Woman's Suffrage

In Twentieth Century America

Hook | Questions | Procedures | Data Investigation | Analysis | Findings | New Questions

Student Page

Ellery Clark and Ana Elkins

i8avetor2@cox.net and elkamina6@hotmail.com


Imagine, your school is voting to decided whether or not homework should be allowed, but only the teachers are permitted to vote. 

  • Is that fair?  

  • Do you think that the teachers will represent your interests?          

  • Would you want the right to vote?  

Believe it or not, women in our nation were facing these questions 
less than a century ago!

Web Inquiry Questions

As a teacher you usually have specific topics that you need to teach, so there are probably going to be boundaries around the types of questions you want your students to ask. These questions will drive the inquiry.

  1. Why were women denied the right to vote prior to the Suffrage Movement? 
  2. What were women’s rights during this time?  
  3. What happened that made women in the early twentieth century want to gain the right to vote?
  4. Why did some people in the early twentieth century think that women should be denied the right to vote?


After students have asked questions related to the topic, they will need to decide a number of things, including:

  • Type(s) of data needed to answer the questions
  • Defining important terms
  • Choosing tools for data manipulation
  • Defining how data will be manipulated and presented

Type(s) of Data:

  • Websites listed on student page.
  • Students will be viewing letters, speeches, articles and books written by women and men engaged in this movement.
  • Websites found within PowerPoint Hook

Defining Important Terms: (definitions from Merriam-Webster)

  • Suffrage: 1: a vote given in deciding a controverted question or in the choice of a person for an office or trust, 2: the right of voting ;also : the exercise of such right

  • Movement (Women's Movement): a series of organized activities working toward an objective; also : an organized effort to promote or attain an end <the civil rights movement>

  • Suffragette: a woman who advocates suffrage for women

Investigation Tool(s):

  • Excel Spreadsheet: Used to create KWL Chart (Know, Want to know, Learned)
      See sample of KWL under Analysis

Manipulating Data:

  • Students will create a KWL Chart in Excel based upon the information they find on various websites.

Data Investigation

There is often a giant leap from defining the type(s) of data desired and actually finding the data. Providing guidance to students in finding the necessary data may be necessary.

Web Inquiry Projects use data/information other people have gathered and placed online. Part of the inquiry process is finding the needed information. 

  • Students are provided a list of web sites and are then asked to search for the data they need within the following sites: 
  1. National Woman’s Suffrage Association Collection located at: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/naw/nawshome.html  
  2. PBS Website at:
  3. Suffragette Portraits at:
  4. Woman Voters Manual at: 
    @field+(SOURCE+@band (rbnawsa+n7111)):@@@$REF$



Raw data/information usually has to be manipulated before it can answer any questions. Students might be unaware of how data can best be manipulated, so teacher guidance may be appropriate.

  • Students will create a KWL Chart on this topic.  Before engaging in research, students will record on their chart everything they Know about women’s rights and the reasons for participating in the Suffrage Movement.  Students will then write down what they Want to know about this subject.  The final column in the chart is reserved for that the students Learned as a result of their research.
  • Click here to see sample KWL Chart


No result is meaningful unless communicated appropriately. Discussion of findings should be supported. There may or may not be definitive answers to the questions students raised.

  • students turn in complete KWL Chart

  • students present one interesting fact from their investigations to the class
    (Students will select a question from the W section of their chart and analyze the data to present a response to the class in the form of a poster)

Findings shown in each group's KWL Chart may vary; however, answers to the questions will likely follow a main idea.  See sample below for sample answers to the KWL questions.

Possible New Questions

Follow up questions students might have and wish to investigate at a later time:

  • What would the world be like today if women still did not have the right to vote?

  • Did the right to vote guarantee equality (gender, ethnicity, etc)? Are there other areas now where inequality still exists?

  • When women won the right to vote, did it lead to changes in other areas?

  • When women won the right to vote, did they actually vote? Do they now? How many as compared to then?