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State Historical Society of Iowa

Votes for Women Digital Education Package

To celebrate the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment's passage, the State Historical Museum of Iowa has developed this digital education package to teach the history of women’s suffrage in Iowa and the United States. The History Alive digital package includes a variety of educational materials and activities, including live, recorded programs and primary sources only available through the State Historical Society of Iowa. The activities are flexible for in-person, virtual or hybrid instruction.

Recorded Programs

View the recorded programs about women's suffrage to hear from experts on the history and legacy of American suffragists. These programs were initially held live and include questions asked by students and teachers near the end of each program. View Iowa Core Social Studies Standards

First-Person Interpretation of Suffrage in Iowa
Kate Levasseur, Historian
Recommended Grades: 4th-12th 


The Life and Legacy of Carrie Lane Chapman Catt and Women in Politics
Dr. Karen Kedrowski, Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women in Politics 
Recommended Grades: 6th-12th


Universal Suffrage for Women of Color in Iowa
Eric Morse, Central Iowa Community Museum
Recommended Grades: 6th-12th

Individual, Group and Hands-on Educational Activities


Analyze the fight for women's suffrage through educator-led activities that align with Iowa Core Social Studies and Visual Arts Standards. Students can learn about the different arguments for and against suffrage, develop a plan to pass a constitutional amendment on the state and federal level and examine primary sources from the State Historical Society of Iowa's women's suffrage collection. 

Activity Recommended Grades Completion Time Iowa Core Standards for Social Studies and Visual Arts
Visual Literacy: Snapshots of Suffrage 4th, 5th Grade 15-30 minutes View Standards
How to Caucus 101 4th, 5th Grade 20-30 minutes View Standards
Developing a "Winning Plan" 4th, 5th Grade 20-30 minutes View Standards
Think Like A Suffragist...  4th, 5th Grade 20-30 minutes View Standards
History Mystery: Women's Suffrage Artifacts 4th, 5th Grade 10-30 minutes N/A
Women's Suffrage: DIY Sash 4th, 5th Grade 30-45 minutes View Standards
Women's Suffrage: Paper Flowers 4th, 5th Grade 30-45 minutes View Standards
Women's Suffrage Crossword 4th-9th Grade 10-20 minutes N/A

Additional Learning Materials



The listed learning materials provide students with more historical context and background information about the women's suffrage movement in Iowa and throughout the United States. Students can view primary and secondary sources from the State Historical Society of Iowa, Library of Congress and more, as well as watch recorded lectures that focus on the legacy of suffrage in Iowa and the stories of non-white suffragists who fought for universal suffrage.

Students also can access additional voting rights resources from C-SPAN, the National Archives, PBS and the Iowa Secretary of State's office.  

State Historical Society of Iowa Resources
     + Primary Source Set: Women's Suffrage
     + Primary Source Set: Right to Vote - Suffrage for Women, African Americans and American Indians
     + Women's Suffrage Storybook Recommendations
     + Iowa History 101: Women's Suffrage
     + At-Home Expedition: Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Girlhood Home and Museum
     + At-Home Expedition: Women’s Suffrage

Other Recommended Resources
     + Iowa PBS Carrie Chapman Catt Documentary
     + National Archives: Elections & Voting
     + National Archives: The Electoral College Process
     + PBS: "The Vote" from American Experience
     + Secretary of State - Suffrage/Voting Rights Curriculum
     + Suffrage Movement and the Media with CSPAN
     + "Woman Suffrage and the 19th Amendment" from the National Archives