Creating Suffrage Memes

Lesson Plan: Using postcards from the early 20th century, students will explore basic propaganda techniques used in the suffrage debate and create memes to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, or to encourage all citizens to vote.

Grade Level

High, Middle


History & Social Sciences USII.1, USII.4, CE.1, VUS.8, English 6.3, 7.3, 8.3

Time Period

1900-1950: Early 20th Century


Civil rights, Suffrage

Resource Type

Lesson Plan
Postcard that reads "Votes for Women" at the top with a cupie doll with blonde curly hair wearing a tri-corner blue hat with a red feather and a revolutionary red jacket carrying a sword. Below the image of the girl reads "The Spirit of 1776 (crossed out) To-Day "No Taxation without Representation" 5342.
Votes for Women postcard, V.2019.04.371, The Valentine

Essential Questions 

  • What is propaganda? How is it used to persuade? 
  • Describe the similarities and differences between how postcards were used in the early 20th century and how memes are used in social media today.  
  • What makes an effective meme? 


Exploring Suffrage Propaganda Memes Today Lesson Plan (pdf)

Ballot Battle Suffrage Movement History (pdf)

Votes for Women Suffrage Postcard Examples (pdf)