Work by Joshua DeLeon, provided by Tawney Safran
Cam High’s AP European History Class recently participated in the Women Leading the Way: Suffragists & Suffragettes project — a national competition in which participants focus on a given suffragette and tell her story.
For this project, each student was assigned a suffragette to research, write a report about, and produce an original art piece depicting their suffragette and what they stood for. In addition to doing a research report about their assigned suffragette, students also learned about the first woman in their family to vote, wrote her bibliography, and made another original art piece in honor of her. Finally, the students write a 300-word self-reflection detailing what they learned from the entire project.
The students, not only fulfilled all the project’s requirements over the course of, roughly, four weeks by learning about the suffragettes but also learned about finding useful resources through school-provided opportunities, such as utilizing the library efficiently to use the district databases.
Ms. Tawney Safran, the AP European History teacher at Cam High, assigned this project because she believes it covers topics such as democracy, minorities around the world, and celebrating voice. “My first concern was to make sure it was not just relevant to the class,” Safran said. “I also wanted to make sure it was respectful to everyone’s time and respectful to the students juggling rigorous course load outside my classroom as well.”
Safran also liked how the project gave her students something to be proud of now and later in life despite the work required: “If they can produce something they create, in their own voice, for something they can honor, it is a pivotal moment in their personal history,” Safran said. “Later in life they will reflect and be proud of all their work.”
To research the suffragettes, Safran worked with Cam High Librarian, Ms. Heidi Resnik, and conducted two-day sessions with Resnik to learn how to research efficiently and use the district provided databases.
“I think it is incredibly important to know how to access good information to research efficiently and know how to tell good information from not so good information,” Resnik said. She also said, “Finding credible sources is always a big part of any assignment for any project.”
Peter Schafer, sophomore, thought the assignment helped with both his researching skills and his comprehension of why women’s history is so widely taught and emphasized by teachers.”I think the suffragettes are very important to learn about,” Schafer said. “We need to understand the struggles of people who lived before us to understand our world now and how lucky we are to live in an era where those same struggles have been removed.”