Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts World War One Group Project

World War One Group Project

National Standards in World History:
Era 8, A Half Century of Crisis and Achievement, 1900-1945
Standard 2, The Causes and Global Consequences of World War One

Summarize topics from an academic article related to World War One.
Synthesize the main idea from this article with those of their group members.
Organize work into a cohesive group project.
Present and share this project with fellow classmates.

Go to the following webpage:
Your group will be assigned a theme:
1. Pre-War
2. Violence
3. Power
4. Media
5. Home Front
6. Post-War

Each individual within your group should choose an article that is of interest. (You all need to choose a different article.) The article should be from one of the first two categories, a survey article or a regional article, not an encyclopedic entry.

Each individual will summarize his/her article in two slides. Each slide must contain text (not cut and pasted, write it in your own words!) and at least one visual. Note, that each theme has an image tab. In addition, the group will work together to create both an introduction slide and a conclusion slide that synthesize all five articles. Each presentation will be 13 slides in length: 1 cover slide, 1 introduction, 10 article summaries (2 per person, 1 conclusion)

These will be presented in class and each individual will be responsible for speaking about his/her own slides and also be prepared to answer questions that go beyond the text on the slide. Yes, you really need to read your entire article so that you know your subject well!
Each person will receive both a group and an individual grade for this assignment.

Because the articles are rather lengthy and academic in nature, some students might struggle. In this case, they may be encouraged to select an encyclopedia entry to summarize rather than a thematic or regional essay. The encyclopedia entries are more succinct and will be easier for a lower level reader to analyze.

Students may extend this lesson by creating a recorded news program rather than a google presentation. These programs could then be uploaded onto YouTube for sharing with a wider audience.

Also, students from each thematic group could meet in a jigsaw fashion for an extension activity, that could include either the news program idea (above,) or a portfolio that includes the synthesis of each theme’s message and images.

FPRI Talk, “The U.S. Role on the Western Front” by Jennifer Keane. April 9, 2016

The Great War’s Impact on American Foreign Policy and Civic Religion by Walter McDougall

The Great War’s Impact on American Foreign Policy and Civic Religion

  • Leonore Heino
  • Centennial High School
Related History Institute
Grade Level
  • High School: 10
Time Frame
  • Two 55 minute class periods for assembly of project and two periods for presentations

If you have any questions about this lesson plan, or if you wish to contact the author, please email us at