Women’s Suffrage

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The lesson introduces students to women’s suffrage, the fight for women’s right to vote in the United States.  Key leaders of the movement and important events are summarized, as well as an introduction to the 19th amendment.  Most students are unaware that at one time in history, women were not permitted to vote, and had less rights than men.  They were treated like second-class citizens.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with a Susan B. Anthony lesson.

Women’s Suffrage Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Women’s Suffrage
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

Students may have heard the phrase women’s suffrage recently in relation to the #metoo movement, but they likely do not know the history behind the phrase. In this lesson, students will be introduced to the fight for women’s right to vote in the United States, including key leaders of the movement and other important events. The lesson also includes an introduction to the 19th amendment.  Students may be aware that women were not always treated as equal to men, but they may not understand the extent of this inequality or how relatively recently this issue was addressed.  The lesson provides activities and opportunities for discussion to give the students a real life example of how inequality feels.  The lesson will be most effective when used in conjunction with a Susan B. Anthony lesson.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Create a list of two or three items (ice cream flavors, colors, etc.). Distribute a “ballot” to each boy only, and tell them to write down their favorite off the list.  Tell girls they are not permitted to vote.  Ignore their pleas, and tell them it is the rule; only boys can vote.
  2. Collect the completed “ballots”. Ask the boys:  Did you feel special or better than the girls because you could vote?  Ask the girls:  What did it feel like not being permitted to vote?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Tell students that at one time in America, women were not permitted to vote in any election, national, state, or local.  Introduce Women’s Suffrage.
  4. Distribute Women’s Suffrage content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Distribute supplies.  Encourage creativity, use of dictionary, thesaurus.  Circulate through the room approving final poster drafts.
  6. Once the posters and letters are completed, assign students a few moments each to read aloud the letter and display their posters, explaining the meaning of the poster if necessary.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  9. In closing, ask: Today, men and women now have equal voting rights.  Do you believe there are other rights that are not equal between men and women? 
  10. Allow for responses and discussion.

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.10

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources: 

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Social Studies