White to Vote?: Racism and Xenophobia During the Woman Suffrage Movement

Target Audience & Setting: 11th grade US History in a distance learning setting

Content: Could be taught during a unit on the 1920s, specifically during a lesson on the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in the United States on a national level.

*Note: This lesson is going to be an adaptation of the research project that I was supposed to present at the Public Research Fellows symposium last year (it was canceled the day of as it was the Friday before quarantine)

Process: This lesson will begin with an interactive lecture using Google Slides & Nearpod to give the students some background information on the topic. The Google Slides presentation will also include directions for the activity. Students will then follow the link to the differentiated Google Form. All nine participants will click on their name (which will be an option in the first question of the Google Form) and doing so will take everyone to a description of a different identity. Students will have time to read this biography, become familar with it, and write down any details that they think might be important. When everyone has had enough time, we will come back as a group and I will take everyone through a flowchart via a Google Slides presentation that asks different questions to help everyone determine if their assigned (fictional) woman would have been able to actually exercise their right to vote in 1920. After each step, I will ask the group if everyone’s person is still able to vote or not and also go through some historical context behind the different restrictions put in the way of voting during this time. After we get all the way to the end, we will see if anybody’s person actually made it all the way to the end and would have been able to vote. Then, I will put up a few discussion questions and send everyone into breakout rooms to talk about them. Finally we will come back as a group and have time for final reflections.

Resources for Lessons: Students will have access to this Google Form as well as the Google Slides presentation that I screen share with them.

Delivery Considerations: The research presentation that I was originally due to give in March was designed to be in person. I made a poster with a flowchart on it and participants would have been able to randomly draw identities and follow the chart using the biographical information of that fictional woman to get an idea of who was actually able to exercise the right to vote. Moving it online, a differentiated Google Form and Google Slides presentation using Nearpod will be used as these are both interactive and pretty user friendly ways to deliver a lesson virtually.

If you want to read more about my research project, PRF has their own page on the UP website.

Feature Image Source: “Women in horse-drawn carriage and on foot march in street for voting rights carrying banners ‘Mothers Prepare the Children for the World…’ ‘Women Need Votes…’ and ‘Suffrage Pioneers…'” by Kheel Center, Cornell University Library is licensed under CC BY 2.0

2 Replies to “White to Vote?: Racism and Xenophobia During the Woman Suffrage Movement”

  1. This sounds incredible. I’m really sorry you didn’t get a chance to present this; you would’ve crushed it.

    I’m really interested to see this presentation; not just for the content, but because you have a lot different interactive pieces. The flowchart thing on the research presentation website page is fascinating, and enlightening. Just another example of a part of history that is not nearly covered enoug.

  2. I really like that each student is assigned a particular person. I think immersing the students in the experience of these women who could not vote really helps to create a personal connection, making the lesson very engaging. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

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