Bessie, a young girl growing up in the 1890s, doesn’t understand why she can’t go hiking with her brothers and her dad. It is not until Susan B. Anthony comes to town that Bessie realizes she has the power to stand up for what she believes in, even if it only inspires a small change.

There is a moment in the book where Bessie says, “I wondered if an eclipse were coming over me.” This poetic thought provides an opportunity to discuss how human emotions can be portrayed by events in nature. Try this activity with your class for further understanding:

  • Ask your students to write a poem about an event in nature that they have observed (a bird fluttering around a flower, a sunset, a rainstorm, a wave crashing against the shore, anything!).
  • In the poem, students should write about the setting and event.
  • Encourage your students to connect their chosen event with an emotion or feeling.
  • After, discuss what Bessie means when she says, “I wondered if an eclipse were coming over me,” (Possible answer: She wonders if she might become sad inside for a time).


Click here for the full summary on Marching with Aunt Susan and here for the complete teacher’s guide.