Lesson Plan: Choice Board - Conversations with Suffragists

Early Suffragists

UCLA History Professor Emeritus Ellen Carol DuBois talks about how the early suffragists developed their ideas and skills.


On August 18, 1920, women won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment. To commemorate this anniversary, the National Archives hosted a conversation with interpreters from American Historical Theatre portraying suffragists. In this lesson, students will hear suffragists Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth and Alice Paul talk about their experiences as activists.


  • SET-UP:

    This lesson offers several options for you to use with your students whether you are teaching in class, using a hybrid model or engaging through distance learning. It can be completed in steps as a class or students can move at their own pace and complete the activities independently.

    You can post links to the videos in the lesson along with the related questions and have students share their responses on a discussion board or learning management system.

    You can also save and share the Google resources so students can review vocabulary terms prior to beginning the lesson, take notes as they view the videos and respond to the accompanying questions.

    In Google, choose "File" then "Make a Copy" to get your own copy. You can make any needed adjustments in the instructions such as how many items students need to complete, when it is due, etc. and then make it available to them via Google.

    Vocabulary: Drag and Drop Activity (Google Slide)

    Note-Taking Chart: Conversations with Suffragists (Google Doc)

    Choice Board: Conversations with Suffragists (Google Slides)


    Ask students to view the following video clip and respond to the accompanying questions.

    VIDEO CLIP 1: Early Suffragists (2:24)

    UCLA History Professor Emeritus Ellen Carol DuBois talks about how the early suffragists developed their ideas and skills.

    • Explain some of the ideas and skills the first generation of suffragists learned as Ellen Dubois explains.

    • How did they learn these strategies and skills?

    The following video clips reflect conversations with suffragist portrayers. Have students view each clip, or select from the collection of videos, and respond to the accompanying questions.

    Video Clip 2: Conversation with Suffragist Susan B. Anthony (7:46)

    • How did Susan B. Anthony become involved in the women's suffrage movement?

    • Explain her position on a woman's right to vote.

    • Describe the arrest of Susan B. Anthony as well as the trial that followed.
  • Video Clip 3: Conversation with Suffragist Sojourner Truth (12:03)

    • Describe Sojourner Truth's childhood and explain how she got her name.

    • Describe her experiences as she traveled around the country delivering her messages.

    • Explain the origin and significance of her speech, "Ain't I a Woman" that she delivered at the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.

    • What is Sojourner Truth's advice for activists today?
  • Video Clip 4: Conversation with Suffragist Alice Paul (15:00)

    • Describe Alice Paul's early life.

    • How did she become involved in the women's movement?

    • How did women finally get the right to vote?

    • Describe Alice Paul's role after women got the right to vote.

    Have students complete one of the two activities listed on the slides and listed below to apply what they have learned in this lesson.

  • Activity #1: Students select one of the suffragists in this lesson and provide the following information:

    • Name of person
    • Why are you interested in this suffragist?
    • Name four facts you learned about her.
    • Provide two things you didn't learn about this person but would lie to know.
  • Activity #2: Students should use their notes as well as responses to the questions and additional reading from the National Park Service if they choose, to plan a reenactment. Students should consider:

    • Who? Which suffragist is the focus? Describe the attendees. Who will be there and how large is the event?

    • What? What event are you reenacting? What will happen?

    • When? Was there a specific date for the event you’re reenacting? What time of day will you need to do your reenactment?

    • Where? Where will this event take place? Describe the location. Why did you choose this place?

    • Why? Why was this event important? Why do you think people should see a live version of this event?

    • How? Will someone need to say something to get it started? Are there special supplies that you’ll need?

    After completing the required number of tasks, students should turn in their completed Google Slides by submitting the URL to you electronically.


  • Abolition
  • Disenfranchise
  • Plantation
  • Quaker
  • Suffragist
  • Temperance


Civil Rights & Civil LibertiesU.S. History


Middle School