Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less: The First Amendment and the Women's Suffrage Movement

"Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less: The First Amendment and the Women’s Suffrage Movement" is a media literacy lesson plan available on the Newseum website. Written for middle and high school students, the lesson focuses on persuasion and involves historical documents related to the women's suffrage movement. The authors estimate that the lesson will take approximately 60 minutes to implement.

Content Comments 

This lesson prompts students to question how media may attempt to persuade an audience. Specifically, students attend to visuals, author authority, message framing, and the salience of the message as they view and analyze historical documents that reflect pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage stances. To support the discussion, there is an interactive map of the United States that includes a variety of relevant historical documents. The lesson provides a historical context for the analysis, and involves a discussion of the First Amendment. However, the discussion prompts ask students to make connections between the the tools used to persuade in the historical documents and those used in contemporary media. Some of the discussion prompts and the "Persuasion Technique Tracking Chart" could be useful for lessons beyond this one.