Hazel Hunkins, Billings Suffragist

Created by Billings school librarian Ruth Ferris with partial funding through the National Endowment for the Humanities' National Digital Newspaper Project, this primary-source based lesson plan challenges students to analyze and contextualize historical evidence; consider how authorship, intention, and context affect meaning; and construct an argument about the contributions of Billings, Montana, high school graduate Hazel Hunkins to the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Materials to teach this four-to-six-day lesson are below. While supplies last, you can request a free printed and bound copy of this lesson plan by emailing MHSEducation@mt.gov, subject line: Hazel Hunkins. Make sure to include your mailing address in your email. 

Lesson Plan

Hazel Hunkins, Billings Suffragist: A Primary Source Investigation

This lesson plan provides detailed instructions and copies of all of the material needed to engage your students in this historical investigation.

Material for Part 1

Building Background Knowledge PowerPoint

Provide your students with a quick overview so they have the background knowledge they need to complete the lesson.

Suffrage Primary Source PowerPoint

Part 1 of the lesson plan uses photos of Hazel Hunkins from the 1908 Billings High School yearbook as a hook. It also includes a teacher-led analysis of 5 primary sources: A photograph, an envelope, a newspaper clipping, a letter, and an editorial cartoon. All of these sources are included in the lesson plan itself as well as in this Primary Source PowerPoint, for teachers wishing to project them on a large screen. The PowerPoint also includes a Model Document Analysis Worksheet for each source, to help students learn how to interrogate primary sources. 

Document Analysis Worksheet

Students will need to answer the questions on this worksheet for each source they investigate.

Material for Part 2 

Part 2 requires the class to be divided into six "Detective Teams." Each team will be responsible for analyzing one of the following Historical Case Files.

Historical Case File #1:  Selling Suffrage   Images of Case File #1 Sources   

Historical Case File #2:  Anti-Suffrage and Saloon Men   Images of Case File #2 Sources

Historical Case File #3:  Silent Sentinels   Images of Case File #3 Sources

Historical Case File #4:  Pickets, Arrests, and Riots   Images of Case File #4 Sources

Historical Case File #5:  Prisoners and Hunger Strikes   Images of Case File #5 Sources

Historical Case File #6:  Dissension within the Movement   Images of Case File #6 Sources

Document Analysis Worksheet

Detective teams will need to answer the questions on this worksheet for each source they investigate.

Material for Part 3 

Part 3 requires each student to write a brief addressed to the textbook committee, arguing for or against Hazel Hunkins' inclusion in the next edition of their American history or Montana history textbook. 

Writing the Brief Graphic Organizer

This graphic organizer is designed to help students organize the evidence they have collected to write a persuasive brief.