1. Assign the article First woman is elected to Congress to your students. Have students identify the overall attitude toward the election of Jeannette Rankin. How did Americans feel about her election into office? Have students highlight evidence from the article to support their reasoning.
2. Next, Assign the article Hayden picked as first woman and African-American librarian of Congress to your students. Have students identify the overall attitude toward President Obama choosing Carla Hayden. How do Americans feel about it? Have students highlight evidence from the article to support their reasoning.
3. After students read the articles use these questions to guide a class discussion:
- What obstacles did each of these women face? Take into consideration their time period.
- What impact did the election of Jeannette Rankin have on the future of women being elected into office?
- Although these articles were written over the span of 100 years, why do you think they are newsworthy?
Write response: How do you think Americans reacted to Jeannette Rankin and Carla Hayden? Use evidence from both articles to support your thinking.
Text Set Connections: Look through our text set: Go Girl! Women's History All Year Long. Have students select an article and reflect upon the gender stereotypes both women had to face in order to reach their goals.