About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Historic Landmark and National Register of Historic Places nominations for the "Sewall-Belmont House" (with photos), as well as on material from the collection of the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, home of the historic National Woman's Party, library. It also uses material from the National Woman's Party Papers in the Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress and documentation on the house prepared for the National Park Service's Historic American Buildings Survey, also at the Library of Congress. The lesson was written by Kathleen Hunter, Marilyn Harper, and Katie Orr, and edited by the Teaching with Historic Places staff. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in United States history courses in units on early 20th century reform movements, women's history, civil rights, and civic engagement.
Time period: 20th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To compare and contrast early 20th century pro-suffrage organizations.
2) To conduct an oral history interview about 20th century life and to critique the subject's reliability.
3) To trace laws that expanded or restricted political liberties in the United States over time.
4) To seek out examples of injustice in their community and to provide possible solutions.
5) To identify ways Americans can influence their government apart from voting.
Materials for students
The materials listed below can either be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
1) One map of Washington, DC, labeled to show the Sewall-Belmont House and other sites associated with Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party;
2) Four readings on Alice Paul and suffrage, Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party after ratification of the 19th Amendment, Anna Wiley's speech during a reception at Sewall-Belmont House, and an oral history about Alice Paul and the headquarters;
3) Four photographs of National Woman's Party members, Alice Paul, and the Sewall-Belmont House;
4) Two drawings of the Sewall-Belmont House second floor plan and a 1977 poster commemorating Alice Paul's life.
Visiting the site
The Sewall-Belmont House is located at 144 Constitution Avenue, Northeast, in Washington, DC, next to the Hart Senate Building. It is the headquarters of the historic National Woman's Party and a National Historic Site, administered in partnership with the National Park Service. Public tours are available weekly, but are restricted to certain days and times. For more information, call 202-546-1210 or visit the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, home of the historic National Woman's Party, website.