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Women Get the Vote!

Study voting rights then have students create a "Wanted" poster focusing on a famous suffragist.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Students research the history and development of voting rights in the United States. Conduct a class discussion about the contradictions between reality and democratic ideals. Why are voting rights so important? Identify prominent suffragists. Have students choose one suffragist in the fight to gain women the vote. Have them explore her life in more detail, and find more information about her role in the women's voting rights movement.
    2. To make a poster about this suffragist, use a ruler and Crayola® Washable Markers to block areas on poster board for a title, portrait, and profile. Create an eye-catching title in bold marker, such as "WANTED" (above the portrait) and "THE RIGHT TO VOTE" (at the bottom).
    3. Use Crayola Colored Pencils to draw the suffragist, referring to resources to make the portrait as realistic as possible. Add color to hair, complexions, clothing, and backgrounds in your own style.
    4. Use Crayola Fine Tip Markers to add information about the suffragist, including her contributions to the suffrage movement. Outline parts of your drawing and add details with the markers.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Explain actions citizens can take to influence public policy decisions.

    SS: Explain how public policies and citizen behaviors may or may not reflect the stated ideals of a democratic republican form of government.

    SS: Recognize and interpret how the "common good" can be strengthened through various forms of citizen action.

    SS: Explain the purpose of government.

    SS: Recognize and give examples of the tensions between the wants and needs of individuals and groups, and concepts such as fairness, equity, and justice.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote (Melanie Kroupa Books) by Linda Arms White; Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President by Ann Malaspina; Created Equal: Women Campaign for the Right to Vote 1840 - 1920 (Crossroads America) by Ann Rossi; Women's Suffrage: Giving the Right to Vote to All Americans by Jennifer Macbain-Stephens.

    Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820. Invite students to organize a Women's Rights Luncheon on that day. Students dress like and portray suffragists, wearing name tags so they can address each other in character. Discuss family lives of the era, educational background of the suffragists, etc. during the luncheon, as well as the steps taken to eventually obtain the right to vote.

    Students sketch a map of the United States. On that map, students locate where suffragists lives and worked. Name the suffragists from each area. Are there any patterns that emerge?

    Encourage students to organize mock interviews of suffragists. Students role play reporters and suffragists. After the presentation of the interviews, students write news articles reflecting the interviews.

    An editorial is a newspaper article written by or for an editor that provides an opinion on a topical issue. Encourage students to write an editorial for a fictitious newspaper either in favor of or against women voting. Post student editorials in the classroom for viewing.

    The proposed (19th) Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of state." This resolution passed Congress in June of 1919. When was this amendment ratified? What is the ratification process for a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution? How does one propose an amendment? What does Congress have to do with the process? How about the President? The Supreme Court?


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