Women's Suffrage Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

What do your students know about women's suffrage? This lesson plan includes a text lesson that includes definitions, facts, and a timeline, an activity to give students context, and a game to help them remember details.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'right' and explain what gives someone the right to vote
  • explain why women didn't have voting rights and how they won them
  • order events of women's suffrage correctly


1 hour

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.1

Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2

Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3

Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Key Vocabulary

  • Suffrage
  • Women's Suffrage Movement
  • Abolitionists
  • Seneca Falls, New York
  • National American Women Suffrage Association

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Show students the candy and ask them to discuss with a partner which kinds are their favorites. Have them explain why and describe what they like about them.
  • Now allow students to sample each candy and vote for a favorite. Give the girls the red slips of paper and the boys the yellow.
  • Tell students that you're only going to count the boys' votes and declare this candy the winner. How does the class feel? What if you only counted the girls' votes?
  • Discuss:
    • Should our opinions be ignored because of our gender? Why or why not?
  • Collect votes and tally together and compare/contrast the results if only boys or girls voted. Do they have the same opinions?
  • Tally total votes and declare a class candy favorite.

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