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Voting for Change

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Summary

Students will identify important events in the history of voting rights. Students will identify the importance of amendments to the Constitution.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will identify important events in the history of voting rights.
  • Students will identify the importance of amendments to the Constitution.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Voting process
  • United States Constitution
  • Venn diagram
  • Timeline

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Suffrage
  • Amendment

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the “Wyoming Quarter Reverse” page
  • “Voting Rights Timeline” worksheet
  • “Voting Rights Timeline—Key”
  • “Voting Rights Timeline—Rubric”
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about the U.S. Constitution, such as:
    • A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution by Betsy and Giulio Maestro
    • Creating the Constitution: 1787 by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier
    • Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about Esther Morris or the suffrage movement in the West, such as:
    • The Story of the Nineteenth Amendment by R. Conrad Stein
    • When Esther Morris Headed West: Women, Wyoming, and the Right to Vote by Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge
    • I Could Do That: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote by Linda Arms White
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Journal
  • Colored index cards (4 colors: red, white, blue, green)
  • Chart paper

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the “Wyoming Quarter Reverse” page.
  • Make copies of the following:
    • “Voting Rights Timeline—Rubric” (1 per student)
    • “Voting Rights Timeline” worksheet (1 per student)
  • Locate a text that gives information about the U.S. Constitution (see examples under “Materials”).
    • Locate a text that gives information about Esther Morris or the suffrage movement in the West (see examples under “Materials”).
    • Arrange to use the school computer lab for one session.
  • Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about the suffrage movement and the history of the right to vote.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/315.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Mix up the index cards so they are not arranged by color. Give one of the colored cards to each student. Ask the students to place the cards to the side on their desk.
  2. Explain to the students that they will be voting on a class favorite book they have read. Have the students offer suggestions of books to be included in the voting. Record suggestions on chart paper.
  3. Explain to the students that there is a rule for voting. Write the rule on the board: “Only those students with red and blue cards are allowed to vote.” Explain to them that you just don’t feel that the students with the white and green cards know enough information about the suggested books to be able to vote effectively.
  4. Allow the students with red and blue cards to vote. Record the results of the voting and circle the book with the most votes.
  5. Allow students time to discuss their reaction to the voting that occurred. Focus on whether they thought it was fair and what they feel should be done about it.
  6. Have the students with the white and green cards get together as a group and discuss their claims to the right to vote. Have the students with the red and blue cards get together and discuss their feelings in being the only ones to vote. Have the students with the white and green cards present their claims to the other group. Have the other group listen to their reasons and give feedback, then present their own reasons for keeping the voting system the way it is. Then allow the first group to give their feedback.
  7. Have the students record their concerns in a journal and come up with some suggestions of how to make the voting more fair. Debrief the students. Let them know this was just a fabricated scenario and that no such rule exists. Assure the students that the voting activity was completely made up.
  8. Make a K-W-L chart on the Constitution. Ask students what they already know about the Constitution. Complete the appropriate parts of the chart.
  9. Introduce the students to the selected text about the Constitution and Amendments. As a group, preview the text. Read the text aloud to the students. Attend to unfamiliar vocabu- lary and concepts.
  10. After reading the selected text, have the students identify the purpose of the Constitution and the purpose of an Amendment. Record responses on the K-W-L chart.
  11. Discuss the purpose for Amendments. Focus on the fact that the Constitution was written in 1787, which is more than 200 years ago. Complete a Venn Diagram on chart paper comparing the two time periods of 1787 and the current year. Ask the students if some things have changed since that time. Discuss how these changes may have affected the Constitution and how amendments may be made periodically as times change. These changes keep the Constitution a living and growing document.

Session 2

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of the “Wyoming Quarter Reverse” page. Tell the students that the back of the coin is called the reverse, and “obverse” is another name for the front of a coin. Locate Wyoming on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. With the students, examine the design on this coin’s reverse. Have the students identify the images and writing in this coin design, including the words “The Equality State.” Ask the students for reasons why this motto might appear on the coin.
  3. Introduce the students to the selected text about the suffrage movement in the West and, in particular, Esther Morris. Discuss the term “suffrage” (the right to vote). As a group, preview the text. Read the text aloud to the students. Attend to unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.
  4. After reading the selected text, have the students identify important events from the text. Write these events on chart paper. Distribute the “Voting Rights Timeline” worksheet and have the students complete a timeline using the events from the chart paper.
  5. Collect the timelines.
  6. Refer back to the discussion on the reason for the motto. Ask the students why the motto is “The Equality State.”

Sessions 3 and 4

  1. Review the timeline from the previous session. Tell the students that they will be complet- ing some research on important events related to the right to vote in the United States. After completing the research, the students will be designing an illustrated expanded timeline of voting rights in the United States. The expanded timeline will include additional events in the history of voting and not just the events from the text. Tell the students that they are to have at least ten events on their timeline, not including those they already had from the previous session’s text.
  2. Take the students to the computer lab and allow them time to research.
  3. Distribute the “Voting Rights Timeline—Rubric” and review it with the students. Allow the students time to complete their timelines and illustrate them.
  4. Have the students do a self-evaluation using the rubric.
  5. Display the timelines.
  6. Display the transparency or photocopy of the “Wyoming Quarter Reverse” page. Review the reasons from the previously read text why Wyoming’s motto is “The Equality State.” Emphasize that the Western states were the first ones to allow women to vote.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Have students use texts at various reading levels for their research materials.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students create a multimedia timeline using presentation software.
  • Have students research voting rights in other countries and compare these to the United States.
  • Have students compare and contrast the motto “The Equality State” and “E Pluribus Unum.”

Use the “Voting Rights Timeline—Rubric” and the “History of Voting Rights—Teacher Resource Page” to evaluate whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.6.1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.6.2. Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
  • RI.6.3. Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.6.7. Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
  • RI.6.8. Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
  • RI.6.9. Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.6.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
  • W.6.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
  • W.6.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres [e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories] in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics”).
    • Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.4 Language
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.4.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).
    • Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.
    • Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
    • Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).
    • Form and use prepositional phrases.
    • Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
    • Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).
  • L.4.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use correct capitalization.
    • Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
    • Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.5 Language
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.5.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses.
    • Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
    • Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor).
  • L.5.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation to separate items in a series.
    • Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
    • Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
    • Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.6 Language
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.6.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
    • Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
    • Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
    • Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
  • L.6.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.4.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
  • RI.4.5. Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
  • RI.4.6. Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.4.7. Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
  • RI.4.8. Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
  • RI.4.9. Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.5.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
  • RI.5.5. Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.
  • RI.5.6. Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.5.2. Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.5.3. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.6.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
  • RI.6.5. Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
  • RI.6.6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines
  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes
  • Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses
  • Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
  • Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 5-8 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–4
Standards:

  • Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art
  • Students analyze contemporary and historic meanings in specific artworks through cultural and aesthetic inquiry
  • Students describe and compare a variety of individual responses to their own artworks and to artworks from various eras and cultures