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Election Day!

[Detail] Election Day!

Lesson Procedure

  • Activity One (1 class period): Primary Source Analysis - Photos
  • Activity Two (1 class period): Primary Source Analysis - Parades, Picketing, and Cartoons
  • Activity Three (1 class period): Primary Source Analysis - Evaluating Broadsides

Activity One

(1 class period): Go to Votes for Women Suffrage Pictures: 1850-1920 and Browse to find a photo of one of the following suffragists:

  • Carrie Chapman Catt
  • Maude Wood Park
  • Anna Howard Shaw
  • Alice Stone Blackwell
  • Alice Paul

Print the photo in a large format.

Work with a partner to complete a Primary Source Analysis Tool for each of your photos. Before the students begin, select questions from the teacher's guide Analyzing Photographs and Prints to focus and prompt analysis. Then answer these additional questions.

  1. What hypotheses can you make about this woman's personality based on her photograph? Why do you think that?
  2. How do you think this woman would try to bring about change in her society? Why do you think that?
  3. If you were undecided in 1915 about the question of women's suffrage, do you think you could be persuaded by this woman to support suffrage? Why or why not?

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Activity Two

Return to Votes for Women - The Struggle for Women's Suffrage. Explore the links to suffrage parades, picketing, and cartoons. Choose and print two images (in a large size) which you think might represent one or more of the characteristics associated with the suffragist you selected in Activity One.

Work with a partner to complete a Primary Source Analysis Tool for each of your selections. Before the students begin, select questions from the teacher's guide Analyzing Photographs and Prints to focus and prompt analysis. Then answer these additional questions:

  1. Why did you match your woman with these particular images?
  2. What methods or strategies for securing suffrage are reflected in these images?
  3. How effective do you think these strategies would be in securing suffrage for women?
  4. If you were undecided in 1915 about the question of women's suffrage, would you find these pickets, parades, or cartoons persuasive? Why or why not?

Activity Three

Individually, go to An American Time Capsule and "Search by Keyword" to find the two broadsides, "Votes for Women" and "Woman Suffrage Co-Equal with Man Suffrage." Students may print these out for easier study.

Read the text of both and answer the following questions.

(Teacher option: some classes might benefit from either a small group or whole class discussion of the broadsides before writing answers to the questions. Another alternative, depending on the level of the students and time available, would be to have students choose either question 1 or 2, and to have all students answer question 3. Answers may be presented to the class, as time permits.)

  1. In your opinion, what are the two most significant arguments offered on each broadside in favor of women's suffrage? Explain why you chose each argument.
  2. Which arguments are common to both broadsides? Which arguments are offered by only one of the sources?
  3. If you were undecided in 1915 about the question of women's suffrage, which arguments would you find persuasive? Why?

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Activity Four

Form a group with three other classmates. Each group member chooses an excerpt from one of the following articles:

  1. Carrie Chapman Catt writes about Alice Paul and the Congressional Union (scroll to pp. 240-48)
  2. Carrie Chapman Catt writes about techniques of the New York State suffrage campaign (scroll to pp.285-86; 295-97)
  3. Carrie Chapman Catt writes about the final suffrage convention (scroll to pp.285-86; 295-97)
  4. Maude Wood Park writes about lobbying techniques (click on image, then enter page number (32) in "Turn to Page" box; read pp. 32-38)

Individually, complete a Primary Source Analysis Tool for your document and then answer the following questions in a discussion paper, using specific examples from the articles and photos you have studied. Be sure to explain how each example supports your analysis.

(Teacher option: students might benefit from discussing the article with other students who have analyzed it. Also, if time permits, students might peer review written responses before submitting their papers for teacher evaluation.)

  1. Have you seen a photo either of the author or someone mentioned in the article? If so, how does the photo exemplify what the author wrote?
  2. Have you seen a photo or illustration of any of the events referred to in the article? If so, does the written record "match" the visual record?
  3. What arguments does the writer offer in favor of suffrage?
  4. What tactics for bringing about change (i.e. getting the vote for women) were discussed in the article?
  5. If you were undecided in 1915 about the question of women's suffrage, would you find these arguments and tactics persuasive? Why or why not?
  6. Does the source reflect any disagreement among the suffragists about their arguments or their tactics? If so, how do they disagree?

Activity Five

Go to One Hundred Years toward Suffrage and read how a historian summarizes the arguments and tactics of the suffrage movement in the years 1910-1920.

Extension

  • Explore the collections Votes for Women - The Struggle for Women's Suffrage and Votes for Women: 1848-1921, to find out more about these women, their arguments, and their strategies;
  • Compare and contrast the American and British suffragist movements;
  • Apply the tactics used by the suffragists to a controversial issue in your community; or
  • Examine a similar social movement (the Progressives, the anti-Viet Nam war movement) in terms of its arguments, tactics, and goals.