The following three books are excellent starting points for the study of World War I:
- Hew Strachan (2005), The First World War (New York: Penguin) A general history of the First World War that is especially good about describing the war as a world war. Includes color photos from the war.
- Svetlana Palmer and Sarah Wallis, eds. (2003), Intimate Voices from the First World War (New York: HarperCollins) A collection of personal narratives by participants in the great conflict that make the history very personal and also provide a basis to talk about different types of historical sources and their strengths and weaknesses in the study of history
- Matthew Hughes and William J. Philpott (2005), The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of the First World War (New York: Palgrave Macmillan) Maps are an important but sometimes overlooked secondary source for historical study
The BBC documentary on the First World War that is related to the Strachen and Palmer books is an excellent resource.
A bibliography of books on World War I recommended by Dr. Alan Beyerchen, Professor of History, Ohio State University.
Online Resources Related to the First World War:
Library of Congress: The American Memory section features three collections related to the war: military newspapers, photographic newspaper supplements, and speeches on the war from the 1920 Presidential campaign .
The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century: The official cite of the PBS documentary on the war contains a variety of useful resources.
The Imperial War Museum in England has a great deal of on-line material related to World War I. At the Collection Search page, you can search for images and objects from their collection. Hint: use the search term "First World War."
WWI Archive has many resources related to the war.
BBC History: World War I: The causes, events and people of the First World War are explored through essays, interactive maps, primary sources, and virtual tour of the trenches.
EDSITEment is a site from the National Endowment for the Humanities that features lesson plans in History, literature, and language. "Poetry of the Great War: 'From Darkness to Light'?" is a lesson about poetry from the World War I period, with a particular focus on Wilfred Owen and Edgar Guest, but is also a good portal into the subject.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission: The website has descriptions and maps of major World War I battles, as well as being a site about World War I comemoration. In 2010, the Commission completed its first new cemetary in 50 years for 250 British and Australian Soldiers killed on July 16, 1916, near the village of Fromelles during the Battle of the Somme campaign. This link takes you to the web page, and you may scroll down to read about the new cemetery and reburials there.
Lost Poets of the Great War. This website features poetry by the following British and American poets: Rupert Brooke, John McCrae, Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Alan Seeger, and Edward Thomas. It was created by a professor of literature at Emory University.
The National History Education Clearinghouse has a searchable database of links to quality lesson plans and websites. Search for World War I to find many other resources related to the Great War. Also, look at the resources at the website for teaching historical thinking using primary sources. The front page has a short introductory video on teaching historical thinking, and another tailored specifically for high school teaching.