Women, Voting, and the Suffrage Movement

voting signs for lds activity days

Thank you for your worthwhile activity days idea, Marion! This is a great one to do during any election cycle. Marion says, “It was a fun activity that got the girls engaged and thinking about how much we owe women of the past and how girls and women today can be involved in the community and in making the world a better place.”

Category: Developing Talents, Serving Others

Supplies:

  • Poster for each girl (or regular sheets of paper taped together, if you are on a budget)
  • Writing utensils
  • Pictures of some suffragettes (you may want to include Mormon pioneer suffragettes)
  • (Optional) Voting statistics for your country.

Preparation:

  • Ask each girl to come dressed as a woman from history and have a few facts to share.
  • The activity is more fun if you dress up, too!
  • Print or access the pictures of suffragettes and the voting statistics.

Activity:

  1. As each girl got up and told the group about her famous person, I took her picture and wrote the woman’s name and the years she lived on the board so we could see the range of time we were talking about.
  2. Once everyone shared, we looked at all the years on the board, and I asked them whether they thought women could vote during the time their woman lived (most of my girls said no – some might be surprised to hear that in most states, women have had the right to vote for less than 100 years).
  3. I showed some pictures of suffragettes and talked about how hard women fought for the right to vote and that some were even jailed for protesting. We talked about the fact that women and girls in some parts of the world still don’t have basic rights like voting or getting an education, and we emphasized how lucky we are to live in a place where we have those rights.
  4. After our conversation, I asked the girls if they thought American women today all took advantage of the right to vote, since women of the past fought so hard for it. They were surprised to hear that many don’t (For this part, you might even find some statistics on how many citizens actually vote).
  5. So for the last part of our activity we created posters encouraging the women of our ward to vote. I took pictures of the girls holding up their signs and emailed them to the Relief Society the day before the primary elections in our state (of course with the disclaimer that we weren’t endorsing anyone in particular and they should vote regardless of which party or candidates they support).

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More Ideas:

  • After the activity, print pictures of each of the women the girls came dressed as, label them, and hang them on your Activity Days bulletin board in the Primary room. You could also give the photos to the girls or their parents.
  • You may want to find a copy of the official statement the church reads over the pulpit every election season, and explain it to the girls. Since they hear it at church every year, it would be great for them to understand and appreciate the meaning at a young age.
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