You are on page 1of 7

Detailed Lesson Preparation Guide

Elementary Education

Name: Meredith Dickens

Title: “Dear Mr. President”
Grade: 4th Grade
Concept/Topic: Evidence based argument/Women’s Suffrage
Time Needed: 1 hour

Backward Design Approach: Where are you going with your students?
Identify Desired Results/Learning Outcome/Essential Question:
This lesson plan will:
● Result in students being more informed on the history of women’s fight for their right to
vote through several texts
● Create an understanding of being conscious of the emotions/thoughts/ideas reading
evokes through the BHH framework
● Provide knowledge on how to form a persuasive argument in letter format.
● Inform students on the the rights which are outlined in the NC Constitution and how
they have changed over time.

Essential question: What was it like before women had the right to vote and why is it important
that they gained that right?

Ensuring Lesson supports district and state goals

NCSCOS Standards:
Social Studies:
D4.1.3-5. Construct arguments using claims and evidence from multiple sources.
4.C&G.2.1 Analyze the preamble and articles of the North Carolina Constitution in terms
of rights and responsibilities.
4.C&G.2.2 Give examples of rights and responsibilities of citizens according to North
Carolina Constitution.

Assessment Plan:
Assessment of student understanding will be evaluated through their letters to the president and
an exit ticket given at the end of the lesson. Students will need to provide clear and meaningful
evidence based reasoning on their stance in their letter to the president as well as be able to
define what a “right” is and how voting rights have changed over time.
A success criteria rubric is below which will be used to assess if the desired results have been
0 1 2 3

Student was not able Student attempted to Student was able to Student provided a
to define define constitutional moderately define strong and correct
constitutional rights. rights but it was very constitutional rights. definition of
weak and unclear. constitutional rights.

0 1 2 3

Student did not Student submitted Student provided Student describes 2

attempt or submit a letter but it is not well only one evidence strong arguments
complete letter to the formed and provides based argument to with evidence to
president no real evidence support their stance support their stance
based arguments according to their according to their
according to their rights and the rights and the
rights and the constitution in their constitution in their
constitution for their letter to the president letter to the president

Meeting the student where they are:

Prior Knowledge/Connections:
Students know that both men and women of all backgrounds are allowed to vote today. They
may or may not know the age requirement.
Students have been exposed to the voting process and the importance of it.
Students will be reading “The Hope Chest” which is a book based on women’s suffrage

I will connect this knowledge to comparing what used to be (only men voting) to what they know
now about voters. I will also re-emphasize the importance of voting by making a bubble map on
the board of student ideas. We will also discuss the relevance to “The Hope Chest” through class

Lesson Introduction/Hook:
I will begin the lesson by telling the class that we are going to be getting a new teacher because
Mrs. Brozell is leaving, her time as this class’s teacher is over. This new teacher is going to decide
what their schedule is, how she wants the classroom arranged, whether or not they should still
have jobs in the classroom, and even if they can go outside each day for recess. I will tell the
students there are 3 main candidates for the new teacher and there is going to be an election to
decide who the new teacher is going to be for their class. However, only the boys can vote and
girls are not allowed to share their opinions with the boys because they are not as important

This will likely elicit strong emotions. Maybe happiness from the boys, definitely anger from the
girls, and probably a sense of unfairness overall. We are going to share out some of these feelings
and reasoning before the lesson begins. I will then conclude the introduction and segue into the
main lesson by relating their emotions to the women of the early 1900s.

Heart of the Lesson/Learning Plans

This lesson is interesting for all students as they are likely unfamiliar with the fight for women’s
right to vote. The usage of the GRR (Gradual Release of Responsibility) model the day prior in
our reading lesson will ensure all students are on the same page and have received the same
amount of instruction and modeling on what they should be doing. There are no IEPs in the
classroom or students with cognitive delays. However, there are some English Language
Learners. These students will receive additional support from the teacher and peers as needed.

Lesson Development:
Begin by holding a class discussion on what students know about voting. (Who can do it? When?
For what? Why should they?) This will inform further instruction for the lesson as far as how in
depth explanation needs to go on how voting works in present day and why it is important.
Make a bubble map of everything the students know on the board. Or, use to make a
class board of sticky note ideas. Next, pull up a copy of​ North Carolina’s current constitution ​and
tell students to pay special attention to Article VI, Section 1 (“​Every person born in the United
States and every person who has been naturalized, 18 years of age, and possessing the
qualifications set out in this Article, shall be entitled to vote at any election by the people of the
State, except as herein otherwise provided.”)​. Have a student read it out loud then let them turn
and talk about what this means. Let students share out their ideas. Bring to the table the idea of
a right and have students think about what a “right” is to them. Pose some questions about
rights such as: What is a right? Do we all have the same rights? Do rights allow us to harm
others? What are some things we don’t have the right to do? Let students answers lead the
conversation. Give students a final definition: “Rights are things that all people have just by
being alive.” Rights have changed over time and change depending on where you live, but all
people have rights whether they are written or not. The fact that North Carolina’s are written in
our constitution protects them and allows us to defend our rights in court. One very important
right that we have is the right to vote! Now, show students a copy of the ​1868 NC constitution
which was the precursor to the current constitution. Have them pay attention to the same part
(Article VI, Section 1.) and discuss it at their tables. Let students share out what they notice --
what is different? Why was this? Was this fair?
Display a ​timeline ​of voting rights
Have students refer to BHH framework charts from the reading lesson the day prior. (Any sort
of preparation and exposure to women involved in the ratification of the 19th amendment is
fine, but the link to my reading lesson plan is ​here​.) Give the students about 10 minutes to
brainstorm ideas for conducting a letter to the president during the time of the 19th amendment
ratification -- Woodrow Wilson. Provide students with an outline shown over the google doc and
handed out to each student (attached).

Specific Questioning:
● Begin by holding a class discussion on what students know about voting. (Who can do it?
When? For what? Why should they?)
● Pose some questions about rights such as: What is a right? Do we all have the same
rights? Do rights allow us to harm others? What are some things we don’t have the right
to do? Let students answers lead the conversation.
● Let students share out what they notice about the differences in the current and past NC
constitution -- what is different? Why was this? Was this fair?

New Vocabulary:
Suffrage: the right to vote
Rights: things we are given simply from being born in this state/country
Evidence: facts we use to support reasoning and arguments
Stance: your opinion on a certain topic

Concluding the Lesson/Closure/Debriefing:

Wrap the lesson up by collecting letters and discussing with students which side of the argument
they chose and what their evidence was. Let other students give feedback on the evidence —
whether they agree, used the same evidence, or disagree. Talk with students about how effective
arguments are always informed by our thoughts and emotions but require evidence to be valid.
To reinforce new vocabulary and meanings, have students quickly review by having an exit ticket
with a matching activity. At the bottom of the exit ticket, have a place for students to
self-evaluate how they feel about their ability to use evidence to form arguments.

● Book selection covering many different historical figures involved in the fight for
women’s suffrage
● Template for letter to president
● Tablets/Computers/Handheld devices for additional research
● Access to
● Timeline maker site/materials to make a timeline

Teaching Behavior Focus:

● Provides clear directions
● Classroom management is positive and appropriate
Follow-Up Activities/Parent Involvement
Have students interview women in their family or family friends about what the right to vote
means to them. Also ask parents to discuss other rights and responsibilities outlined in the NC
constitution. Allow students a time to share what they learned from the interview and
discussions in class.

Data Analysis

Scores for content were based on the students ability to discuss our constitutional right
to vote and why it is important. They were able to score a 1, 2, or 3 based on the success criteria
listed above. 48% of the students were able to score a 3 on their understanding of the content.
One student in this group said, “We should have our constitutional right to vote because the
constitution said everybody should be treated equal and fair.” This showed me that this student
understood that our rights come from a constitution and that they are important to promote
equity. 30% of students scored a 2 on their content performance because they discussed rights,
but did not give a clear understanding or proof that they knew what rights were. “[Women] are
people too and should vote because we are all human beings,” is an example of a student that
scored a 2 on content. I could tell they knew that voting rights and equality had a connection,
but they never mentioned rights or the constitution. 22% of students scored a 1 on their
demonstration of content understanding. One of the students who scored in this range said,
“letting women have rights could open a new world.” While this is correct, they did not discuss
the importance of rights, what a right is, or where our rights are located.
38% of the students were able to effectively demonstrate their understanding of
argument based evidence and score a 3. The work of this student involves a letter which states
their opinion on the right of women to vote, two reasons, and a specific piece of evidence for
each reason. An example of this looks like: “Women should have the right to vote because
Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, ‘she can do anything any boy could do’ and we should all have the
same rights.” This student says women should vote because they can do anything boys can do
and she found evidence from our text about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 19% of students scored a 2
on their practice. This means they stated their argument but only had one reason or didn’t
provide evidence. A student that scored in this range said, “women are not just for cooking,
cleaning, and laundry.” While this is a reason, the student showed no evidence in the letter to
support their argument. Finally, 38% scored a 1 on the overall practice. These students letters
were not written to a standard which contained any reasons or evidence. This work looked like:
“women should have the right to vote and be equal.” I was able to see the student’s argument,
but no reasons or evidence were available.
Letter to President Woodrow Wilson -- Outline 
● Introduction 
○ Explanation of your ​STANCE​ or opinion: Should women have the 
right to vote? 
○ Introduction to the three reasons or S
your stance 
● Reason #1 
○ Supporting detail 1 
○ Supporting detail 2 
● Reason #2 
○ Supporting detail 1 
○ Supporting detail 2 
● Conclusion 
○ Restate your stance 
○ Restate you 3 reasons/supporting evidence 
***You must have at least one reason based on the NC constitution and our constitutional 
right to vote. You must have at least one reason based on evidence from the texts that you 
read yesterday on women’s suffrage. The third reason is your choice -- either from the 
constitution, text, or other research***