You are on page 1of 33


Matt DePalma
World War I
2 week unit

Part A: Lesson Overview

Preface: This class meets two or three times a week for 79 minutes per class (on a
block schedule). I created a lesson plan that would take 5 days to cover for WWI
throughout this 2 week unit

Course Questions:
Is the US meant to be united?
How has democracy and a democratic government in the US supported or hindered

Content Objectives:
Students will evaluate whether the US government is really one that is for the
people/by the people through multiple perspectives

Skill Objectives:
Students will effectively use primary sources to examine different perspectives in US
Students will analyze and take positions supported by various types of evidence

Unit questions:
Was WWI inevitable?
Does democracy influence the course of war?

Unit Content Objectives:

Analyze turning points in WWI and the role of the United States in global affairs
Analyze how WWI affected the American identity on the home front through
multiple perspectives.
Students will evaluate whether WWI could have been prevented or not
Students will evaluate how the causes of WWI and propaganda influences war
Students will understand how technology changed the rules of war and effected the
lives of soldiers
Students will evaluate the role of the US in responding to and preventing war
Students will analyze the role of the US in world affairs using Woodrow Wilson’s
Fourteen Points and the Treaty of Versailles

Unit Skill Objectives:

Students will effectively use primary sources through their analysis of WWI
Students will analyze and take positions supported by various types of evidence

Unit Language Objectives:

Students will be able to read and summarize text passages about issues, share their
viewpoints on such issues with other students orally as well as listen to views of
classmates, and then try to come to a written or oral solutions.

I. Day by day breakdown:

III. Unit/Lesson Questions and Objectives

Day 1

Topic: Causes and Effects of WWI

Daily objectives:
Students will analyze the causes of WWI from multiple perspectives
Students will evaluate whether WWI could have been prevented or not

List of activities:
Brainstorm warm up
PPT on imperialism, militarism, alliances, nationalism
Group project: “Was WWI inevitable?” *Assessment

Day 2

Topic: Causes and Effects (cont.)

Daily objectives:
Students will evaluate how the causes of WWI and propaganda influences war

Students will be able to read and summarize a text passage about an issue facing their
country, share their viewpoints on such issue with other students orally, and then try to
come to a written solution to these various crises.

List of activities:
Warm up: RAP (review and preview)
“Newsflash” activity on to their country *Assessment
Solution Discussion
Propaganda Poster *Assessment

Day 3

Topic: Trench Warfare and the Deadly Great War

Daily objectives: Students will understand how technology changed the rules of
war and effected the lives of soldiers

List of activities:
Warm up: why do we celebrate Veterans day?
Photo of Gassed Painting zoomed in and out
Imperial War Museum Video of trench warfare
Trench simulation activity
Soldiers technology and diary Readings worksheet *assessment
Diary entry creation *assessment

Day 4

Topic: USA during WWI

Daily objectives: Students will analyze WWI from different perspectives of US

citizens and soldiers
Students will evaluate the role of the US in responding to and preventing war

List of activities:
Warm up: why do we make sacrifices?
PPT on US Home Front during WWI
DocsTeach Primary source activity
Photo Analysis Activity Think-Pair-Share *assessment

Day 5

Topic: Legacy of WWI

Daily objectives: Students will analyze the role of the US in world affairs using
Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and the Treaty of Versailles

List of activities:
Warm up: War Horse Trench Warfare scene; how does pop culture change the way
we view war?

Worksheet on Fourteen Points and Treaty of Versailles compare and contrast

Analyzing newspaper sources on WWI legacy
Silent Debate: Was WWI good for the USA? *assessment
Take home quiz *summative assessment

II. Context

This lesson will be presented to an 11th grade United States History class in

Mr. Curtois classroom at Rockville High School. This course is taught at a “lower”

level tier and the kids in the classroom up to this point have been taught primarily

through the textbook. This classroom has one ELL student who is from Haiti and

speaks French-Creole as his first language. The kids in this classroom, in my honest

opinion, have not been challenged enough in their coursework and this may be the

reason why they are not engaged in the learning process. I have talked to many of

the students and they do not like textbook instruction. The students here have told

me their various academic goals including going to university after high school,

graduating with their diploma to join the workforce under their parents businesses,

and even simple as maintaining good enough grades to play sports for Rockville


The classroom and school has a lot of resources for students. In some

classrooms, like Mr. Borovsky’s, there are mini laptops on every desk for students.

In this classroom, this is not the case. However, the social studies department has

their own computer lab, access to mini chromebooks, and each classroom has a

smartboard or is in the process of obtaining one.


My lesson relies heavily on PowerPoint for me to “set events” for me to stay

on task and uses a lot of pictures to produce content for the students. I observed one

class lesson on “How the Other Side Lives” and a photo analysis. This lesson was

extremely engaging for the students so I sought to utilize technology and imagery as

a big part of this unit as opposed to the boring and monotonous world of textbooks.

IV. Correlations and Connections to Standards

Unit Objective Assessments Daily Activities CT Standards NCSS Theme
Analyze “Can you Can you INQ 9–12.17  Time,
turning points prevent war” prevent war Apply a range of  Continuity and
in WWI and activity and activity deliberative and  Change
the role of the hand outs democratic 
United States “News Flash” strategies and  People, Places
in global Informal activity procedures to  and
affairs assessments in make decisions  Environments
discussions of PPT on WWI and take action in 
students unit their classrooms,  Individuals,
within the throughout schools, and out­ Groups and
assignment entire two of­school civic  Institutions
weeks contexts.
Fourteen Power,
Points and Fourteen CIV 9–12.2  Authority and
Treaty of Points and Evaluate the  Governance
effectiveness of 
Versailles Treaty of
citizens and 
reading and Versailles Civic Ideals
institutions in 
worksheet reading and Practices
solving social and 
political problems.
Was WWI Silent Debate
good for the activity
ECO 9–12.1 
USA silent
Analyze how 
influence choices 
Take home
that may result in 
quiz policies with a 
range of costs and 
benefits for 
different groups.

GEO 9–12.1 Use 

maps and other 
representations to 
analyze the 
between the 
locations of places 
and their political, 
cultural, and 
economic history.

Analyze how DocsTeach PPT on HIST 9–12.3  Culture

WWI affected primary American Analyze complex 
the American source activity Home Front and interacting  Individual
identity on the informal factors that  Development
home front participation Photo Analysis influenced the  and Identity
through activity perspectives of 
multiple Photo analysis people during 
perspectives. activity think- DocsTeach different historical 
pair-share eras.
GEO 9–12.1 Use 
WWI maps and other 
memorial geographic 
representations to 
Take home analyze the 
between the 
locations of places 
and their political, 
cultural, and 
economic history.

Students will “Can you PPT on causes INQ 9–12.10  Time,

evaluate prevent war” and effects of Construct  Continuity and
whether WWI activity and WWI arguments using  Change
could have hand outs precise and 
been knowledgeable  Individuals,
prevented or “News Flash” claims, with  Groups and
not hand out and evidence from  Institutions
solution multiple sources, 
discussion while  People, Places,
acknowledging  and
counterclaims and  Environments


INQ 9–12.17 
Apply a range of 
deliberative and 
strategies and 
procedures to 
make decisions 
and take action in 
their classrooms, 
schools, and out­
of­school civic 

CIV 9–12.2 
Evaluate the 
effectiveness of 
citizens and 
institutions in 
solving social and 
political problems.

GEO 9–12.1 Use 
maps and other 
representations to 
analyze the 
between the 
locations of places 
and their political, 
cultural, and 
economic history.

Students will Propaganda “News Flash” HIST 9–12.11  Production,

evaluate how poster activity Analyze multiple  Distribution
the causes of and complex  and
WWI and how PPT on causes and effects  Consumption
propaganda propaganda of events in the 
influences war past

ECO 9–12.1 
Analyze how 

influence choices 
that may result in 
policies with a 
range of costs and 
benefits for 
different groups.

HIST 9–12.9 Use 
generated about 
multiple historical 
sources to pursue 
further inquiry and
additional sources

Students will Soldiers Trench HIST 9–12.1  Culture

understand Technology Simulation Evaluate how 
how hand out activity historical events  People, Places
technology worksheet and developments  and
changed the PPT on were shaped by  Environments
rules of war Soldier Diary soldiers unique 
and effected Entry experiences circumstances of  Science,
the lives of time and place as  Technology,
soldiers Take home Imperial War well as broader  and Society
quiz Museum Video historical contexts.

Photo of
zoomed in and

Students will Was WWI Analyzing ECO 9–12.1  Global

evaluate the good for the newspapers Analyze how  Connections
role of the US USA silent from WWI incentives 
in responding debate time period influence choices 
to and that may result in 
preventing Fourteen policies with a 
war Points and range of costs and 
Treaty of benefits for 
Versailles different groups.

Students will DocsTeach Analyze WWI HIST 9–12.5  People, Places

effectively use primary newspapers, Analyze the ways  and
primary source activity propaganda in which the  Environments
sources informal posters, perspectives of 
through their assessment images, those writing 
analysis of based on diaries, history shaped the 
WWI participation paintings and history that they 
videos produced.
Photo Analysis throughout the
Think-Pair- entire unit

Students will Silent Debate Silent Debate HIST 9–12.12  Time,
analyze and activity Integrate evidence  Continuity and
take positions Take home from multiple  Change
supported by quiz “Can you relevant historical 
various types prevent war” sources and 
of evidence “Can you activity and interpretations into
prevent war” solution a reasoned 
activity and discussion argument about the
solution past.

V. Rationale
In creating this lesson, I took a lot of time deciding what was the most

important things that I wanted students to learn about WWI. In the textbook that

they have been using all year, the text focuses on the European crisis in the

breakdown of WWI in about two paragraphs with the next two chapters (nearly 30

pages) on America. Through my own research of WWI, my own knowledge from

world history courses at UConn, etc. this is a glaring omission and staunch contrast

of what I have learned. Therefore, I spent the first two days studying the breakdown

of global politics in Europe before analyzing WWI in America.


I used the “Can You Prevent War” activity to be a large group project where

students were able to make decisions acting as a European Power or America to give

them better ownership of the content and to engage them in studying WWI. I chose

to do this as the first major activity because I felt this would be engaging and could

cover the breakdown of politics in a way that could not be replicated through lecture

or other activities.

I then chose to focus on WWI perspectives of soldiers and other Americans

back home. I think that the activities for the soldiers were well done and I feel very

excited to do that activity with my students. The Trench Simulation activity could be

very engaging for students and I used a ton of primary sources that I found on the

Imperial War Museum for students to look at. I did a photo analysis activity for

students to try to come to their own conclusions about the experiences of the

American home front. This class is obviously weaker in content knowledge so I did

provide a lot of scaffolding through my PowerPoint and gave them specific

knowledge about how WWI impacted African Americans through the Great

Migration. In a class where I felt students had more prior knowledge, I may not use

these slides and just give them more images, but for this class I felt it was

appropriate to give the class additional supports and content knowledge directly, as

opposed to them constantly having to figure it out for themselves. However, by the

end of the unit I give them more opportunities to practice analyzing images and

Wilson’s Fourteen Points with less scaffolding.

VI. ELL support


To support ELL(s) I provided a lot of group work and image analysis in

addition to reading and writing exercises. In the “Can You Prevent War” activity, I

specifically designed specific roles for students based on their academic ability. I

would give the student with the biggest strengths as the President, and give a

student with English learning difficulties in the group with stronger students. In

doing so, the ELL students will be supported by the other group members. There

job is to work together and be able to come to their own conclusions to go to war. I

could make the ELL student be the scribe for their group in this class. I would do this

because the other students would be responsible for supporting the ELL in their

writing ability. Moreover, the ELL student in this classroom is a stronger

reader/writer than he is a speaker and listener. This would also allow this student to

play to his strengths.

In other lessons, I use a lot of image analysis through both group work and in

classroom discussions. In order to make sure the ELL student in my classroom can

understand the material, I used captions under all the images of the soldiers

technology for example to help this student understand what he is looking at. This

also is just good practice for the rest of the students who may also struggle with

understanding what they are looking at. I used a lot of pairs and group work

throughout the entire unit as well to address any issues the ELL student in this

classroom may have and tried to play to his strengths of reading and writing in my

lesson plans to challenge and motivate him. During my interview, he always felt like

social studies was boring because nobody ever made him feel like a part of the

classroom discussion – I hope that this group work would make his contributions to

class feel valuable.

VII. Historical Understanding

The lesson unit is intended to develop student’s historical understanding.

Using the soldiers’ diary entries my students are going to develop their empathy as

caring. I provided a video of soldiers, the types of technology they use and diaries

for students to gain an appreciation for the sacrifices these men and women make

for our country in their service. Using the soldiers’ lesson as well, I tried to make

students make a past and present connection using Veterans Day. We celebrate this

holiday every year and it is often with little reflection of why we celebrate it.

Veterans Day was officially made a holiday in 1938 as a memorial to the men and

women who served during WWI and I made my lesson about soldiers’ hardships and

experiences reflect this and why we celebrate Veterans Day today.

Students are constantly being forced to use evidence within their activities.

The summative assessment, the take home quiz, asks students to go back through

the activities and unit lesson to use evidence to support their thinking for the

questions. I also used the “can you prevent war” activity for students to create their

own evidence and take positions on why or why not WWI was inevitable. That

lesson also incorporates a ton of cause and effect activities for students to think

about why WWI was a breakdown of global politics under the themes of

industrialization, militarism, alliances and nationalism and not just because the

death of Arch Duke Ferdinand. I also incorporated multiple perspectives on the US


home front for students to develop their understanding that WWI effected different

groups of people in different ways. African Americans began to fight for more

democratic principles, women began to work and take up jobs that were formally for

males only and even gain the right to vote during this time period. WWI did not

effect all Americans the same way.

VII. Ongoing Considerations

I had a lot of fun coming up with interactive and engaging lessons that I am

excited to share with Mr. Curtois United States History class. While by no means is

this two week unit perfect, I do perceive that it contains far more strengths than it

contains weaknesses. I really liked my two day lesson plan for the causes of WWI

and having the classroom act as the nations partaking in WWI with their own jobs

and information they are required to convey to the rest of the class. I think that this

is a fun way to learn about why the world broke out in war and the class would

appreciate this. I also think they will like the very first opening for the unit – the

Simpsons clip on WWI as it is a funny, relevant link to their lives through pop

culture. I really like my lesson on soldiers and how I connected their experiences to

Veterans Day and I really look forward to my students learning about this in the


Some weaknesses in my unit. I had a lot of trouble in sequencing my events

and building upon one another to wrap everything together. I elected to use a take

home quiz to assess students on my objectives. I think that take home quizzes are

effective in that they require students to go back through the material to answer the

questions. The questions I asked on this assessment were all open ended and

required thought and I felt students could come to better answers and use evidence

with their notes and activities from class in front of them.

Some other activities that I look forward to implementing is the Silent Debate

on the question was WWI good for the US? I think that this is a good summative

assessment as well for the entire unit because it forces students to incorporate

evidence on the home front, soldiers experiences and at the same time talking about

how the League of Nations was never ratified by Congress and the US still

maintained an isolationist position in world affairs at the end of WWI. It was not

until the second world war when America truly became the global power that it is

today, however, I want students to recognize that while WWI was a short event in

American history that is often overlooked for WWII, it was incredibly important for

the US people who made sacrifices and joined the war as soldiers, in the Great

Migration and women’s suffrage movements and in shaping the way the US conducts

international affairs.

IX. Reference List

Day 1:
All readings came from Alpha History – a secondary source web page dedicated to
topics in history.
(n.d.). Alpha History. Retrieved November 23, 2016, from

PowerPoint/Worksheet Images:

Home Library of Congress. (n.d). Retrieved November 23, 2016 from

IWM London. (n.d.) Retrieved December 5, 2016 from

Taylor. (April 27, 2014). World War I in Photos: Introduction. Retrieved November
26, 2016 from

Day 2

German WWI Song- Kaiser Wilhelm II. (n.d.) Retrieved November 29, 2016 from

Home Library of Congress. (n.d). Retrieved November 23, 2016 from

IWM London. (n.d.) Retrieved December 5, 2016 from

National Archives |. Sow the Seeds of Victory! Posters from the Food Administration
During World War I | National Archives. Retrieved from

Day 3
Keith, Charlie. (n.d.). Imperial War Museums. Living in the Trenches | Imperial War
Museums. Retrieved from

(n.d.). Home: Digital Collections for the Classroom. World War I in U.S. Popular
Culture: Digital Collections for the Classroom.Retrieved from

(n.d.). Imperial War Museums high-resolution images. Letters of Thanks from

Soldiers to a Liverpool Schoolgirl, First World War.Retrieved from

Day 4
Photo Analysis Images:
Home Library of Congress. (n.d). Retrieved November 23, 2016 from

(n.d.). DocsTeach. Americans on the Homefront Helped Win World War I |

DocsTeach. Retrieved from

(n.d.). Online Exhibitions | The New York Public Library. African Americans and
World War I. Retrieved from

(n.d.). Free K-12 Educational Materials - Worksheets, Lesson Plans, and More |
Student Handouts. Think, Pair, Share T-Chart - Free Printable Graphic Organizer
Worksheet. Retrieved from

Day 5
(n.d.). Teaching Resources & Lesson Plans | Teachers Pay Teachers. Wilson's 14
Points and Treaty Of Versailles... by Captivating History Lessons by Mrs Sandoval |
Teachers Pay Teachers. Retrieved from

(n.d.). United States American History. The Fourteen Points.Retrieved from

Spielberg, S., Kennedy, K., Curtis, R., Hall, L., Watson, E., Thewlis, D., Mullan, P., ...
Buena Vista Home Entertainment (Firm). (2012). War horse. Burbank, CA:
Distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

XI. Reflection after teaching


Part B. Daily Plans (meta notes are footnoted)

12:40-:159 every B day

Day 1

Topic: Causes and Effects of WWI

Daily objectives:
Students will analyze the causes of WWI from multiple perspectives
Students will evaluate whether WWI could have been prevented or not

Daily questions:
Was WWI inevitable?

List of activities:
Brainstorm warm up
PPT on imperialism, militarism, alliances, nationalism
Group project: “Was WWI inevitable?” *Assessment

Materials Needed:
PowerPoint of Unit
“Can you prevent war” group packet (one per group)
“Key Points” worksheet (for everyone)

How am I covering…
Geography -> Students in this lesson will be able to understand how the
geographical positions of the countries and their colonies before WWI played a role
in the outbreak of war
Civics – Students are “acting” as government officials, practicing diplomacy and
making decisions as an institution
Economics – Students are provided information about the economy of the various
nation they are acting
History – Students are given background information about the country they are
studying as well as causes of WWI

NCSS Theme covered

Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
Power, Authority and Governance
Global Connections



The teacher will begin class by taking attendance, asking how students are doing
and begin to introduce the unit on WWI through the Powerpoint.

Students will be seated in desks and be asked to take out whatever they write their
notes on.

The teacher will begin the PowerPoint slides on WWI and begins with the short
video clip of “The Simpsons” take on WWI as a grabber for student engagement

After this, ask students to write down in their notebooks what the know about WWI
and any thing that comes to their mind. Give them a few minutes to think and jot
down answers.

During this time period, the teacher will be walking around the room making sure
students are brainstorming and when it seems that most students have put their
pencils down, refocus the group to write down what they came up with on the board
for discussion making note of what prior knowledge the students are coming into
the classroom with. This will be a good formative assessment of their knowledge
coming into class. Their responses will be assessed on accuracy and prior
knowledge of WWI.


Continue the PowerPoint having students take notes on alliances, imperialism,

militarism and industrialization and make sure they focus on their effect in WWI
throughout the lesson and in the group project that they are going to complete.
These four ideas will be built upon as we decide what caused WWI. The PowerPoint
slides each come with different questions that will be opened up for a discussion
including:2 For this time, just give students the definitions of imperialism,
nationalism, militarism and industrialization are and have them think of examples of
what they may be. A couple questions during this discussion to consider asking
“what do you think the picture in the slide is describing?”
“Who’s perspective might this be?”
“How do these images depict nationalism?”

I think a brainstorm activity is a good way for me to find out what students are
coming into the classroom with. I remember the first time I studied WWI in high
school I knew far less than I thought I did and confused a lot of my knowledge of
WWI with WWII.
I used these four themes as a focus point throughout the entire unit because I think
they are easily seen throughout the breakdown of global politics and throughout

If students fail to understand one of these or need further explanation, try relating it
to something they already know. For example, if students do not understand what
nationalism means ask them what it means when we say the pledge of allegiance
every day. Nationalism is pride in one’s country at the simplest level, and this
comparison may be useful to help students understand.


At this time, the students will be on slide 12 of the PowerPoint and the groups for
the cause and effect project will be distributed. Each group will be given a different
country. Explain how WWI was a breakdown of global politics and this project will
highlight 6 nations that were involved during WWI and will look at how militarism,
industrialization, alliances, and nationalism all affected each of these countries in
the build up towards war.

There are 21 kids in the class, and there are 6 countries made. Each group will be
roughly 3-4 students and they are given various roles including President
(negotiates with other countries/makes decisions), Vice President (speaker to the
classroom) , Secretary of State (scribe) and A senator or lower officials (if group
larger than 3 people).

Each nation has its own reading and guided note questions. Give the students 15-20
minutes to go through their own reading; the scribe will write down/draw the
answers to the packet with the other group members.

As they finish, tell the VP to prepare what they are going to say to the rest of the
class about their country
They must share information about their economy, their geographical
position in the world, and the countries politics in order to receive credit for this
part of the discussion. The teacher will be walking around the classroom, fielding
questions and ensuring students stay on task and are equally contributing to the
group. Their participation in this part of the exercise will act as an informal


After all groups have completed the reading and writing, they will be asked to share
out their answers with the rest of the class. The teacher will distribute the “key
ideas” worksheet to each student in class. Students will be responsible for listening
to each speaker from the other groups and are being held accountable in doing so by
producing the answers to the “key ideas” which will be collected at the end of class
and scored based on accuracy of student answers. I did not fill out an individualized
I am really excited to take a step back and let the students run their own
instruction through this simulation activity. I sure wish I got to do something like
this in my schooling.

key for this portion because the answers are already on the KEY for the packet but
they would be the same answers.

6 groups, each gets a short 5-minute maximum presentation of their findings.

Have each group present their findings of their country at the front of the class. The
VP will be sharing key facts on their countries economy, geographical position and
politics as well as what they came up for a new national symbol and slogan and the
reason why they chose such things and students will be assessed on the accuracy of
the information they are presenting to the class and their packet will be collected
and graded on accuracy. The slogan and symbol they drew will be graded simply on
Ask students if they feel any sort of “ownership” over their country after completing
this portion of the group work. This will be useful for me as a teacher to see if those
two questions were effective, and if not they can be omitted the next time I do this

If time remains continue the discussion

Ask students how do they see militarism, industrialization, nationalism and alliances
within their nation and how this going forward may play an impact on WWI.

Have students keep what they have for their group work together as they still have
one more page to complete.

Day 2

Topic: Causes and Effects of WWI (cont.)

Daily objectives:
Students will evaluate how the causes of WWI and propaganda influences war

Students will be able to read and summarize a text passage about an issue facing
their country, share their viewpoints on such issue with other students orally, and
then try to come to a written solution to these various crises.

Daily questions:
Was WWI inevitable?
Why is propaganda so effective?

List of activities:
Review and Preview
PPT on propaganda
Group project: “Was WWI inevitable?” *Assessment
“News Flash” activity

Materials Needed:
PowerPoint of Unit
“Can you prevent war” group packet (one per group)
Poster board for creating propaganda poster
Pens and markers for creating propaganda posters

How am I covering…
Civics – Students are “acting” as government officials, practicing diplomacy and
making decisions as an institution. Students are using propaganda to make their
own posters to influence their “people”
Economics – Students have to respond to a national crisis in ways that influence the
economy of their nation. Some countries may consider rationing food for example.
History – Students are given background information about the country they are
studying as well as causes of WWI

NCSS Theme covered

Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
Power, Authority and Governance
Production, Distribution and Consumption



Begin by returning to the PowerPoint slides and doing a RAP (review and preview)
During this RAP have students write down in bullet points the answers to the
Then have them with a partner next to them share what answers they both came up
with to themselves
Have a short share out recall of all the answers on the PowerPoint. Students will be
informally assessed on their ability to come up with a response. There are 21
students so there will be about ten groups. Each group will be called on once to
share one thing they have come up with to check for understanding in addition to
handing in the work they have created through this RAP and are being assessed on
the amount of effort they put in (are the answers even remotely on topic) and
completion (did they actually try to answer all of the questions)

Relate nationalism to propaganda.

Begin by asking what propaganda is to the students and what is it used for. Then
show the clip of the German battle song dedicated to Wilhelm II as a grabber and
have them take note to what they see is important in the song or what jumps out to
them about it. Students will be seated taking notes while the teacher leads the
PowerPoint discussion Ask students questions about the music for this discussion.
Ask questions like “how do you think this song shows German pride” “what about
the music itself can you infer is related to nationalism” “any specific techniques used
by the musicians that you noticed”, etc. Students should be able to pick up on the
loud and fast tone of the song that relates itself to national pride.

Go to the next two slides and have students take notes and think about what is
included on visual forms of propaganda. Model the various techniques that the
artists used as students will be creating their own propaganda poster by the end of
class.4 This means pointing out specific features of the propaganda posters. In the
ones on the PPT there are overtones of our country “needs” you to help out. Show
students how propaganda is effective on the individual level – they target each
person in society as an individual and notice each person’s contribution as valuable
to the common cause. Before moving on, be sure that students understand how
propaganda targets individuals to produce change.

Distribute the “News Flash” activity. Students back in their groups will have to
respond to the crisis facing their country. They will then have to create their own
form of government propaganda and make this on a poster. They will also try to
I never really understood how effective and actually difficult it is to create a
propaganda poster until I was forced to make one in a history course at UConn so I
think this activity will be fun and engaging for students but at the same time

prepare their own short written solution to the crisis. During this time, the teacher
will be walking around the classroom and as informal assessment asking students
how they think they can influence their citizens to support the war effort and the
crisis facing their country.5

Each group will share their propaganda posters and why they created them. They
will then have each president share their crisis with the class and the proposed
solution they have come up with. Ask them and the country of which they are in
crisis with if they can form an agreement. You will want to encourage the students to
not be able to come to an agreement or there would (hypothetically) never been
WWI. In doing so, you must ensure them to make sure they are thinking like their
country would and not how they would act as themselves in the present day. Each
group will go up during this 30 minute or so time period and share their posters and

This will enhance their historical understanding of how governments act during this
time period. As the countries are unable to come to solutions and leads to
breakdown, explain how this is how WWI started. Explain how failed global
solutions in addition to militarism and nationalism in states made them hostile
towards one another. Other nations were dragged into war through alliances like
Russia when the Germans attacked France.

Students will turn in their group packet and it will be graded on completion and
accuracy assessing students on whether or not they understood the material. Their
“key points” worksheet will be collected at this time as well and graded formally on
accuracy and completion to keep them on task for the group and accountable for
information. The propaganda poster will be collected as well and graded on
completion and effort.

The “News Flash” activity I think can be fun and entertaining for students to
respond to a real life crisis facing their nation.

Day 3

Topic: Trench Warfare and the Deadly Great War

Daily objectives:
Students will understand the role of industrialization in changing war
Students will analyze the lifestyle of soldiers during WWI

Daily questions:
What was life like for soldiers during WWI?
In what ways did industrialization influence war?
Why do we celebrate Veterans Day?

List of activities:
Gassed painting; zoom in and zoom out warm up
PPT on Trench Warfare
Technology reading and writing assignment
Trench simulation activity
Diary Entry activity

Materials Needed:
PowerPoint of Unit
Imperial War Museum video of trenches (hyperlink in PPT)
Soldier’s technology reading and writing worksheet
Imperial War Museum diary entries (hyperlink in PPT)

How am I covering…
History – Students are analyzing primary source documents of images of soldiers’
technology in WWI, diary entries, and clothing, etc.

NCSS Theme covered

Individual Development and Identity
Science, Technology and Society



Begin the lesson by opening up the PPT and asking students to think about the
question of why do we celebrate Veterans Day. Entertain some responses but do not
come to a conclusion – as this will be discovered at the end of the class. 6

Gassed Painting zoom in and zoom out activity
Begin with the image zoomed all the way in and have each student one at a time
come to the front of the classroom, point out one thing about the image that they see
and have them try to figure out what they are looking at
Zoom out the picture over time to open up discussion of the impact of war on
soldiers and explain that the image is a painting of soldiers that were attacked by
mustard gas and are blinded. Explain that WWI was more deadly than any other war
before this time period. Students will be formatively assessed through this exercised
based on the quality of their contributions. I am looking for students to make a claim
and support it with evidence as to why they think what they are seeing is what they
are seeing. An answer without evidence will not be sufficient.

Hand out the reading worksheet that has primary source images of technology used
during WWI by soldiers. The students during this time period will be completing the
reading as individuals the teacher during this time period will be walking around
the classroom and making sure students are on task. Have students respond to the
questions in partners with someone sitting nearby.

After students have answered the questions on the first page have them put their
pencils down so the teacher knows how many students still need to do the
worksheet. Have students share out answers to the questions and see what answers
they come up with. This will simply be an informal assessment via participation of
answers. I am assessing students on their hand raising and sharing of responses.
They may be incorrect, but that is ok this is an assessment of the language objective
of being able to orally share answers.

Show students the video of trench warfare from the Imperial War Museum. Have
students take notes focused on answering the question: what was life like in the
trenches? Pause the video after each small segment and ask students what do they
think is happening/ why is this important. The discussion may be difficult for some
students who do not understand trench warfare. As the teacher, try to point to
different tools being used, gear being worn, and how they dig the trenches and how
this connects to industrialization and new technology in warfare.

Trench Simulation Activity
I think its very important to remember why we celebrate Veterans Day and it’s a
great modern day connection coming from WWI!

In this activity, divide the students in half with one half on one side of the room and
the other half on the other. Have students put the desks in front of them in a row
like trenches with a “no man’s land” in the middle. Give students crumpled up
pieces of paper and have them throw them across the room at one another. Tell
students if they are hit, they are now removed from the trench. After a few minutes
stop the activity and see how many students are hit. A very small number should
have been hit; signifying that trench warfare is ineffective for totalitarian conquest
of war.7

Ask students to predict that trench warfare would be likely to end WWI or not and
use evidence to explain why
Ask students if they think that after years of this their countries would consider
signing treaties to end the war or would just continue losing their men in trenches.
Explain after hearing these responses that this is part of the reason why WWI ended
in an armistice.

Imperial War Museum diaries
Go over the diaries on the computer screen with the class. Call on students to read
various parts of the source if they can read the handwriting. Have them focus on
questions like :what is it like to be a soldier and how did technology change their
lives as soldiers.

Create your own diary
On the back of the reading writing worksheet have students create their own diary
entry or letter they would send to someone explaining their experiences during war
and in the trenches. This packet will be collected for a formal assessment. End with
the question “why do we celebrate Veterans Day?” and look for students to comment
on the experiences of soldiers and their sacrifices warranting this holiday as a wrap

Students during this time will hand in the reading packet on the soldiers to be
graded on accuracy and completion. The diary will be graded on evidence produced
as well during this entry.

I am excited about this activity but also realize it has tremendous pitfalls. This
could become a chaotic classroom with this activity if students are too immature or
do not take it seriously and I need to make sure that I have good classroom
management when doing this. I was on the fence about using this activity in class
(imagine an administrator walking in and seeing students throw paper at each
other) but I think the take away that the trenches were not very effective ways to
end a war is important for students to understand and this activity is a very
memorable and engaging way for students to uncover this fact.

Day 4

Topic: United States home front during WWI

Daily objectives:
Students will analyze WWI from different perspectives of US citizens and soldiers
Students will analyze United States society during wartime

Daily questions:
What should be the current role of the United States in foreign affairs?
Do citizens owe their country sacrifices?

List of activities:
“Sacrifices” warm up
PPT on US home front experiences
DocsTeach activity
Photo Analysis – Think – Pair – Share activity

Materials Needed:
PowerPoint of Unit
Think-Pair-Share worksheet
Cut out images from WWI home front

How am I covering…
Geography -> Students will be learning how WWI accelerated the Great Migration
Economics – Students learn how WWI influenced women to join the work force,
Civics - African Americans to call for better democracy
History – Students learn about the home front during WWI and how different
groups of people identified as Americans through images

NCSS Theme covered

Civic Ideals and Practices


Warm Up
Have students think of a time they made a sacrifice for something or someone. Ask
them to write down in bullet points or complete sentences what was their sacrifice
and why did they make that sacrifice. Have them share their responses with a
nearby student and then share out with the rest of class.8 This will get students
Interested to see what students make sacrifices for in their lives – this is also a
good way to get to know my students and what they value as well as scaffolding for
the sacrifices that Americans makes.

thinking about the types of sacrifices they have made already in their life and will be
used as a jumping point for the rest of class discussion focused on the question do
citizen’s owe their country sacrifices.

PPT on US Home Front
As you go through the information about food rationing ask students if they should
make sacrifices for their government. If the government told them they had to stop
eating certain food for a war, would they feel that is acceptable?

This should cause a debate in the classroom; take advantage of the split if there is
one. Do a temperature check first, have students raise their hands if they think this is
acceptable. For the students that say yes, put them in one corner of the room,
students that say no the other. Have them talk amongst themselves and choose one
speaker to share out. Call on each group to put together a quick opening sentence, a
rebuttle to what their classmates said and a conclusion.
If there is little disagreement with the class, the teacher can act as the devil’s
advocate and pick the side where fewer students are to get this conversation rolling.

DocsTeach Activity
Go through the DocsTeach activity from the front of the classroom.
Students will analyze the primary source documents and match them to visual way
that the American people back home contributed to the war effort and victory.
The teacher will facilitate the choices students make by asking the question where
do we think this image goes? And waiting for student responses. Give them time to
think over for this activity and give them time to respond.9

Lecture rest of content notes on African Americans during WWI. Make sure students
understand the role of WWI affecting African Americans in the army as well as
during the Great Migration.

Photo Analysis activity think-pair-share
Put groups of students in twos

This activity could be done on the smartboard led by me, but I could amend how I
do this by calling on a student individually to come up and make the choice, tell us
why they are making it using evidence, and then call on the next student to do the
same as opposed to me just looking for hands. Having students get up and on their
feet may be more effective and less boring for them. I could also give each student a
lap top (the school has access) but felt that they may get less out of the activity if
they do it alone because they can just put the pictures to the words with little

Distribute print outs of images from WWI of different Americans during WWI
Distribute the Think-Pair-Share Worksheet that will be collected for assessment
Have students go through the images as individuals first and answer the questions
of what does it mean to be an American for women, soldiers, the government and
African Americans for themselves.

Then they will pair up with someone sitting next to them, record what their partner
said about each answer, synthesize both of their points together and be ready to
share out their responses for the class.
This worksheet will be turned in as a grade and assessed on completion.

Day 5

Topic: Legacy of WWI

Daily objectives: Students will analyze the role of the US in world affairs using
Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points and the Treaty of Versailles

Daily questions:
Is the protection of democracy worth human sacrifices?
Was WWI good for the US?

List of activities:
Warm up: War Horse Trench Warfare scene; how does pop culture change the way
we view war?
Worksheet on Fourteen Points and Treaty of Versailles compare and contrast
Analyzing newspaper sources on WWI legacy
Silent Debate: Was WWI good for the USA? *assessment
Create a WWI memorial from soldiers, the government, women and African
Take home quiz *summative assessment

Materials Needed:
PowerPoint of Unit
Clip from War Horse
Fourteen Points and Treaty of Versailles worksheet
Newspaper sources from WWI Tribune

How am I covering…
Civics – Students will analyze the role of the United States in global affairs
History – Students learn that WWI ended with the Treaty of Versailles and debate
whether or not WWI was good for the USA

NCSS Theme covered

Global Connections
Individuals, Groups, and Institutions


Warm Up
Show War Horse scene in the trenches and ask them how does pop culture
memorialize WW1 trench warfare and open up this for discussion. This scene shows

the soldiers all scared for battle, but amazingly get courage to go and fight. This
movie was noted for its authenticity, however, has a “feel good” feeling for viewers.
Students should recognize how War Horse does a lot correct in its authenticity and
accuracy, but also creates a feel-good atmosphere and uses comedy which is not true
of WWI. Ask them to compare this to what they remember about the other Imperial
War Museum video on the trenches. Ask questions like What is similar to the other
video we watched, what is different, and what do you think is more accurate.
Students should find a wide range of answers but conclude that the imperial war
museum is more accurate.
This discussion will be informally assessing students on their engagement and

Fourteen Points and Treaty of Versailles reading worksheet
Students will be given this reading and writing and be asked to work in pairs on this
assignment. The teacher will be walking around making sure pairs are on task and
checking for understanding from their dialogue for informal assessment.
Have them share out their responses to the worksheet to the class. 10

Distribute the newspaper clip and headlines and have students comment on some of
the negative things these newspapers are referring to scaffold for a silent debate.

Silent Debate
Was WWI good for the USA?
Split class up into yes/no for this question and have them paired up with a partner
who disagrees. Give the student who says yes to go first and give them one minute to
write as much as they can. The next student gets a minute to respond on paper to
the claims made by the first student. Give the first student only 30 seconds to come
up with an answer and the next student gets 30 seconds to respond before giving
both students one more minute each after to make a concluding argument.
The teacher will be walking around reading student responses over their shoulders
keeping them on task and making sure answers are being taken seriously.
Have students read their silent debate out loud to the class and talk about some of
the overlapping claims that some groups make.11

This activity is good for connecting to my objective of what the US role in world
affairs is. I hope students understand that the US maintained little influence in the
world compared to what Wilson wished for.
Before doing the silent debate I will have to model it so students know what I am
looking for them to do, the expected types of responses they will be evaluated on
and how they need to make an argument. Remind them that there are no wrong
answers so long as they support their thinking.

For the remainder of class. Break the students up into four groups with a poster
board and ask them to memorialize WWI from the perspective of their group
(women, soldiers, African Americans, or the government). Collect the silent debate,
the reading worksheet on Fourteen Points and Treaty of Versailles and the memorial
poster to all be formally assessed.

Hand out the take home summative assessment. This quiz has the four major themes
covered in this unit and students are allowed to use their notes to answer the
questions and to see if I covered my objectives effectively.