Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by Leeds Museums and Galleries, with thanks to Chris Nickson.

This learning resource explores the role of suffragists from or living in Leeds in helping to change the law and gain women the vote.

Curriculum Links

  • KS2 History: Significant local person, places, events. Theme extending knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 PSHE: Relationships, Rights, Responsibilities, Community and Global Citizenship
  • SMSC: British Values
  • KS3 History: challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day: women’s suffrage

Activity Ideas

  • Make your own timeline of a period of time that you find interesting. It could even be a timeline for you or someone you admire.
  • Read through each of the events in the Women’s Rights Timeline.
    - Pick five events and decide how each would affect men and women differently.
    - Write down which ones had most impact on women and why.
  • Read Mary Smiths story.
    - Why do you think that Mary’s requests were not taken seriously by parliament
  • Louisa Carbutt was the first woman to be elected a Poor Law Guardian in Leeds.
    - Why was it unusual for a woman to be a Poor Law Guardian in the 1800s?
  • Read through the different stories of the Leeds Suffragists.
    - Which woman most interests you and why?
    - Make a list of the qualities, skills and characteristics that these women shared.
    - Now do the same with a woman you admire today.
    - What are the differences and similarities between them.
  • Write a mini biography of a woman you admire.
    You could get some inspiration by reading Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.
  • Draw a venn diagram to illustrate the differences and similarities between Suffragists and Suffragettes.
    • Use this information to write a letter from a Suffragist to a Suffragette about their different approaches to campaigning for suffrage.

Discussion Ideas

  • All the images in this resource are of White women. Why are there so few images of women from diverse backgrounds from this period?
  • All men and women over the age of 18 years are now able to vote in political elections in the UK. Do you think this is fair?
  • 16 year olds have to pay taxes, but they can’t vote for the government that sets those taxes. Is this fair?
  • Should people under the age of 18 be allowed to vote?
    Explain to a partner why you think this using reasoned arguments.
  • What changes do you think there would be in UK society if the legal voting age was lowered? Why do you think this?
  • Emily Ford used her artistic skills to help the campaign for suffrage and was a member of the Artists Suffrage League. How could the arts (visual art, music, drama, dance, film, photography, storytelling) help you to campaign for something you believe in?