Women's History Month: Meet Esther Morris

I've been spending a lot of time over the last two months working with my Smarties on recognizing the traits of characters and then being able to create a thesis statement based on those traits.
I used Salt in His Shoes, the story of Michael Jordan to help during February and Black History Month.  This month I tried another book that goes with Women's History Month.  It is called I Could Do That:  Esther Morris Gets the Women's Vote by Linda Arms White.  Have you read this book? FABULOUS!!

Esther Morris was a champion in the Wyoming Territory.  She was able to convince the governing body to allow women the right to vote in local elections.  She was also the first woman in the United States to hold a public office!  Wyoming was the first place women were allowed to vote.  I loved that this book was NOT about Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Susan B Anthony.  Don't get wrong, I'm a champion for all pioneers for women, but it was so incredibly refreshing to learn about someone NEW!  My smarties were intrigued and interested because it was NOT a person they had already heard of.. no more SAME OL SAME OLD!!

The book is an easy read!  Scholastic puts the reading level at 2.4.  The Lexile level is 780 and the DRA is 28.  I introduced the book as a group, and then used it as a rotational center of activities throughout the week.  I created a variety of activities that I could use with my groups of students.  Some of them are ready for the straight up thesis statement.  They can identify character traits and find evidence pretty readily.  Other groups need to sequence events and then talk through the traits that they identify about the person.  Something new that I tried was interviewing the character.  About half of my group could create pretty decent questions on their own, but some needed prompting, so I came up with a few questions to help them out getting started.
Overall, it was a fabulous way to learn about a historical character who did trememdous things and is not well known.
If you are interested in using my resources, you can find them {HERE}.  Challenge your students to learn about someone new in American History.  


  1. Sounds like an awesome book - I will definitely need to check it out!
    We're focusing a lot on noteworthy women this month and we just did a mini unit on Venus and Serena Williams. My kiddos were so thrilled to read about someone who was not dead! :)

    Joy in the Journey

    1. I know exactly what you mean! Our librarian is getting betterat finding worthy biography books of LIVING people that aren't actors or athletes. But when I found this book on the shelf I couldn't resist it. It just forces the kids to actually APPLY what they know about women's suffrage and character traits to someone else.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I am all for introducing new people from history. I have never heard of Esther! Sounds like a book for me! My kids are practicing research skills now. I put a bunch of famous women in a "hat' and they chose randomly.DId the same for famous men. They are amazed at what they are learning! WHO KNEW?? LOL! Thanks for sharing!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

    1. You will love this book! I'm sure some of your second graders with a little vocabulary work could read and enjoy it on their own.
      Have a great day!

  3. This story is in the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys 4th grade series. It's a great intro into the right to vote. The kids love it!


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