Civil Disobedience and the National Woman's Party

The National Woman’s Party (NWP), inspired by the more militant British suffragist movement, broke away from the mainstream American suffrage movement represented by organizations such as the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The NWP picketed the White House in an effort to gain national support for federal action in securing women the right to vote. Committed to their use of civil disobedience, NWP members were arrested and waged hunger strikes in their efforts to gain support for their cause. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
Analyze the major goals, struggles, and achievements of the Progressive Era, including attacking racial discrimination, child labor, big business, conservation, and...
Describe the means that citizens use to participate in the political process (e.g., voting, campaigning, lobbying, filing a legal challenge, demonstrating, petitioning,...
Evaluate the topic or subject in multiple diverse formats and media.
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing and synthesizing relevant textual evidence from...
Determine multiple central ideas of a text or texts and analyze their development; provide a critical summary.
Analyze how an author's choices regarding the ordering of ideas and events, the introduction and development of ideas, and connections among ideas...
Initiate and participate effectively with varied partners in a range of collaborative discussions on appropriate 11th - 12th grade topics, texts, and...
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media formats in order to make informed decisions and solve problems; evaluate the...
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning supported by relevant and sufficient evidence.
Write informative/explanatory texts to analyze, synthesize, and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the...
Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated.
Locate an answer to a question or solve a problem, drawing on information from multiple print or digital sources.
Integrate information from two or more texts on the same topic in order to build content knowledge.
Explain the relationships and interactions among two or more individuals, events, and/or ideas in a text.
Prepare for collaborative discussions on 5th grade level topics and texts; engage effectively with varied partners, building on others' ideas and...
Summarize a text presented in diverse media such as visual, quantitative, and oral formats.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information.
Describe the movement to achieve suffrage for women, including its leaders, the activities of suffragettes, the passage of the 19th Amendment, and the role of Tennessee...
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • analyze photographs and a newspaper article
  • read and interpret informational text
  • compare popular culture adaptions of events to primary source material
  • provide both oral and written responses to a series of critical thinking questions
Essential and guiding questions: 

How was civil disobedience used by the National Woman’s Party in its campaign to secure women the right to vote? How effective was this strategy for gaining suffrage for women? 

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 
  • Assign students an individual highlighted in the Gallery of Suffrage Prisoners. Students will need to research their individual to create a biography of the person and their involvement with the women’s suffrage movement.
  • Lizzie Crozier French and Sue Shelton White were both Tennesseans involved in the National Woman’s Party. Have students research these two women and create a short presentation about how their efforts impacted the suffrage movement in the state.
  • Have students research the British suffrage movement and compare it to what happened in the United States.

Helpful Hints


  • Overhead projector connected to computer
  • Worksheet – Day one 5th grade
  • Worksheet – Day one high school
  • Worksheet – Day two 5th grade
  • Worksheet – Day two high school