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Treaty of Versailles

Ohio Content Standard:
Grade 9, History 7-D; Grade 10, History 6-C

Duration of Lesson: 1-2 Class Periods


  • Students will analyze the causes and effects of the Treaty of
  • Students will evaluate US Congressional opposition to the Treaty
    of Versailles.
  • Students will analyze arguments for and against the ratification
    of the Treaty of Versailles.
  • Students will predict outcomes of the Treaty of Versailles.

Summary: Using political cartoons students will become
familiar with the core issues and concerns of the treaty process, including
President Woodrow Wilson's support of said treaty and US Congressional (mostly Republican) opposition.

Materials needed:


Define the

  • Reparations
  • Treaty of Versailles
  • Covenants

Identify the following:

  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Henry Cabot Lodge
  • Kaiser Wilhelm II

Instructional Steps:

  1. Divide the students into three
    topical groups. Assign each group one of the following topics: Stereotype,
    Symbol, or Caricature.
  2. Distribute copies of the
    cartoons to each member of the topical group so all cartoons are in use for
    each group. (example: Stereotype group will have all cartoons, as will
    Symbol, etc.)
  3. Distribute Cartoon Analysis
    Worksheet to each student.
  4. Students are to find examples
    of their assigned topic using each of the cartoons present in their group and
    fill in the appropriate space on the worksheet in Part I. (5-10 minutes)
  5. Students are to then arrange
    themselves in a group according to their individual cartoon, thus forming 6-8
    new groups centered on one specific cartoon.
  6. Students are to complete Worksheet
    Part II using information from other members of their group.(5-10 minutes)
  7. Individual groups will briefly
    present analysis of their cartoon to the class (Note: an overhead copy of the
    cartoon will expedite this process)

Post-Assessment Activity:

As a class, students will answer and discuss remaining
questions (Part III) on Cartoon Analysis Worksheet.

Extension Activity:

  • Using a pre-World War One and post-World War One map of Europe, have students assess winners and losers of the war based on land loss or
    acquisition. How did the post- war settlement lead to later conflict?
  • Find an example of an editorial cartoon portraying a
    recent/current treaty process.

"Cloudy and Unsettled"

"In Order To Get the Sugar"

"Don’t Worry!"

"The Train Pulls Off Without Us"

"The Art Student's Masterpiece and the Professor's Criticism"