Teaching Suffrage Source

Lesson Plan: The First Amendment and the Women’s Suffrage Movement

Their Rights and Nothing Less: The First Amendment and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Newseum, 2014.

Era: Post-Suffrage Era | Media: Magazines, Newspapers, Web-based

This teaching resource, put together by the Washington, DC-based Newseum, features a wealth of lesson plans and primary sources that can be used for students in grades six through 12.

The Newseum teacher’s resource includes access to newspapers, magazines, periodicals, photographs, and artifacts related to the American suffrage movement. The lesson plans all focus on how the women’s suffrage movement used the First Amendment’s five freedoms—speech, religion, press, petition, and assembly—to advance their cause.

This is an excerpt from the press release explaining the teaching resource:

The Newseum launched the latest component of its free Digital Classroom website, “Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less.” The new learning module builds on the site’s rich civil rights resources to include one of the largest online collections of primary sources and historic periodicals about the women’s suffrage movement. The new module, made possible by the generous support of AAUW, explores how the suffragists embraced the First Amendment as a tool to help achieve passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution in 1920, which gave women the right to vote.

The module draws on the wealth of resources maintained by the Newseum in its collection of historic artifacts and more than 35,000 newspapers and magazines. “Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less” features detailed images and descriptions of nearly 300 historic front pages, photographs and artifacts that illustrate how the suffragists used all five freedoms of the First Amendment—speech, religion, press, petition and assembly—to influence public opinion and win support. An interactive map of the United States pinpoints artifacts used to advocate for and against suffrage, and students can document their civic engagement using the latest Glogster EDU tools embedded in the site.

“Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less”—designed for students in grades six through 12—encourages a deeper understanding of the women’s suffrage movement that goes beyond the famous names and iconic images to reveal the roots of today’s social and political movements.

To gain access to the lesson plans and resources the Newseum offers, you have to sign up for a workshop at the Newseum itself. Information on how to do so can be found here.

Interested in other resources for educators? Click here to browse other Teaching Suffrage materials on Women’s Suffrage and the Media.

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