4th Grade New York

Call for Change

This inquiry leads students through an investigation of the women’s suffrage movement in New York State as an example of how different groups of people have gained equal rights and freedoms over time. Through examining the role women played in society before the 20th century and the efforts made by women to gain the right to vote, students will be prepared to develop arguments supported by evidence that answer the compelling question “What did it take for women to be considered ‘equal’ to men in New York?” Subsequent inquiries could be developed around other groups who have struggled to gain rights and freedoms, including, but not limited to, Native Americans and African Americans.


Compelling Question:

What Did It Take for Women to Be Considered “Equal” to Men in New York?

Staging the Question:

Participate in a discussion about what it means to be equal.

Supporting Question Who had voting rights in New York State when the United States was founded?

Formative Task List the requirements for voting in New York State.

Sources Source A: Excerpt from the Declaration of Independence
Source B: Excerpt from the New York State Constitution


Supporting Question What were the social roles of women in New York before the 20th century?

Formative Task Write a paragraph describing women’s roles in society before the 20th century.

Sources Source A: Image bank: Social roles of women
Source B: Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the US Constitution


Supporting Question How did women move from the home to the political stage in New York?

Formative Task Make a claim about how women gained the right to vote in New York.

Sources Source A: Image bank: Susan B. Anthony and women’s rights
Source B: Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution

Summative Performance Task

Argument: What did it take for women to be considered “equal” to men in New York? Construct an argument that addresses the compelling question using specific claims and evidence.
Extension: Write a letter to Susan B. Anthony or Elizabeth Cady Stanton that describes how women’s rights have progressed since the early 1900s.

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Collect data about the number of Americans who voted in the last presidential election.
Assess: Brainstorm ideas about the importance of exercising one’s right to vote.
Act: Create a public service announcement to promote the importance of voting and send the video to a local radio station, TV station, or newspaper.