Susan B. Anthony

Grade Level: Third

I am by no means an ardent down-with-man kind of woman, but I am proud to be a woman. I enjoy studying the women who fought so hard for me to have legal rights and a voice in my government. Susan B. Anthony is one such woman. I have actually had this book since I was in elementary school. Hopefully, it’ll last long enough for my future daughter(s) to read! 

Susan B. Anthony Champion of Women’s Rights written by Helen Albee Monsell is a quick, easy read as an introduction to Miss Anthony and the Women’s Rights Movement.

This book focuses on the childhood of Susan. We learn what her life was like in Massachusetts and why she moved to New York. We learn the struggles her family faced and the rare opportunities provided to Susan and her older sister.

Susan was allowed opportunities that most young women of her day were denied. She regularly attended school and her father even had a school room build in their Rochester home. She experienced the life a bobbin girl, a school teacher, and student of higher education. 

This book is not super well written. It jumps from scene to scene with very little transition. Out of nowhere, Susan suddenly had another sister. But the overall point is well made. Susan’s father was very progressive for his time. Not only did he ensure Susan had a good education, but her gave her experience in his mill. There Susan learned that legally a woman had no authority over her wages. That both children and wives had a legal obligation to give control of their wages to their husbands and fathers.

It was these experiences that opened her eyes to the needs of equality between men and women. This book is definitely a great read for a young girl first learning about the leaders of the Women’s Rights Movement. 

 

Lesson Ideas:

-The 8.24 TEKS states: The student understands the major reform movements of the 19th century. The student is expected to: (A)  describe the historical development of the abolitionist movement; and (B)  evaluate the impact of reform movements, including educational reform, temperance, the women’s rights movement, prison reform, abolition, the labor reform movement, and care of the disabled.

-Research Susan B. Anthony & Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s role in the Women’s Movement. (TEKS 8.22B  describe the contributions of significant political, social, and military leaders of the United States such as Frederick Douglass, John Paul Jones, James Monroe, Stonewall Jackson, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.)

-Watch America The Story of Us: Division; Discuss the effect of the Industrial Revolution on young girls. Compare that to what is described in the book.

-Watch Ken Burn’s Documentary: Not for Ourselves Alone; Compare the information about Susan’s childhood to what was read in the book.

-For Older Girls watch Iron Jawed Angels and Suffragette; discuss the struggles women faced. Why might not all woman agree on the need for change?

-Watch Bad Romance Women’s Suffrage by Soomo Publishing on youtube. (They took the lyrics and made it represent women’s rights. Super fun!)

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