Lesson plan

Leaders in the Journey to the 19th Amendment

Use this lesson to teach your students about the lives of 10 important leaders during the suffrage movement. Children will read a picture book that highlights 10 leaders who strove to win the right to vote for American women. Children will then work in groups to research and learn more about these inspiring women who dreamed big and never gave up. Finally, students will share their findings with the rest of the class.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to conduct research about a key leader in the women's suffrage movement.

(3 minutes)
  • Introduce the term women's suffrage by writing it on the board. Ask students to turn and talk to a partner about what they think this movement was about.
  • Display some images of the women's suffrage movement on the computer and ask students to turn and talk to their partner again. Prompt them to discuss any new ideas they might have.
  • Call on volunteers to share their ideas, and explain that the women's suffrage movement was the struggle for the right of women to vote and run for office. It was part of the overall women's rights movement.
  • Continue to explain that the women's suffrage movement led to the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920, in which women gained the right to vote in the United States.
(20 minutes)
  • Display a list of the 10 influential women that are featured in the text. Tell the class that they will work in small groups to become experts about one of those leaders.
  • Divide the class into 10 small groups and assign each group one of the leaders that will be introduced in the read-aloud. Tell them that they will listen carefully to the entire picture book, but especially to the section about their assigned leader.
  • Give each student a blank sticky note, and explain that they will write down one fact they learned about their assigned leader throughout the read-aloud.
  • Read aloud the Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote picture book, guiding students to record their interesting fact about their assigned leader.
  • Call on volunteers to share their interesting fact with their peers.
(12 minutes)
  • Remind learners that they will be reponsible for learning about the leader and sharing their information with the class. Tell them that they will conduct research using the internet, books, and articles about their assigned leader to gather more information about them, taking notes on a graphic organizer.
  • Display a copy of the Biography Research worksheet. Go over the sections of the graphic organizer, clarifying what type of information should go in each section. If needed, discuss some key words they could use to help them research and find the desired information.
  • Model completing the graphic organizer with information about another leader the class has recently studied. Point out that information recorded in a graphic organizer does not always require complete sentences, but it does require complete thoughts or ideas.
(25 minutes)
  • Distribute a copy of the Biography Research graphic organizer to each individual.
  • Provide groups with access to research materials and give them time to research.
  • Circulate and provide support to groups and individuals as needed.


  • Invite students to work in a small, teacher-led group as they conduct their research.
  • Provide sentence stems and frames for students to use as they share about their leader. An example of a sentence support is: The character traits of ____________ are...


  • Encourage students to research additional leaders in the women's suffrage movement.
  • Have students create a timeline to illustrate the time period in which the 10 leaders worked toward the 19th Amendment. Challenge them to communicate any overlap of ideas and activity.
  • Circulate during Independent Work Time and observe students as they complete their work.
  • Utilize a rubric to score students' graphic organizers and/or presentations. Components on which to focus could include: shares person's name correctly, identifies character traits and evidence, highlights historical importance of person.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell the class that they will share information about their assigned leader with their peers. Determine which information they should share during their presentations (e.g., their character traits, why they are famous, how they have influenced others or changed the world).
  • Invite groups to share the information with the class.
  • Ask students to turn and talk to a partner about similarities these 10 women have. Point out that these women were leaders working toward the same goal over a long period of time, and that many of them never even actually worked side by side because they lived during different time periods.

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