Ahead of the Curve: After the exhibit


Ahead of the Curve: After the exhibit


Legacy Washington, Office of the Secretary of State




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Grade Levels


Ahead of the Curve  celebrates the 100th anniversary of American women gaining the right to vote with an exhibit and online profiles.

Washington has been Ahead of the Curve since it first granted women the right to vote in 1883. In 1910 our state became the fifth to include women's suffrage in its constitution — a decade ahead of the nation. And Washington women keep blazing trails in fields from science to bridge building. Ahead of the Curve highlights the pioneering spirit of some larger-than-life women and little-known stories with big impacts on Washington, the nation, and beyond.

The lesson plans follow the inquiry arc as outlined in the College, Career, Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards and are common core aligned (Washington State standards) to challenge students in essential reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. These plans are poised to engage middle and high school students before, during, and after visiting the Ahead of the Curve exhibit (either in person or online).

Lesson Objectives

  • EQ: Does our history shape our future?
At the end of this lesson students will:
  • Research, note and plan using key details from expanded readings on pair of Ahead of the Curve exhibit featured women.
  • Write a creative conversation based on information learned from the exhibit and further research.


  • Assignment and Rubric
  • Research Links Page


Washington State Social Studies Standards
  • SSS4.6-8.1.  Analyze multiple factors, make generalizations, and interpret sources to formulate a thesis in a paper or presentation, while observing rules related to plagiarism and copyright.
  • H2.6-8.2.  Explain and analyze how individuals and movements have shaped Washington State history since statehood.
  • H4.6-8.2.  Analyze how a historical event in Washington State history helps us to understand contemporary issues and events.


Entry task: Review learning
  • Students should get out their field notes from the visit to the exhibit and review the notes they took.
  • Students pair-share 4 interesting notes and one question they were left with After visiting the exhibit.
Research, product creation and presentation:
The research and presentation portions of this lesson could be designed in a number of ways. Teachers will need to decide how best to structure student creation of their products. A suggested assignment and rubric are included, but teachers should adjust based on the educational needs of their students. Essential elements and possible adjustments described in list below:
  1. Students should select a pair of Ahead of the Curve women about whom they want to learn more and who will be the focus of the creative writing assignment.
    1. This might be done individually or in pairs.
    2. Teachers may ask students to read/note deeper about two or three pairs of women before deciding which to use for the creative writing assignment.
  2. Students should read and take notes about the pair/pairs of women they choose.
    1. Teachers might assign a certain number of notes, create a form for students to fill in, or leave the assignment open depending on classroom practice.
  3. After research, students will draft their creative writing project using the Assignment and Rubric to guide their work.
    1. Teachers should introduce/teach the rubric and assignment.
    2. Students may benefit from brainstorming ideas in small groups before creating the product individually or in pairs
    3. Students may benefit from a peer editing/feedback protocol after producing a first draft
  4. Teachers should ask students to share out their writing project in some way. A dramatic reading could be appropriate. Peers could be involved in assessing the projects during the share out using the rubric.

Formative Assessment

  • Field Notes
  • Creative writing dialogue
  • Presentation
  • Rubric score/peer feedback
Ahead of the Curve: After the exhibit
Ahead of the Curve Text Set of Profile Excerpts
Ahead of the Curve Research and Resource Links