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Education News from the National WWI Museum and Memorial


Battle for the Ballot

19th Amendment Ratification & Women’s Suffrage

The ongoing battle for gender equality that continues today was kindled more than a century before the American Civil War. During World War I, it exploded. From protests and parades to boycotts and book clubs Americans—across age, race, class and gender—mobilized a global movement for women’s voting rights.


WWI Changed Us

Hosted as Wednesday happy hours in September, WWI Changed Us is a webinar series, looking at everything from Tolkien to the Civil Rights movement, and exploring the enduring impact of WWI with primary source documents and digital resources for educators.

Professional development certificates indicating one hour of participation will be provided—free!—for each webinar attended. Click the link for a schedule of upcoming webinars and to register.

A Portrait of Persistence

A Portrait of Persistence    

Votes for Women

Meet the women behind the movement with this online exhibition from Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery showcasing photographic portraits, posters, paintings and more of early activists and their work. This exhibition is hosted in conjunction with the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story.” | Recommended Grade Levels: 9‑12, Adult Learners; Format: Online Exhibition, Primary Source

Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told    

Stories of Black Women’s Fight to Vote    

Activism is lifelong work. From Sojourner Truth and the foundation of the early suffrage movement, to Shirley Chisholm and the continued struggle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, learn how Black women have been fighting for gender and racial equality for over a century with this online exhibition presented by Evoke, a project by Melinda Gates. | Recommended Grade Levels: 6‑8, 9‑12, Adult Learners; Format: Online Exhibition

Rightfully Hers

Rightfully Hers    

American Women and the Vote

Need answers to the “big” questions? Explore the National Archives’ six-part online exhibition on the suffrage movement and trace its impact on the history of women’s voting rights in America with a variety of primary source sets and classroom activities. | Recommended Grade Levels: 9‑12, Adult Learners; Format: Online Exhibition, Curriculum, Primary Source

Shall Not Be Denied

Shall Not Be Denied

Women Fight for the Vote

This five-part online exhibition from the Library of Congress delves into two centuries of struggle for gender equality in the United States, beginning in 1776 with the early feminist ideology that inspired the movement’s founding through the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. | Recommended Grade Levels: 11‑12, Adult Learners; Format: Online Resource

How WWI Changed America   

Women in WWI

At the outset of WWI, many women in the U.S. did not have the right to vote in national elections. In keeping with the spirit of the Progressive Era, many women came to view active participation in the war effort as an opportunity to gain more rights and independence. Learn more with accompanying resources from the educator toolkit series How WWI Changed America at | Recommended Grade Levels: 6‑8, 9‑12, Adult Learners; Format: Curriculum, Video, Primary Source

Expanding Voting Rights

Women’s Suffrage

Examine women’s suffrage and the ratification of the 19th Amendment within the broader history of voting rights in the United States with the fourth installment of Teaching Tolerance’s Expanding Voting Rights lesson series, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center with the overall goal of allowing students to explore the complicated history of voting rights in the United States. | Recommended Grade Levels: 6‑8, 9‑12, Adult Learners; Format: Curriculum, Primary Source

Women Leading the Way

Women Leading the Way

Suffragists & Suffragettes

For the 19th Amendment’s centennial, high schools across the nation participated in Women Leading the Way, a community history, writing and art project highlighting important, but often overlooked, women. Though submissions are closed, consider recreating the project in your own classroom! Student stories and artwork are available in the online archive and will debut as an exhibition in fall 2020. | Recommended Grade Levels: 9‑12; Format: Online Exhibition, Curriculum

Women of the World, Unite!

Women of the World, Unite!

Timeline of Women’s Activism

Accessible to English, Spanish and French-speaking learners, this interactive timeline by UN Women traces the legacy of the suffrage movement to the present. Want to deepen your research on the United Nation’s campaign to empower women worldwide? Further resources, searchable by type, topic and country, can be found in their Digital Library. | Recommended Grade Levels: 9‑12, Adult Learners; Format: Online Resource

A Woman’s Place is in the Curriculum   

Women’s History through American Art and Portraiture   

Develop new ways to incorporate critical thinking in your classroom by learning how to teach women’s history through art. This three-part webinar series and resource set for K-12 educators is courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. | Recommended Grade Levels: K-5, 6‑8, 9‑12; Format: Educator Webinar, Curriculum

A Global History of the 19th Amendment

Investigate ways American women’s final push for suffrage was shaped by world historical events. This lecture by Dr. Mona Siegel highlights how women's activism in Europe, Asia and the Middle East aided the 19th Amendment’s ratification and explores why African-American, labor and pacifist suffragists from the U.S. advocated for women’s rights abroad. | Recommended Grade Levels: 9‑12, Adult Learners; Format: Video

How Black Suffragists Fought for the Right to Vote and a Modicum of Respect

“The Right to Vote and a Modicum of Respect”

Hallie Quinn Brown and Other ‘Homespun Heroines’

Despite its ties to abolitionism, the women’s suffrage movement was fractured by racism. Discover the Black and Native American women who spearheaded their own movements for equality, on both the gender and racial fronts. Start with this article by the National Endowment for the Humanities, then continue your study with this piece from Smithsonian Magazine. | Recommended Grade Levels: 9‑12, Adult Learners; Format: Online Exhibition, Curriculum, Primary Source

Celebrating a Century of Women’s Contributions to Comics and Cartoons

Celebrating a Century of Women’s Contributions to Comics and Cartoons

Images are often integral to popularizing an idea. Discover the work of female cartoonists like Nina Allender and Edwina Dumm and see how their drawings helped popularize the suffrage movement with this article from the Smithsonian Magazine. Looking for something more contemporary? Consider reading Suffrajitsu, a graphic novel series inspired by the true story of suffragist martial artists, by Tony Wolf and João Vieira. | Recommended Grade Levels: 6-8, 9‑12, Adult Learners; Format: Online Article

The United States World War One Centennial Commission and the National WWI Museum and Memorial are dedicated to educating the public about the causes, events and consequences of World War I and we encourage the use of these resources to better understand the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. 

Partners from around the world participate in the Educator Resource Database, some of whom are highlighted in this newsletter.