Declaration of Sentiments Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

When the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776, it seemed that women were not guaranteed the same rights as men. In this lesson, students will learn about the Declaration of Sentiments, a document written in 1848 that started the Women's Rights Movement.

Learning Objectives

By the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the purpose of the Declaration of Sentiments
  • create a graphic organizer identifying grievances addressed in the Declaration of Sentiments


55-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.


Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.



  • Begin by introducing the lesson.
    • Read the description paragraph at the beginning of the lesson and discuss.
    • Ask students to share what they might already know about the Women's Rights Movement.
  • Read the first section of the lesson, ''What is the Declaration of Sentiments?'' Discuss:
    • What important document was written in 1776?
    • What was the purpose of the Declaration of Independence?
    • Did you notice anything interesting about that first line from the Declaration of Independence?
    • Why do you think some women had problems with the way this line was worded?
    • What was the purpose of the Women's Rights movement?
  • Next, read the section ''Where was the Declaration of Sentiments Written?'' Discuss:
    • During what convention was the Declaration of Sentiments signed?
    • Who were some of the women that signed the document?
    • Was it only women who signed?
  • Continue by reading ''What Did the Declaration of Sentiments Say?'' Discuss:
    • How was the Declaration of Sentiments similar to the Declaration of Independence?
    • What did the Declaration of Sentiments add to that famous line from the Declaration of Independence? Why?
    • What were some of the grievances listed in the Declaration of Sentiments?
    • Why do you think these were included in the document?
    • How is life for women different today as compared to 1848?
  • Read the next section, ''What Happened Next?'' Discuss:
    • What happened to the original copy of the Declaration of Sentiments?
    • Did the Declaration of Sentiments give women the right to vote?
    • When did women finally get voting rights?
  • Conclude the lesson by reading the ''Lesson Summary.''
    • Address any questions that students might have.
    • Allow for brief discussion if there is any.
  • To check for understanding administer the quiz.
  • Check answers together as a class.

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