Main Body

The Story of Nellie McClung

Learning Goals

At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Understand and use new vocabulary words
  • Read words ending in -able
  • Decide if a statement is fact or opinion
  • Use capital letters for proper nouns
  • Organize a paragraph
  • Fill out a Voter Registration form
Symbol for women

Get Ready to Read

  • What is sexism?
  • Have you seen or experienced an example of sexism?


Figure out what the bold word means by looking at how it is used in the sentence. Match it to the best meaning.
1. She starred in a play where she debated men’s right to vote. a. Expressed different viewpoints about something
2. They talked about how unfair it was that women were not allowed to sit in the Senate. b. Became worse
3. Even as she grew older and her health declined, she kept writing and speaking for equal rights. c. One of the groups that helps make laws in Canada
4. “Because I’ve got a bad heart my doctor has told me not to write. I assume he meant books so I keep busy writing letters, editorials and messages.” d. An article in a newspaper or magazine that shares the opinion of the editors
Check your work with the Answer Key at the end of this chapter.
Write an answer for each question. Write in complete sentences and use the word in bold.
  1. Do you watch the debates around election time?
  2. Why do you think Ottawa’s hockey team in the NHL is called the Senators?
  3. Do you ever read the editorials in the newspaper?
Ask your instructor to check your work.

Word Attack Strategy

Word Patterns

A suffix is an end part of a word. The suffix –able means “can be.”

For example: Reading is enjoyable.

Enjoyable describes something that can be enjoyed.

 Match the word to the correct definition.
Word Meaning
1. reasonable Describes something that can bring comfort
2. fashionable Describes something you can notice
3. comfortable Describes something you can love
4. affordable Describes something that is in fashion
5. loveable Describes someone who can use reason
6. noticeable Describes something you can afford
Break these words into syllables. Remember that every syllable has a vowel and -ble is a separate syllable.

7. comfortable = __com__ + _______ + __ta___+ _______

8. affordable = _______ + _for___ + _______+ __ble__

9. loveable = _______ + ___a___+ _______

10. noticeable = _______ + __tice__ + _______+ _______

11. reasonable = __rea__ + _______ + _______+ _______

Check your work with the Answer Key at the end of this chapter.

Use Your Reading Skills

Read The Story of Nellie McClung in your reader. Return to this page when you are done.

Check Your Understanding

Find the Topic and Main Idea

1. What is the topic of this text?
a. Picnics
b. Women’s rights
c. Nelly McClung
2. What is the main idea of this text?
a. This text tells the story of how Nellie McClung helped change Canadians’ views about the role of women.
b. This text is about the disadvantages of allowing men to vote.
c. This text compares Nellie McClung to other women who fought for women’s rights.
Check your work with the Answer Key at the end of this chapter.
Open and print a Sum It Up sheet. Write down the main idea. Add one supporting detail for each box (Think: What did Nellie do to help change Canadians’ views about the role of women?) 
Ask your instructor to check your work.

Identify Sequence

Readers need to understand the different ways that writers organize texts. In texts about history, writers often explain the events in the same order that they happened in real life.

Match the events and the dates. Copy the sentences in the correct order.
1. 1882 __________________________________________________
2. 1918 __________________________________________________
3. 1921 __________________________________________________
4. 1929 __________________________________________________
5. 1951 __________________________________________________
a. White women got the right to vote.
b. Women were allowed to sit in the Senate.
c. Nellie died.
d. Nellie was told girls should not run in races.
e. Nellie became an MLA.
Check your work with the Answer Key at the end of this chapter.

Understanding the Difference Between Fact and Opinion

A fact is something that can be proven. People can usually agree on the truth of facts. An opinion is a judgment about what is right and wrong, or what is better or worse. Different people have different opinions.

Look at each statement. Which one is a fact? Which one is an opinion?
1. Girls should not run in races.
2. Nellie McClung was not allowed to run in races when she was a child.
3. Men are more reasonable than women.
4. Before 1918, women were not allowed to vote or be in government.
5. It is wrong to use violence to fight for your rights.
6. Nelly used humour instead of violence to fight for women’s rights.
Check your work with the Answer Key at the end of this chapter.


Compound Sentences

Turn each pair of simple sentences into one compound sentence. Remember to add a comma and a conjunction (and, but, or, so).
1. Some activists used violence to get their point across. Nellie used humour.
2. Men were seen as reasonable. Women were seen as emotional.
3. Nellie pointed out that most of the people in prison were men. Men made up only a small number of the people who went to church.
4. Women of colour were treated even worse than white women. Nellie called for an end to racism.
5. Nellie’s health declined. She kept fighting for women’s rights.
Check your work with the Answer Key at the end of this chapter.

Capital Letters

Grammar Rule

To understand the rules about capital letters, it helps to know that there are two kinds of nouns — common nouns and proper nouns.
A common noun is a general person, place, thing, or idea. Common nouns do not need capitals.
A proper noun is a specific person, place, thing, or idea. Proper nouns need capitals.


Common Nouns Proper Nouns









Douglas College



Pacific Ocean

Anne of Green Gables


New Year’s Eve

Edit these sentences by adding capital letters where needed.
1. Nellie was born in chatsworth, ontario.
2. Her first book was called sowing seeds in danny.
3. Nellie married a man named wes. They had five children together.
4. She started the women’s political equality league, which fought to give women the right to vote.
5. She went on speaking tours in canada and the united states. She even crossed the atlantic ocean to give speeches in england.
6. She died on september 1, 1951, near victoria, british columbia.
Check your work with the Answer Key at the end of this chapter.
Answer these questions in complete sentences. Use capitals where needed.
7. What is your favourite restaurant?
8. What is the title of the last movie you saw?
9. What month were you born in?
10. What country would you most like to visit?
11. What is the name of your favourite singer?
Ask your instructor to check your work.


Organize a Paragraph

A paragraph is a group of sentences about one topic. A paragraph should include:
  • A topic sentence that explains the main idea or point you want to make
  • Supporting details that back up your point
  • A concluding sentence that reminds the reader of your main idea
Decide what order these sentences should go in. 
a. Second, our government may not make decisions that are good for us if we do not vote. We could lose important rights and freedoms.
b. In conclusion, Canadians should always take time to mark a ballot on election day.
c. Everyone in Canada over the age of 18 should vote.
d. First, our country will not be healthy if people do not vote. Voting is how we make decisions together.
e. Third, voting does not take a lot of time or effort. It will likely take less than an hour of your day once every few years.
Check your work with the Answer Key at the end of this chapter.

Writing Task

Rewrite the sentences above in the correct order and in paragraph form. Do not start a new line for each new sentence. Each sentence should follow the one before it.

Fill Out a Voter Registration Form

In order to vote, you must fill out a form to get on the government’s voters list. This is called registering to vote.
1. Look at Nellie McClung’s Voter Registration form.
2. Open and print your own Voter Registration form. Follow Nellie’s example but use your own information.
Ask your instructor to check your work.
3. If you are not registered to vote and you would like to be, mail your form to the address at the bottom of the sheet.

Answer Key

1 a
2 c
3 b
4 d
Word Attack Strategy
1 reasonable – describes someone who can use reason
2 fashionable – describes something that is in fashion
3 comfortable – describes something that can bring comfort
4 affordable – describes something you can afford
5 loveable – describes something you can love.
6 noticeable – describes something you can notice
7 com + for + ta + ble
8 af + for + da + ble
9 love + a + ble
10 no + tice + a + ble
11 rea + son + a + ble
Check Your Understanding  
Find the Topic and Main Idea
1 c
2 a
Identify Sequence  
1 1882 – d
2 1918 – a
3 1921 – e
4 1929 – b
5 1951 – c
Understanding the Difference Between Fact and Opinion  
1 opinion
2 fact
3 opinion
4 fact
5 opinion
6 fact
Compound Sentences
1 but
2 and
3 and
4 so
5 but
 Capital Letters
1 Chatsworth, Ontario
2 Sowing Seeds in Danny
3 Wes
4 Political Equality League
5 Canada, United States, Atlantic Ocean, England
6 September, Victoria, British Columbia
Organize a Paragraph
c, d, a, e, b


Symbol for women
Female Symbol by geralt is in the public domain.


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