History KS3: The life and work of Emmeline Pankhurst

Sally Lindsay examines the life of the leader of the Suffragettes, Emmeline Pankhurst, and traces the people, places, and events that turned her into the leader of the ‘votes for women’ campaign group.

Formally known as the Women’s Social and Political Union, the Suffragettes were a national organisation that fought for female voting rights when only men had the vote.

In interviews with Emmeline's descendants and expert historians, Sally learns about Emmeline’s early years in industrial Manchester and discovers more about the people and the political and social events that made her believe votes for women could only be won by military means.

Teacher Notes

Students could examine a number of different images of Emmeline Pankhurst and be asked to think about what each picture tells them about Emmeline Pankhurst.

When watching the video students could answer the following questions: What was Emmeline’s childhood like and what impact did this have on her politically?

How did her work as a registrar affect her? What was the WSPU and what was her role in it?

Why do you think Emmeline Pankhurst was named the woman of the 20th century? Why is she a significant individual in History?

Students could then produce a front cover for TIME magazine or write a short interview with Emmeline Pankhurst.

At the end of the lesson students could be asked to consider what three key things have they learnt about her today and what surprised them the most about her life?

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching History at KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 3rd Level in Scotland.