Each year, GHS selects a person or topic that made a great impact on Georgia’s history as the focus of educational programs and resources for the Georgia History Festival (GHF). The 2019-2020 focus of study is “Women’s Suffrage at 100: The 19th Amendment and Georgia History” and explores the legacy of women’s suffrage in Georgia and the United States in commemoration of the struggle to pass the 19th Amendment in which women won the right to vote 100 years ago.
This year’s new Georgia History Festival classroom-ready project box titled “Winning the Vote: Women’s Suffrage in Georgia” is a historical inquiry filled with primary sources and strategies aimed at examining the New South era—the era following Reconstruction in Georgia—through the lens of voting rights. The project box materials are aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence for 8th grade Georgia Studies: SS8H7Evaluate key political, social, and economic changes that occurred in Georgia during the New South Era.
The contents of the project box are a series of inquiry-based strategies and activities designed to help teachers guide students to explore a curated set of primary sources. The inquiry format is based on the Inquiry Design Model (IDM) from the C3 Framework for the Social Studies.
The inquiry element emphasized in the C3 Framework is centered on asking a compelling question. Compelling questions are meant to address issues found across the social studies disciplines. They engage students by evoking their interests and highlighting the content with which students might have little experience. For example, the compelling question in the “Winning the Vote: Women’s Suffrage in Georgia” project box is how has the fight for women’s suffrage impacted Georgia?
Compelling questions should be open ended and do not lend themselves to simplistic conclusions. They challenge students to examine a focus-of-study, such as the struggle for women’s suffrage, through a multi-disciplinary lens. This means that students examine not only specific facts (like names, dates, etc.) associated with the focus of study, but the social, cultural, political, and economic conditions of the focus too.
In order to build an argument to respond to questions about the women’s suffrage movement in Georgia, including the compelling question, students explore unique and downloadable reproductions of primary sources, such as correspondence between local Georgia activists and activists working in national politics.
Each primary source set is accompanied by relevant classroom strategies and instructions for students and teachers. The teacher guide provides background information for each primary source as well as relevant and supporting questions.
The activities in the “Winning the Vote” project box are meant to be completed over a few days, depending on available classroom time. Although completing all activities in the box would be most beneficial, it may be useful for teachers to choose one activity or primary source set to explore.
The parts of the “Winning the Vote: Women’s Suffrage in Georgia” project box include:
Each part of the inquiry can be downloaded separately at the Georgia History Festival website along with the teacher guide.
Classroom Connections for Georgia Studies blog series is written by GHS Education Coordinator Lisa Landers and is designed to help teachers and other educational professionals become familiar with and use new educational resources and materials created by GHS for the annual Georgia History Festival. Lisa can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.