Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts World War 1: America’s Role on the Western Front

World War 1: America’s Role on the Western Front

NCSS objective #3: IV – Individual Development & Identity e) – examine the interactions of ethnic, national, or cultural influences in specific situations or events…

NCSS objective #5: VII – Production, Distribution, & Consumption h) – apply economic concepts and reasoning when evaluating historical and contemporary social developments and issues.

1. Describe several of the WWI’s bloodiest battles.
2. Track the battles’ progression to determine advances made by leading nations.
3. Create an Infographic of one or more of the battles.
4. Understand why the United States entered the World War I.
5. Brainstorm what led to the German collapse on the front.
6. Examine the basic components/factors of the collapse.
7. Review arguments for the factors contributing to the end of the war.

Part 1: Review Historical Details- Individual scavenger hunt
– The students will identify the event and place it in a chronological order on their hunt sheet
– We will then review the answers as a whole class

Part 2: Overview of United Sates Entry into World War 1
– The students will read the overview
– Students will then focus on the concluding paragraph:
There is much still to be learned from World War I, because the issues that emerged early in the 20th century have not gone away. The Great War showed how deep nationalist feelings can be and how these can escalate when people sharing a certain kinship feel threatened by another labeled “the enemy.” The conflicts that triggered World War I were relatively minor at first, but the war itself turned these into issues of great magnitude. The lessons of World War I still must be studied so that its tragic history will never be repeated.
– Students practice their skills of summary and synthesis
– Students will journal 3 issues that emerged in WW1 that have not gone away.
– We will then share their connections with the class

Part 3: Exploring the Major Battles of WW1
– Students will be assigned a specific battle from WW1. They will then use the information to create an infographic using “Piktochart” to present their knowledge to the essential question below:

Essential Question:
Analyze the underlining causes of WWI and the affects this period of history had on the early 20th century including the United States role in Foreign Affairs.

The Infographic must contain the following:
– The essential question
– Key information on your topic (you will be given a separate handout for this)
– Charts, graphs, visuals, shapes, etc.
– Primary source:
One visual (i.e. art, painting, cartoon, map, picture)
One document (a quote or excerpt)
– CONCRETE details: specific examples from the text/reading to support your visual information.
– Check the list of vocabulary. Any ID’s that fall within your category must be in your infographic.
– A summary response to the essential question that ties together all your visuals/information
from the sub-topics.
– You will present this information to the class!

What is an Infographic? According to Wikipedia, information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.

What is Piktochart? The Piktochart site is a free website that helps you easily create infographics by using themes and templates. All you have to do is create an account, then start creating!

How to create and print your infographic using
– Go to the website and navigate to Here they can click on several links that will show them how to create your infographic using themes, templates, and customization tools.
– Save the infographic as an image (.jpeg) file.
– Copy and paste the image into a blank Word document and resize it as large as you can without exceeding the printable margins of your paper.
– Print your document (IN COLOR if you can).
– Turn in on the due date!

Part 1:
Students can research additional events on the time line and create a visual time line linking key events.

Part 2:
Students can work in small groups to journal the assignment. The groups can share out their synthesis work in a jigsaw activity.

Part 3:
Utilizing the supplemental resources students can extend the research further and create infographics on the additional material.

Infobase Learning – Login

Meuse-Argonne U.S. Army Heroes, 1918 | Student Handouts wwi.htm

The Imperial War Museum. “”The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century,”” PBS. PBS, 1996.
Web. 31 May 2016.

  • Ellen Resnek
  • Downingtown East High School
Related History Institute

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