Hands-On Canadian History: Women’s Rights to Vote

By the time of World War I, women will still not even considered people. They weren’t allowed vote. Through leadership of strong women such as Nellie McClung, suffragettes lobbied the government hard to change things and earn the women’s rights to vote.

Hands-On Canadian History: Women's Rights to Vote

Ice Cream Sundaes on Shutterstock

The Dessert Vote

I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like a dessert of some kind. My kids are definitely not the exception to that. I thought that this could make a great example of how being allowed to participate in “important” decisions is needed by all the people involved.

Set up a voting booth. I used an empty kleenex box. I figured it was as close to the polling box as I could get. Then I printed out a set of ballot forms. On the forms, I put two things for a dessert vote.

  1. An apple.
  2. An ice cream sundae.

Which one do you think kids would pick from this list?

I then announced that we were going to have a vote for what to have for dessert after supper, but that kids between the ages of 6 and 13 aren’t allowed to vote. My husband, myself, and the 3-year-old all voted. Having set things up with my husband ahead of time to pick an apple on the vote list for this round, the results showed 2 for apple and 1 for ice cream. There was much disappointment and several complaints about how unfair the activity was.  Bingo. We talked about how it felt for the women who weren’t allowed to vote for the person in government they felt would represent their feelings and needs.

We talked about how it would have felt for the women who weren’t allowed to vote for the person in government they felt would represent their feelings and needs.

On the second round of voting, we opened it up to the whole family and everyone got a chance to vote. When we tallied to results, it was unanimously in favour of ice cream sundaes. This was a great opportunity to talk about making things fair, and how allowing everyone might change the final results. Adding in votes from everyone means that results reflect everyone’s needs and wants, not just those of a few people.

This was a great representation of women’s rights to vote. Everyone deserves the chance to speak up about the things that matter to them.

See all 31 Days of  Hands-on Canadian History.

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