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Mississippi Women and the Woman Suffrage Amendment lesson plan


One of the most significant rights an American citizen possesses is the right to vote. It gives one the opportunity to influence one’s future. By achieving this right, women raised their status in society to a new level. They moved steps closer to equality in American society after the federal passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. In order to continue the appreciation of the rights we have in our American society, it is important to understand the events which have given us those rights.


Mississippi Studies Framework: Competencies 1, 2, 3 and 4.


Grades 7 through 12



Mississippi History Now article


Notebook paper






Overhead projector


Projector pen


Unlined paper


Computer (optional) for research and assignments


Markers and/or colored pencils


Various reference books


Students will:

Identify state leaders involved in the Women’s Suffrage Movement.

Describe reasons for support and opposition to the Nineteenth Amendment.

Compare and contrast the Nineteenth Amendment and the ERA.

Create a pamphlet in support of the Nineteenth Amendment.


Ask the students why it is important to vote. Do people in government listen to opinions and needs of non-voters? Voting affects the laws established in this country. What happens if laws are created that favor some groups over others? Tell the class that over the next several days, they will have an opportunity to learn about several laws that addressed the equality of women in our American society. At this point, you might even conduct a simulated vote on a school issue important to your students. Allow only the girls to vote on the issue. Ask the male students in the room how they felt about being left out of this important decision.


After reading the Mississippi History Now article, have the students label the following cities, counties, or communities on a blank map of Mississippi. The students may also be allowed to draw the map. After the students have completed the map, they should determine what significant event, in the struggle for women’s suffrage, took place at each site they have labeled on the map. This information can be found in the Mississippi History Now article. The students can list the events on the map, adjacent to the location, or create a key and list the events somewhere else on the paper. Explain to the students that the event could be the hometown of a state leader or a meeting, both significant to the woman suffrage movement in Mississippi. If it is the hometown of a leader, they should include the person’s viewpoint on the woman suffrage movement. The students can work independently or with a partner on this portion of the lesson.

• Greenville

• Rosedale

• Union

• Madison County

• Bolivar County

• Yazoo City

• Vicksburg

• Rankin County

• Grenada

• Neshoba County

After the students have completed their maps, ask for volunteers to share the significant events or leaders with the class. If you have a large classroom map of Mississippi, the students could be asked to identify the locations on the classroom map as they share their information.

Ask the students to create a chart similar to the one shown below. They need to read the Mississippi History Now article in order to complete the chart.

Woman Suffrage Movement in Mississippi and the Nineteenth Amendment



MWSA campaigned throughout the state

Southern whites regain power in politics without taking vote away from blacks

Federal approval might cause enforcement of 14th and 15th Amendments

Federal approval would cause violation of states' rights

Outgrowth of antislavery movement

Women should stay in traditional roles

Ask for student volunteers to share their answers with the class. The teacher can use an overhead transparency or chalkboard to record the student responses. During this portion of the lesson, explain the issue of states’ rights to the class. Emphasize how important this issue was in the founding of the United States, the events leading up to the Civil War, and during the Civil Rights Movement.

Ask the students to draw a Venn Diagram on a blank sheet of paper. The students may work individually or with a partner on this portion of the assignment. Instruct the students on how to complete the Venn Diagram in order to compare and contrast the Nineteenth Amendment and the ERA. The students should list the items that the Nineteenth Amendment and the ERA have in common, in the space that overlaps or intersects. The differences between the Nineteenth Amendment and the ERA should be listed on the appropriate sides of the diagram. Allow the students to decorate their diagrams and perhaps illustrate the topic on their papers. Some of the possible answers are already displayed for you.

Ask for student volunteers to share their answers with the class. The teacher records the responses on a teacher-created diagram on the chalkboard or an overhead transparency.

At this point in the lesson, the teacher may select from the following activities, based upon student abilities and grade level.

Allow students to work in groups to represent the organizations active in the woman suffrage movement. These may be organizations in support of or in opposition to the Nineteenth Amendment. Students within the group can assume identities of famous individuals from this era. The groups should be allowed to stage a debate to address the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. Remind the students of the qualities the female leaders felt were important in their public appearances concerning this issue. The students should display the beliefs of the historical period.

Allow students to work in groups to publish a pamphlet that would have been distributed in support of the Nineteenth Amendment. Emphasize that literature was published in order to sway public opinion during this movement. Give students the criteria for evaluation of their pamphlets (example: correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, illustrations, clarity of message, etc.).

Allow students to work in groups in order to write a speech that may have been delivered at a public engagement concerning the Nineteenth Amendment. The group could deliver the speech in a skit performed for the class. One group member could deliver the speech and the remaining group members could be the crowd.

The students could work individually or with partners in order to design a poster that would have been publicly displayed to show support or opposition for the Nineteenth Amendment.









Class participation




Allow the students to share their projects with the class.



Allow the students to access primary sources concerning the leaders in support of the Nineteenth Amendment and woman suffrage. Have them write an essay on the qualities they admire most in the person they researched.


Have the students research national and state leaders involved in the woman suffrage movement. Allow them to pretend that the subject of their research has been selected for a history hall of fame (create an organization). It is their job to write a speech that will be delivered to show their subjects accomplishments on the issue of women’s rights.

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