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“Giant Steps” to Your Classroom

January 13, 2020

2020 is here and with it comes an exciting year of Women’s Suffrage Centennial celebrations. With the sheer amount of information out there on how to celebrate, when to celebrate, and who to celebrate, it can be a bit daunting to know where to begin. Never fear, we are here to help! I’m going to highlight 3 resources from IHS and why you and your students will love them.

  1. Giant Steps: Suffragettes and Soldiers by Mary Blair Immel is a historical fiction novel which follows the story of Bernie, a young girl from Lafayette who learns about the suffrage movement through the women in her life. Bernie faces many challenges as she learns to formulate her own ideas of why suffrage matters not just to her but also to the women in her life. Set as the United States enters WWI, Bernie struggles to balance her desire for suffrage with supporting her brothers during the war effort. Your students will love this book because Bernie’s desire to understand her world will resonate with them as they shape their own thoughts and opinions. Through Bernie, they will see how one person can have the power to change the minds of those around them, all while learning about the suffrage movement and WWI.
    Giant Steps book

    “Giant Steps” by Mary Blair Immel

  2. “We Must Be Fearless”: The Woman Suffrage Movement in Indiana by Dr. Anita Morgan will be published soon through the Indiana Historical Society Press and is a must-read for anyone hoping to better understand the development of the suffrage movement in Indiana. I’m guilty myself of forgetting that movements don’t just spring up overnight; they often have a long history informing their development. Dr. Morgan takes readers through the suffrage movement in Indiana beginning before the Civil War. For any educators using Giant Steps in their classroom, “We Must Be Fearless” is going to be invaluable as Dr. Morgan provides even more historical context to the variety of experiences Bernie has. For example, Dr. Morgan explores the importance and development of social clubs. With the context Dr. Morgan supplies, a whole new level of significance is brought to Bernie’s story.
  3. On Tuesday, Jan. 28 we will host a webinar on women’s suffrage. Registration is free and gains you access to the recording after the air date. Even if you aren’t able to join us live but want the recording, make sure to register for access. During this webinar, Beth Whitaker, Manager of Education, will take you through some of the Leading Ladies of Indiana suffrage, a lesson plan and activity for your classroom, and state and national resources. Tangible lessons you can incorporate from Giant Steps will also be highlighted in this one-hour webinar. Your students will love the takeaways you get from this session! Register here.

Suffrage is a big topic, and we’re going to be hearing a lot about it. With these three handy resources, you’ll be all set to take on suffrage discussions in your classroom!

Bethany Hrachovec

Bethany Hrachovec is the director of education and engagement at the Indiana Historical Society. She is passionate about traveling and spends most vacations away from the museum visiting even more museums.

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