
other half explores the world map.
With their filled out Voting
Dates Fact Sheet, have students discuss any patterns they
see in the years that different countries and different states
adopted women's suffrage. What can we learn about these patterns
and the changing attitude toward women's rights over time?
Day 7: Extend the Lesson
Using the background information provided in the History of Women's
Suffrage, have each student decide on a famous suffragette to
research further. Doing some Internet research (See Planning the
Lesson: Background Knowledge for some useful Web sites), students
should write a paragraph on their chosen suffragette. Once you
read and approve these paragraphs, have students submit their
nominations to the Women's
Why did women ask for the right to
What were the arguments for and against
allowing women to vote?
When did women start the fight for
What events happened in the United
States and in the world to change public opinion on whether women
should be able to vote?
What kinds of tactics did suffragettes
use to win their fight? Are these tactics all legal? Is it okay
to break the law in order to protest?
Why do women still not have the right
to vote in some countries? Do men have the right to vote in these
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