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Rural school near Milton, North Dakota, 1913

[Detail] Rural school near Milton, North Dakota, 1913

Lesson Overview

Ever wonder what women were doing during the 1800s or what is known as the antebellum period of United States history? Men are well represented in history books as they were the powerful, educated leaders of the country. Women, on the other hand, rarely had opportunities to tell their stories.

Powerful stories of brave women who helped shape the history of the United States are revealed to students through journals, letters, narratives and other primary sources. Synthesizing information from the various sources, students write their impressions of women in the Northeast, Southeast, or the West during the nineteenth century.


Students will be able to:

  • draw conclusions by analyzing primary source materials;
  • write a persuasive letter.


Time Required

  • One to two weeks

Recommended Grade Level

  • 6-8
  • 9-12


  • Women's History
  • City & Regional History


  • Progressive Era to New Era, 1900-1929
  • Rise of Industrial America, 1876-1900


Karen Josten & Mary Pat Phillips