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Discovering New York Suffrage Stories

Curriculum Overview

Classroom curriculum, to be used with the television program Discovering New York Suffrage Stories, has been developed. The lesson plans were created to be used with 4th-8th grade students . Lesson content is based on the documentary as well as important themes such as Haudenosaunee culture, identity, civic ideals & practices, and power. Lessons are aligned to National Social Studies Education Standards.

The full accompanying lesson plans for elementary and middle school students can be found here on the program website as well as on PBS LearningMedia. PBS LearningMedia is a free platform for educators housing videos, images, and other classroom content that can be downloaded and saved to be used year after year.

Each lesson plan follows the same format: one or two short video segments from Discovering New York Suffrage Stories are to be shown to the class, followed by a related activity. The lesson plan indicates an approximate length of the lesson. Each set of materials has been designated for a specific audience, however they were created with the understanding that they may be adapted based on educator, facilitator, or audience. Please preview all online and video content before sharing the content with students.

Educator Resources

Elementary and Middle School Lesson Plans (Grades 4 – 8)

United in Progress - Students explore the four progressive, trailblazing women featured in Discovering New York Suffrage Stories while learning key terms and facts about the Women's Suffrage Movement. They will discuss the question, "Do you believe women have the same opportunities and rights as men?" in class and then ask it of people at home.

Haudenosaunee Influence on the Suffrage Movement - Students will learn about the influence that the Haudenosaunee women had on Matilda Joslyn Gage and the suffrage movement. They will learn what "indigenous" and "Haudenosaunee" mean and the traditional roles of women in different groups. Some of Gage's quotes will be interpreted by the students.

Discovering New York Suffrage Stories Documentary ReviewWhile watching Discovering New York Suffrage Stories, students will examine the lives of, and draw connections between, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Paulina Wright Davis, Hester Jeffrey, and Mary Talbert. The students will write a critical commentary on the documentary.

Women Working for Change - Students will think about the question, "What would motivate you to make changes in the world around you?" while learning about key people of the Women's Suffrage Movement. The students will make connections between the Women's Suffrage Movement and present day issues and movements.

Discussion Guide

Community and Educator Discussion Guide – An easy to use resource for community members and schools. It outlines how to use the Discovering new York Suffrage Stories program to conduct meaningful conversations. The discussion guide includes guided discussion questions that can be used to initiate meaningful discussions about this important aspect of U.S. history. Some of the themes that can be explored are advocacy and activism, perseverance, gender equity, racism, enacting change and Native American influence on American women.

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Major support for Discovering New York Suffrage Stories was provided by The National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor, by the Susan Howarth Foundation, and KeyBank in partnership with First Niagara Foundation. With additional funding from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation and Humanities New York.