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Wilson's 14 Points

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

Duration of Lesson: 1-2 Class Periods


  • Students will analyze the conflict of ideals between the US and the nations of Europe in the immediate Post-World War One Era.
  • Students will understand the differences between Democratic and Autocratic governments.

Summary: Using political cartoons students will become familiar with role of the United States in the Post-World War One Era.
Materials needed:

Pre-Assessment: Terms to Know

  • Imperialism
  • Autocracy
  • Self-determination

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

Extension Activity
Students will research and write an essay on one of the following topics:

  • Which of Wilson’s 14 Points faced the most opposition in the United States and why?

Why was Wilson unable to gain approval for all 14 points in the US Congress?

"It’s The Only Way Out, Wilhelm!"

"Father, I Cannot Tell a Lie. I Did It With My Fourteen Swats."

"Can He Produce the Harmony?"

"Barring His Way"

"The Dime Novel"

"He Was Bound to Get It Wrong"