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Celebrating the Nineteenth Amendment and Women's Suffrage: A Website Toolkit.

Many years of struggle, protest, and civil disobedience culminated in a life-changing resolution granting women the right to vote. Passed by the U.S. Congress on June 4, 1919, the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution marked a milestone in women's history. To commemorate the centennial of this event, school librarians and other educators will be exploring the history and impact of female suffrage.

The following toolkit provides key documents, resources, and activities useful in creating your own local celebration of this historic event.


From legal documents and promotional materials to historic photographs, a wide range of primary source documents can help students explore the story of women's suffrage.

Our Documents <> is a website featuring 100 milestone documents housed at the National Archives. In addition to reading the original joint resolution document, the page provides an explanation of the 19th amendment.

The Teaching with Documents area of the National Archives contains educational resources focused on Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment <https://bit. ly/2FNmVZu>. This project contains background information along with lessons associated with nine key documents published between 1868 and 1920.

The Constitution Center's Women's Right to Vote <> page explores topics related to the 19th Amendment and provides a common interpretation and matters for debate. Use it to discuss the connection between the 14th and 19th amendments.

The Digital Public Library of America's Women's Suffrage: Campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment <https://> contains a primary source set, additional resources, and a teaching guide.

The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History contains more than 100 digital items related to women's suffrage, including dozens of Woman Suffrage Postcards <https://s.>. Ask youth to select one of these postcards and think about how postcards might have been used to promote the cause of women's suffrage.

The Woman Suffrage Memorabilia <https://bit. ly/2sF8LEi> website provides access to digitized artifacts such as buttons, postcards, ribbons, and other materials associated with the movement. Use these items to jumpstart an inquiry into the use and purpose of such items in promoting the suffrage cause.

Many newspapers, brochures, and other documents related to the suffrage movement are available through Internet Archive <>. For instance, the Suffragist <> was the weekly newspaper of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage. Involve students in examining one issue and sharing how the newspaper was used to bolster support for the movement.

Discovering American Women's History Online <> provides links to nearly 40 digital collections on women's history and specifically suffrage. Use this resource to curate a set of materials that best fit the specific needs of students and the curriculum.


The Library of Congress houses a wide range of digitized documents and other resources connected to the 19th Amendment and women's suffrage. For instance, a 1917 photo from the photo collection shows the Silent Sentinels <> picketing outside the White House in Washington, DC. Organized by Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party, the suffragists protested peacefully 6 days a week between January 1917 and June 1919 when the 19th Amendment was passed. Each photo has a story to tell. Use these images to talk with students about the commitment it would take to stage this type of quiet protest.

The 19th Amendment <https://> web guide provides a master list of internal and external primary source documents related to the amendment. These resources provide a larger context for a discussion of women's suffrage.

The Votes for Women: The Struggle for Women's Suffrage <https://> project includes selected images across digital collections, including portraits, cartoons, ephemera, and more. For instance, Three Suffragists <> is a photo that would be useful in a class discussion. What were these women thinking as they cast their first vote?

Several web pages at the Library of Congress include focused materials related to a subtopic or time period. The Pictorial Americana: Women's Rights <> collection contains just nine images. Each visual reflects a different aspect of the history. Women's Suffrage in the Progressive Era <https://bit. ly/17xfvqj> explores seven documents connected with the period between 1900 and 1929. The American Women <> section contains four articles related to women's suffrage. Finally, One Hundred Years toward Suffrage <https://> is a useful timeline of key events.

One approach to exploring woman's history is through the associations that worked tirelessly for suffrage. Of particular note is the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). The Library of Congress NAWSA Collection <https://> contains nearly 2,000 digital items related to this organization. An example is a collection of poetry titled Are Women People? A Book of Rhymes for Suffrage Times <> by Alice Duer Miller (1915), published in the New York Times. A majority of the documents are from the library of Carrie Chapman Catt, who was the president of the NAWSA from 1900 to 1904. Officers in the organization included well-known names like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.


Seek out historic sites and museums for resources connected with specific people, events, and locations associated with women's history. The National Park Services' Women's History <> website introduces users to key locations around the United States. A List of Historic Sites <> provides other starting points for exploration.

The Women's Rights National Historical Park <https://bit. ly/2bUR8rZ> shares the story of the first Women's Rights Convention. Held in Seneca Falls, New York, on July 1920, 1848, the event is memorialized in the Declaration of Sentiments that laid the foundation for the women's movement in America. The park's website contains a transcription of the document and information about many of the 68 women who signed this document.

The National Women's History Museum (NWHM) <https://bit. ly/2fP950n> website contains exhibits, articles, and resources related to women's history, along with a student and educator section providing teaching and learning materials. The Crusade for the Vote <https://> website within the NWHM specifically explores the suffrage movement. This resource includes the history of women's suffrage, educational materials, primary sources, and a useful timeline.


One way to help students understand the importance of the women's movement is to get to know the people who participated. Remind students that although there are many well-known leaders, there were also thousands of individuals across America who had an impact on the movement.

The individuals who campaigned for the right to vote were referred to as suffragists or suffragettes. A National Park Service Did You Know? <https://> article provides a useful description of the terms.

The National Women's Hall of Fame <> features many influential women involved with the suffrage movement. Conduct a search within the inductee list for suffrage to view biographies of dozens of women.

Many universities have created digital collections on well-known suffragettes such as the Susan B. Anthony Digital Collection <https://> and the Alice Paul Digital Collection <https://bit. ly/2FW8a9i> at Harvard.

Beyond the big names in suffrage history, consider spotlighting lesser-known individuals who made an impact. The Suffragist Spotlight <> contains dozens of both well-known and lesser-known figures to get you started.


Prior to 1920, supporters of voting rights for women worked toward passing suffrage acts in each state. Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho were the four stars on the woman suffrage flag in 1896. Nine western states had adopted legislation by 1912. However, things really got rolling when New York adopted women's suffrage in 1917. Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920.

Involve students in examining the history of women's suffrage in a specific state. Then ask them to compare their state with a peer's inquiry. Why were some states early adopters? What were the key issues? Who was involved in the push for suffrage?

A search for a state name and the terms "woman suffrage" or "19th Amendment" will return resources in every state. Seek out government, museum, nonprofit, or library resources.

Below are a few examples:

California <>

Connecticut <>

Iowa <>

Kansas <>

Montana <>

Virginia <>

Texas <>

Washington <>

Wisconsin <>

Wyoming <>

For more ideas, go to the National Park Service's 19th Amendment by State <> page.


Some students will be particularly interested on subtopics within the larger area of women's suffrage. For instance, much of the literature on the women's suffrage movement focuses on the role of Caucasian women. Native American, African American, Asian American, Jewish American, and other categories of women each had their own struggles leading to universal suffrage. Involve youth in focusing in on a particular group of women.

The essay Between Two Worlds <> explores the challenges black women faced in their struggle for suffrage. Look for images such as Nine Afro-American Women <> at the Library of Congress. Seek out biographies focusing on African American activists such as Mary Eliza Church Terrell <https://bit. ly/2DoEguB>, who helped to found the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) <https://bit. ly/2FGLFWD>. The Black Suffragette <> website provides a nice overview of key topics.

Although the Iroquois women of the Six Nations and other Native American peoples had a long tradition of female leadership, these women faced huge challenges in their quest to vote in United States elections. It wasn't until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 <> that native peoples born in the United States were eligible to vote. Until 1962, some states continued to bar Native Americans from voting. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 <> eliminated remaining exclusionary practices. However, discriminatory practices still exist today. The Getting the Vote <https://> essay provides a useful essay on this topic.

Involve youth in selecting a subset of women and examine their suffrage challenges.


The Women's Suffrage and the Media <> website serves as a multimedia resource for educators and scholars to learn about the connections between journalism and the suffrage movement.


Not everyone supported women's suffrage. The National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage (NAOWS) <> is an example. Use the NAOWS page to start a discussion about those who opposed women's right to vote and their reasoning.


Beyond U.S. history, explore the impact of activism worldwide. The Women Suffrage and Beyond <https://bit. ly/2RENidH> project is housed in Canada. It contains informational and educational materials on suffrage movements around the globe.


In addition to background information and primary source documents, also look for online sources to help classroom teachers develop effective curriculum materials and lessons associated with women's suffrage. For instance, Khan Academy's The Nineteenth Amendment <https://bit. ly/2PDeKXt> provides an easy to print review of the key topics.

A number of curriculum-related materials are available through the Library of Congress. The Primary Source Sets: Women's Suffrage <> page contains a teacher's guide, a student discovery set, an analysis tool, and primary sources. The Classroom Connections: Votes for Women <https://> project provides suggestions for using primary sources in teaching and learning. Other lesson plans include:

Nineteenth Century Women <>

Suffrage Strategies <https://bit. ly/2HsuTMq>

Suffragists and Their Tactics <>

Women's Suffrage: Their Rights and Nothing Less <https://bit. ly/2sC4X70>

Use the newspapers available in Chronicling America <https://bit. ly/2vLFqqZ> to explore current events during the suffrage movement.

Many government agencies, including the Library of Congress, have come together to promote materials for Women's History Month <https://>. This website contains exhibits, collections, audio and video, images, and teaching materials. Search within this website for materials specifically focused on a woman's right to vote.

The Newseum's Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less <https://> collection provides educational materials including interactives and lesson plans for middle and high school students.

For those working with younger children, Scholastic's Women's Suffrage Teaching Guide <https://bit. ly/2Duj8Br> includes lessons, activities, and a reproducible. A Teacher's Activity Guide <https://bit. ly/lDJw3Hk> is also available.

While the teaching resources span 1600-2000, the Women and Social Movements in the United States <> materials provide useful ideas for document-based questions and teaching strategies.

The Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics <https://bit. ly/2RGvOFj> features a lesson model on women's suffrage including discussion questions, activities, and resources. The focus is the changing role of women.

The Stanford History Education Group <> provides background information, a lesson plan, original documents, and a PowerPoint presentation focusing on woman suffrage. The emphasis is on reading and thinking like a historian.

The Teaching History <https://bit. ly/2R84FhR> website is known for its high-quality teaching materials that emphasize historical thinking. They've produced a series of lessons focusing on different types of primary source materials:

Women's Suffrage: Burroughs's Article <>

Women's Suffrage: Jane Addam's Article <>

Women's Suffrage Cartoon <>

Women's Suffrage Photographs <>

In addition to resources and primary sources, a few websites contain useful lesson plans:

Extending Suffrage <https://bit. ly/2HnlbIR> from DocsTeach

Junior Ranger <https://bit. ly/2T3zQN8> from Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument

Parading through History <https:I/> from PBS

Suffrage and the Civil Rights Reform Movements <https://bit. ly/2W7PYiN> from DocsTeach

Voting Rights < https://bit. ly/2R80gM3> from

Winning the Vote <https://s.> from the Smithsonian Institution

Women's Suffrage <https://bit. ly/2sK7v2J> from Gilder Lehrman

Woman Suffrage <https://bit. ly/2CAbx21> from Jane Addams

Women's Suffrage < 210o09o from Teaching Tolerance

For many more lesson ideas, go to EDSITEment <https://bit. ly/2UacXIl>.


Students are attracted to multimedia materials such as short videos. Use these types of resources to draw interest and as springboards for inquiry.

Dolly Parton's The Right to Vote <> music video is a great way to generate questions and interest about the 19th Amendment. Students can read the lyrics <> and listen to the song <> through WNYC Studios.

The School House Rock videos have been popular for decades. Sufferin Till Suffrage <https://youtu. be/CGHGDO_b_q0> is an engaging springboard to learning.

Seek out videos to supplement instruction. For instance, Crash Course's Women's Suffrage <> on YouTube is a fastpaced, entertaining introduction to the movement featuring popular author and video blogger John Green.

PBS has produced many films on the women's movement. Not for Ourselves Alone <https://to.pbs. org/2RKOsoh> is a Ken Burns production focusing on the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Watch short clips at the website or locate sources for the full-length film. Alice Paul: The Suffragist <https://> is part of the American Experience series.

Some PBS films are short clips, such as Introduction <https://to.pbs. org/2U70BP5>, Courage in Corsets <>, National Suffragist <https://>, New Generation of Women <https://to.pbs. org/2R7qJJp>, and Modern Campaign <> from KSPS Documentaries.

Many of the local and statewide PBS stations have made videos available. Suffrage <https://to.pbs. org/2MVt2yl> is a film from the Colorado Experience series and may be useful as a springboard to discussions about the role of each state in the suffrage movement. Other examples include Nevada <https://to.pbs. org/2RKZnOw>, Oregon <https://>, and Wisconsin <>.

Some videos focus on individuals, such as Emma Smith DeVote from <>.

In many cases, women are featured from specific states, such as Martha Hughs Cannon Tease <https://to.pbs. org/2TalqsO> from Utah.

The NWHM YouTube Channel <> provides a playlist focusing on American women's suffrage.


Beyond integrating teaching and learning resources into the curriculum, consider ways that the school library, classroom teachers, and students can take action. A Centennial of Women's Suffrage <> is a national research and art project. Encouraging an interdisciplinary exploration of English and language arts, history, and art, students are asked to share their family stories and reflect on the movement's impact.

The 2020 Women's Vote Centennial <> is another national project encouraging information sharing and activities. Their learning section provides background information, biographies, timelines, primary sources, and more.

The National Collaborative for Women's History <https://bit. ly/2AVHKkQ> is identifying locations around the United States that reflect women's experiences in American life throughout history. Work as a school to identify a local place that deserves recognition.

The years 2019-2020 will provide many opportunities to explore issues related to the 19th Amendment and celebrate the history of women's suffrage.

Caption: Figure 1. The 19th Amendment document

Caption: Figure 2. Woman Suffrage Postcard. National Museum of American History.

Caption: Figure 3. Volume 1 of the Suffragist newspaper. Staten Island Museum.

Caption: Figure 4. Silent Sentinels: The first picket line. Courtesy Library of Congress.

Caption: Figure 5. Three suffragists casting votes in New York City. Library of Congress.

Caption: Figure 6. The Crusade for the Vote. National Women's History Museum.

Caption: Figure 7. Women's Suffrage and the Media website

Caption: Figure 8. Newspaper article, 1916

Caption: Figure 9. The Right to Vote by Dolly Parton

Caption: Figure 10. Crash Course's Women's Suffrage
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Title Annotation:INFOTECH
Author:Lamb, Annette
Publication:Teacher Librarian
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2019
Next Article:WE'VE GOT GAME!

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