1. Ask students if they know who Senator Hillary Clinton is, and what state she represents. If they don't know, answer the questions and, perhaps, show some pictures of Senator Clinton.
2. Divide the class into nine groups, one for each decade since the 1920s. Give a Tally Sheet to each group, and ask students to write down the names of women who have served in the House or Senate in each decade (1924-1929, 1930-1939; 1940-1949; etc.), what states they have represented, what political party they belonged to, and how long they served.
3. When the Tally Sheets are completed, tape them up on the walls of your classroom, and give students time to look at each one. Ask the students to answer the following questions:
- How many women have served, or are serving in the U.S. House of Representatives?
- How many women have served, or are serving in the U.S. Senate?
- Which political party has sent more women to Congress?
- How many states have had women as Representatives or Senators?
- Are there any states that have not?
- Which state has sent the most women to Congress?
- Which state has sent the least number of women to Congress?
4. When the questions are all answered, ask each student to choose one Representative or Senator from the two lists on the Web, and find out a little about her from her biography. Each student can also use print materials or other web sites to find more information about his or her chosen Representative or Senator.
5. When students have finished their research, each student should write a short description of his or her chosen Representative or Senator to share with the class.
Women in the House
Women in the Senate
Women in Congress
This lesson was developed by Averil McClelland, Kent State University.