It’s an appropriate time to think about women’s right to vote and those who fought so that we could exercise this right of citizenship.
With the presidential election looming large in our lives, it’s an appropriate time to think about women’s right to vote and those who fought so that we could exercise this right of citizenship. What books and activities can you involve your students in and what resources should you have on hand to help them appreciate “herstory”?
Launch into a study of the women’s suffrage movement by utilizing outside resource persons. Provide banners and posters outside the library or classroom to get the students excited about the event. Invite two women to the library to play the part of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Provide a script for them to learn (or do readers theater). If possible provide period costumes. Allow time for the students to question the characters.
Students can pick famous or important people from the women’s suffrage movement to research. Students look for facts, amusing anecdotes, quotations, etc., about their person. Remember that even men were involved in the movement (in case you have reluctant boys). The students use this gathered information to create a one-person play or performance piece on their character. They should be knowledgeable enough to be able to answer questions posed by the rest of the class. The students may also create costume and props for their presentation. The students may also create a living timeline by arranging themselves in chronological order with their various character presentations.
Resources to have on hand:
One Woman, One Vote. Produced by Educational Film Center. First broadcast in February 1995, on PBS’s “The American Experience.” Distributed by PBS Video.
Oh, Lizzie! The Life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Faber, Doris.
Ms. Faber based this work on the papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It is an excellent source on this remarkable woman. It is very similar to Jean Fritz’s, You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton?
Radical Red. Duffy, James. This fiction work recounts the adventure of the Irish 12 year old Conner O’Shea and her Ma after being introduced to the women’s suffrage movement by Susan B. Anthony. Da, is upset by the family crises, which these “troublemaker” suffragettes have caused. Conner wears the red signature ribbons of the suffragette movement, which are known as radical red.
Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman? McKissack, Patricia and Frederick. This is a powerful biography about a hard working and brave, former slave who sought to do the Lord’s will and sojourn where He led her to go, spreading His truth. Thus, she became Sojourner Truth. Her powerful speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” at the Women’s Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts, along with the events leading up to it and afterwards are powerful portrayed.