Different Perspectives on Women's Suffrage
Students conduct research to make claims – supported by evidence – about the impact of individual events on public opinion about women's rights and roles in society.
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- Current Events
- Women's Rights
(Note: For more support, see expanded procedure in downloadable lesson plan.)
- In advance, review the sample worksheet at the end of the instruction download. You may wish to distribute it to your students, as well.
- Define “perspective” as a class.
- Distribute the Perspectives on Women’s Suffrage worksheet.
- Students select an event they believe impacted perception of the women’s suffrage movement and complete Part I of the worksheet.
- In class or for homework, students then conduct research to back their claim. They document their findings in Part II of the worksheet.
- Remind students that if they find information that weakens their claim, they should not ignore it, but instead adjust their position.
- Perspectives on Women’s Suffrage worksheet (download), one per student
- Internet access
WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE TIMELINE
WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE TIMELINE
Students present their claims and, as a class, make a master list of events. Lead an analysis of their findings. Possible prompts:
- Which events had pro-suffrage impacts? Which events had anti-suffrage impacts? What are the similarities and differences between the events that encouraged a pro-suffrage perspective and those that encouraged an anti- suffrage perspective?
- What events had the greatest impact on perspectives, shifting people toward or away from support for woman suffrage? What common characteristics do these large-impact events share?
- What types of evidence did you find to show a change in perspective? Was it quantitative? Qualitative? A mix of both? Which evidence do you think is the most compelling and why?
- How do individuals today view the issue of women’s rights? How have perspectives evolved since the time of the women’s suffrage movement? How have they stayed the same?
- Why is it important to understand the impact of historical events on shaping public opinion?
Discuss the idea that perspectives are constantly evolving, and a change in a perspective on one issue that is then expressed by some of the means above can often trigger changes in other perspectives, creating an ongoing domino effect.
- Controversial Issues Today: Have students select a controversial social issue that is of interest to them. Students research the various perspectives on their issue and write short summaries of the perspective of those against the issue and those who support the issue. These summaries should include explanations of the arguments/ reasons each side cites to support their views. Then, students make a claim about an event/achievement/publication/etc. that they think could change public opinion/perspectives on this issue. They should explain their idea in detail, including how and why their idea would create this change.
- Historical Figures Weigh In: Students select a key person from the women’s suffrage movement and write a short essay about how they believe that person would feel about a contemporary controversial issue. For example, what would be Susan B. Anthony’s perspective on women in combat roles? What would Alice Paul think about gay marriage? Students should use research about the individual and the issue to make specific arguments in support of their claim.
Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.1Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.2Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
National Center for History in the Schools: NCHS.Historical Thinking.5A. Identify issues and problems in the past. B. Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances. C. Identify relevant historical antecedents. D. Evaluate alternative courses of action. E. Formulate a position or course of action on an issue. F. Evaluate the implementation of a decision.
Center for Civic Education: CCE.VA. What is citizenship? B. What are the rights of citizens? C. What are the responsibilities of citizens? D. What civic dispositions or traits of private and public character are important to the preservation and improvement of American constitutional democracy? E. How can citizens take part in civic life?
NCSS Curriculum Standards: NCSS 1Learners will understand how human beings create, learn, share and adapt to culture.
NCSS Curriculum Standards: NCSS 2Learners examine the institutions, values and beliefs of people in the past, acquire skills in historical inquiry and interpretation, and gain an understanding of how important historical events and developments have shaped the modern world.
NCSS Curriculum Standards: NCSS 5Students know how institutions are formed, maintained and changed, and understand how they influence individuals, groups and other institutions.
NCSS Curriculum Standards: NCSS 6Learners will develop an understanding of the principles, processes, structures and institutions of government, and examine how power and authority are or have been obtained in various systems of government.
NCSS Curriculum Standards: NCSS 10Learning how to apply civic ideals to inform civic action is essential to participation in a democracy and support for the common good.