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Supplements for Teachers: Firehorse

--Curriculum Connection

Women's rights, women's suffrage movement, Victorian America, firefighting history, Boston, pre-destination

--Discussion Questions

Henry David Thoreau wrote: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer." What does that mean? Do you know someone who marches to "a different drummer"? How has that person contributed to or changed society?

Describe a time when you acted opposite of society's expectations. (Perhaps in your choice of clothing, hair style, hobby, sport, or group of friends.) Was it difficult? What did people say about your choice?

In 1869, abolitionist Frederick Douglass said that black men should be given the right to vote before white women because black men had suffered more. Do you agree or disagree, and why? What eventually happened?

Since adults have more experience in the workplace, should you follow their career advice?

Why does Rachel so often quote from or make reference to the Bible?

--Hands-On Projects

Make a campaign poster for women's suffrage

Draw a map of 1872 Boston showing how much was burned

Craft a bracelet using horsehair or human hair (yes, Victorians did this)

--Engaging References

Images of America: The Great Boston Fire of 1872 (Anthony Mitchell Sammarco) Over 200 photos of Boston before and after the "great fire".

The American Girls Handy Book (Lina Beard and Adelia B. Beard) Reprint of a Victorian "guide to girlhood," this book contains a wealth of crafts, activities, and cultural insights.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: The Right Is Ours (Harriet Sigerman) Aimed at a juvenile/young adult audience, this biography is very detailed and complete.

Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns) For advanced readers, this beautiful book is full of great photos.

Ain't I A Woman!: A book of women's poetry from around the world (edited by Illona Linthwaite) This collection of women's poetry is very inspirational. I referred to it when I was writing Firehorse.
This is the most amazing website! It includes the Boston Directory of 1872, offering "a microcosm of 19th century life, from horse-drawn streetcar schedules to the cost of the latest hoop skirt." The primary source documents here include the transcribed testimonies of nearly 200 witnesses to the Boston Fire.