Teaching Women’s Suffrage with a Suffragettes Research Activity

Teaching women’s suffrage is a great way to celebrate the 19th Amendment. This activity lets kids research famous suffragettes to learn more.

Teaching women's suffrage? Try this suffragettes research activity.

Ms. Sneed Explores the Women’s Suffrage Movement

Our favorite fourth grade teacher, Ms. Sneed, sat hunched over her laptop. “It’s time for teaching women’s suffrage. I better bone up on the 19th Amendment,” she said to herself.

Surprising Findings

As she read, the teacher’s eyebrows raised. “Wow, who knew?” she murmured. Article after article on History.com challenged her preconceived ideas about women’s suffrage.

  1. The federal government doesn’t decide who gets to vote. Instead, each state determines suffrage.
  2. At the Seneca Falls Convention, eleven resolutions about women’s rights were made. Ten of the eleven passed unanimously. The ninth resolution, on women’s right to vote, only passed narrowly. Many activists remained unconvinced that women should vote – even in 1848.
  3. After the Civil War, the 15th Amendment gave all citizens born in the United States or naturalized the right to vote. Black men were now included; women were not. This caused a bigger push for women’s suffrage – but not for the reason Ms. Sneed expected. Some supported it so that women’s votes would counterbalance the votes of Black men.
  4. In the end, marches and rallies did not gain women the right to vote. Instead, during World War II, more than nine million women signed up to help with the war effort. At home, women filled the jobs of male soldiers fighting overseas. This caused a societal shift, and countries around the world granted suffrage to women.
  5. Fifteen states gave women the right to vote before 1920. Wyoming became the first in 1890, followed by Kansas, Alaska, Illinois, North Dakota, Indiana, Nebraska, Michigan, Arkansas, New York, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.

An Article for Teaching Women’s Suffrage

As she worked, Ms. Sneed typed up a short article for teaching women’s suffrage. “If we want kids to be informed,” she said out loud, “we must first inform teachers.”

When teaching women's suffrage, begin with this one-page article.

Suffragettes Research Project for Kids

“Now, what kind of suffragettes activity will my kids do?” she thought. Naturally, she clicked over to TPT. Before too long, she hit pay dirt: a research project. Perfect!

This suffragettes research project can be short or long depending on how many templates you use. It's great for teaching women's suffrage.

Teaching Women’s Suffrage

During the first week of school, Ms. Sneed began teaching women’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment. Her students watched videos, read articles, and held meaningful discussions.

The following Monday morning, Ms. Sneed introduced the research project. “Each of you will research a different suffragette. When you sign in on Google Classroom, you’ll find all the pages for your project.”

The students quickly opened their Chromebooks and clicked to find out which suffragette they’d be researching. Cries of “I got Susan B. Anthony!” and “Wow! Ida B. Wells” could be heard.

Before too long, the room was silent. Ms. Sneed circulated around the room. Then that famous teacher smile curled the edges of her mouth. She loved it when a plan came together. “Hmm,” she thought to herself, “this suffragettes activity would also be great for Women’s History Month.”

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