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Tools for Educators

Advocates for Change: Comparing Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and Emmeline B. Wells

Lesson Overview

Through a whole-class read-aloud of the historical fiction picture book (text provided), Friends for Freedom: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, and two historical articles, students will compare activists Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and Utahn Emmeline B. Wells. Students will examine the statue that depicts the friendship of Anthony and Douglass and complete one of the following: a) a compare/contrast essay, b) a sketch of a statue to represent the friendship between Anthony and Wells, or c) a dialogue between Anthony, Douglass, and Wells. The purpose of this lesson is to not only learn about these advocates for change, but to develop the skills of civil and respectful dialogue, particularly with those with whom we may disagree.

This lesson is also available on Canvas Commons.

Recommended Instructional Time: 30-90 minutes

Historical Background for Educators

Key Utah State Standards Addressed

Learning Objectives

  • Students will compare and contrast Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, and Emmeline B. Wells by reading a historical fiction picture book and two informational articles.
  • Students will develop a statue sketch using the statue of Anthony and Douglass as a model and provide rationale for their sketch using evidence from the readings. OR students will compose a compare/contrast essay.

Guiding Questions

  • How did individuals work together within social and political movements to make changes?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks of working with others on causes?
  • How do the arguments for abolition and suffrage compare?
  • How can we disagree with others in civil and respectful ways?



(noun) the legal ending of slavery

Many people worked for the abolition of slaves.


(noun) a person who supported the ending of slavery in the United States

Angelina Grimke and Sojourner Truth were abolitionists who fought to end slavery.


(noun) a person who works for a cause or group

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were advocates of women’s suffrage.

(verb) to support or argue for a cause or policy



(verb) to free a person from someone else’s power

Anti-polygamists wanted to emancipate women in polygamous marriages.


(n) the right to vote

The 19th Amendment granted the franchise to women.

(v) to give the right to vote

The 19th Amendment franchised women.




(noun) The right to vote in a political election

During the women’s suffrage movement, women fought for and won the right to vote in political elections.


(noun) a person who worked to get voting rights for women

Suffragists fought for women’s voting rights.

Materials Needed





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