The Process

Student Index

Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
"The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it."

Here are some things you'll need:


Begin your journal.

The short piece on the Reconstruction Era here provides clues about who the important founders of the movement were and why they worked for women's rights. Start a list of the women whom you believe were most important in your journal.

Answer this question in your journal:
Why did women want to make changes?

Look at this "American Memories" picture of a poster suffragists carried to get an idea of why they wanted equal rights. Now, add two more answers to the question in your journal.

Write down the dates and locations of important events.

As you read, keep making notes in your journal about the important things that women did; the things that changed people and laws, the things we shouldn't forget, the things that make each woman worthy of commemoration. This web site at the Huntington Organization has a great introduction to the suffragist movement Read about the movement there, and look for information on a suffragist you're interested in at this web site. Write short notes in your journal about what each woman did. For instance, you might note that Angelina Grimke was the first woman to make a speech to a group of lawmakers.

See what your classmates think.

The next step is to see what your classmates think. You will all answer these two questions on a class chart.

Which woman living between 1800 and 1850 most deserves to have a commemorative stamp?
Name one important thing she did.


Decide on one woman to write your convincing argument for. Persuade the Post Office to commemorate your choice.

Go back and reread the information at the above web sites about the woman you've chosen. Check in the library to see if you can get additional information about her. Check the "Distinguished Women of Past and Present" to find additional information. You need to write 300-500 words persuading the post office to publish the commemorative stamp for the woman you've chosen. You must tell
  • when she was born and when she died,
  • what she did and when she did it,
  • why she should be commemorated.

Design your stamp.

Depending on how much time you have, and which materials you have access to, you can draw, paint, or create the design for your stamp. Your teacher will help you decide on how to do it.