Teaching Women's Suffrage (Grades 3-12)

Social Studies; Women's Studies; Government


This collection of resources traces the decades-long fight to win the right to vote for women in the United States. Students will encounter activists including Sojourner Truth, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Grace Abbott, and examine key regional efforts within the movement. Primary source documents offer evidence for a study of the chronology of the campaign for women’s suffrage, from the movement's beginnings through the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

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With nearly 40 videos and 3 lesson plans, the Teaching Women 's Suffrage collection is broken into six subtopics. "Early Women's Rights Activities" allows students to analyze the beginnings of the women's suffrage movement, and the evolution of the movement in the mid-19th century. "The 19th Amendment" explores the politics, competing interests, and discrimination that made the campaign for a Constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote a decades-long struggle. "Advocates and Organizers" examines some of the key activists who contributed to the long campaign to win suffrage. "Regional Movements" investigates regional efforts by activists in Washington state, Wyoming, and Idaho that contributed to the nation-wide campaign for women's suffrage. 

Additional materials and resources include primary sources, teaching tips, student vocabulary, handouts, activities and discussion questions, as well as websites for further research. Lastly, a terrific interactive, She Resisted, is available to review the groundbreaking strategies women used to give rise to the largest expansion of voting rights in American history. In terms of the intended focus for instruction, although this collection does have resources for elementary students, it would be much more effective for middle and high school students.