In 1920, the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution was ratified giving women the right to vote. This lesson looks at the historical context of women's suffrage, tactics used in the movement and different perspectives of the suffrage movement.
Have the students answer the following question at the start of class.
Before beginning the class, have the students either define or review the following vocabulary words before beginning the lesson.
Review the amendment process or have the students view the Bell Ringer: The Process of Amending the Constitution.
Have the students view the following videos and answer the questions associated with each. Teachers may opt to use the Women's Suffrage Handout to aid students. Review each of the questions before continuing with the lesson.
Video Clip: Woman's Suffrage and the 19th Amendment (1:57)
Video Clip: Women's Rights before Suffrage (5:20)
Video Clip: Women's Suffrage before the 19th Amendment (2:36)
Video Clip: American and British Suffrage Movements (3:48)
Video Clip: African-Americans and the Women's Suffrage Movement (3:41)
Video Clip: The National Woman's Party and Alice Paul (2:28)
Video Clip: Women's Suffrage and the March on Washington (3:23)
Video Clip: National Woman's Party and Lobbying (2:06)
Video Clip: The Passage of the 19th Amendment and the Equal Rights Amendment (1:17)
Based on the videos from the lesson, have the students either discuss or provide a written response to the following prompt.
Describe the obstacles that women faced and the tactics that women used to secure the right to vote. Evaluate the effectiveness of these tactics.
Letter-to-a-Congressman- From the perspective of a suffragist in the early 1900s, write a letter to a member of Congress or a state legislature arguing for women's suffrage.
Equal Rights Amendment- Research the Equal Rights Amendment. Analyze arguments for and against the ERA. Argue whether or not it should be added to the US Constitution.
Additional Writing Prompts-
This lesson explores the expansion of voting rights in the United States through different Constitutional amendments and laws.
Historian Elisabeth Griffith discusses the legacy of the 19th amendment and the history of women in American politics.
The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees American women the right to vote, was ratified on August 18, 1920. After passing through Congress in June, 1919, Tennessee became the final state needed to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920.