After decades of protests and legal battles, the US Congress ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution on August 18, 1920, which granted women the right to vote. Yes? But, wait, there’s more to the story than that! Prior to 1920, some women in the US could already vote and after 1920 some women could still not vote.
There are two videos to choose from to learn about the women’s suffrage movement in the United States.
The first one is better for younger kids, the second one will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or both!
You may see a number of other videos that are a deeper dive into things you might be interested in. Feel free to watch as many of those as you like. Then choose some activities and/or a project.
High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with the advanced learning project in the Projects section.
Women’s Suffrage: Crash Course History
The Women’s Suffrage March on Washington
What You Need to Know About Women’s Suffrage
The Heroes of the Suffrage Movement, a virtual play based on the book Finish the Fight. Watch this unique performance showcasing the unsung heroes of the women’s suffrage movement and a discussion with the creators.
The 19th Amendment: A Woman’s Right to Vote?
You will also need one die, and a token for each player.
Play the game with a friend or family member. You could even share the board game on screen and use an online dice roller to play with someone remotely.
Watch the above videos on the process for amending the constitution in the USA.
For this activity, you will need a piece of paper and pencil (coloured pencils or markers optional).
Divide your paper into three sections. Label each section with the following:
Now, add arrows and labels to capture the process of a constitutional amendment in the US. See if you can include specifics like “2/3 of the vote in Congress” or “ratified by 3/4 of the states”. You may want to rewatch the videos to help remind you of the process.
Why do you think this process requires such a high level of support at both federal and state levels of government?
Save your diagram to your portfolio.
Explore the PBS American Experience interactive tool on The Vote. Be sure to click on the Suffrage Map and the Menu to learn about examples of the different strategies employed by the suffrage movement in their effort to gain the vote for women in the US.
If you have access to PBS, you may also choose to watch the two part documentary, The Vote*.
Create a poster highlighting these methods. Start by choosing an important person in the history of women’s suffrage in the US. Draw or print out a picture to be the centre of your poster. Now, create bubbles surrounding this picture labelling the many methods of the movement.
Do you think any of these methods were more impactful than another? Were any acts of civil disobedience particularly important in creating momentum for the movement? If the women’s suffrage movement was happening today, what other methods might they employ now?
Save your poster to your portfolio.
*Note: this video may require a membership or signup, and may not be available in all countries.
While 1920 was a historic year in women’s suffrage in the United States of America, not all women in the USA gained the right to vote that year. Explore this US Women’s Suffrage Timeline 1648 to 2016.
Pull out the dates that you think are most significant in the suffrage movement. Go beyond 1920: When did indigenous women gain the right to vote? What about Chinese immigrants? How did poll taxes impact voters?
Create a multimedia timeline that captures these important moments. You can use Google Sides to create a digital timeline.
Include video clips and images of significant people and events. To embed a video in Google Slides, you can go to the Insert menu and select Video.
Although voting is a constitutional right in the USA for all citizens over 18, what are some barriers that still exist that disproportionately discourage or exclude people from voting? Check out this article from the BBC to learn about modern voter suppression.
Include your timeline in your portfolio.
Click on a book to buy it from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library.