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The Great War and the People It Affected

German WWI Soldiers with Various Types of Gas Masks

(German WWI Soldiers with Various Types of Gas Masks)

Lesson Plan

Grade level:

9th grade

Duration of lesson:

3 (50 minute) class periods

Content standards:

history benchmark 7 b


Primary sources used:

Diaries & letters:  First World War.com 
Photos:  Photos of the Great War (National World War I Museum and Memorial)    


Students will analyze primary sources, (letters, pictures, poetry) and then create original works based on their sources.  Students will understand how the great war effected individuals on a world scale.

Steps to Implement the Lesson:

Day One
Students will reflect on what happened during the great war and its effect to humanity.  Students will be divided into pairs and be given a primary source document, diary entry or letter from the great war.  Each group will receive a Document Analysis Worksheet and complete the worksheet based on their primary source.  
Then students will be given a photograph from the war and they will assume the role of the person in the picture and write a letter home or create a diary entry based on their photo.
Day Two
Begin class by reading a poem from the great war then each student will receive  poems written during the great war.
Students will read the poems and then they will create a poem about the battles and conditions of the great war.  
Once they are complete they will debrief with a one page paper on “why are primary sources important for us to understand the great war?  How did the primary source help you to better understand the great war?”


Students will give an oral presentation once they complete their projects.  They will either share their photo and letter/diary entry written or share their poem that they created.
Presentations will be graded based on a oral presentation rubric that will assess their content, creativity and speech.


Teachers will need to reproduce a variety primary source poems, photos and letters/diaries for the students from the websites referenced above.
Teachers will need to make copies of the Document Analysis Worksheets for the students.
Created by Deliana Soto, Columbus West High School