Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote

Title: I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women to Vote 
Author: Linda Arms White
Illustrator: Nancy Carpenter
Reading Level: K-4th Grade

If you liked this book click here to view a similar book about another important women's suffragist 

Summary: The book I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote is a children's picture book about a young girl, who sees her mother doing things, and realizing that she can do them too. In the book Esther Morris keeps telling her mother "I could do that!" She learns how to make tea, sew, take care of her siblings, and even own her own business. She grows up and can do all these things, though she still cannot vote because she is a woman, and only men could vote. She made it her mission to get women the right to vote in Wyoming.  

Element 3: Exploring Issues of Social Injustice: This book reflects Element 3 because it is about the history of how women were oppressed because they did not have the right to vote. The book helps explains how women's suffragist, like Esther Morris, changed history. Before Esther Morris woman did not have the right to vote in the state of Wyoming. She was also the first woman to hold public office. Esther Morris started the movement of gaining all woman the right to vote in the United States! 

Activity: Before reading the book to the class I would do an activity to help student's understand that there was a time in history that only certain people were allowed to vote. I would have the student's vote on something like naming the class pet. After the vote, I then would say anyone sitting at certain tables votes do not count because they do not sit near the class pet because they do not know it well enough to name it. I would then see how the vote changes and show the students. This would then lead into a discussion because it is obviously not fair for students sitting further away to not be able to name the class pet. This would bring up the fact that at a time in history woman were not allowed to vote. This would lead into a read-aloud of I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote. After reading the book the class could have a conversation about Esther Morris and how she was important to history, and then the students could write questions that they would want to ask Esther Morris if they got to meet her. 

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