Museum Lesson Plans

Education Resources created by the National WWI Museum and Memorial

Here you will find lesson plans and other education resources created by the National WWI Museum and Memorial.

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They Came to Fight

African American Experience in World War I

9 - 12
In this lesson orginally created by Dr. Pellom McDaniels, III, Students will examine the conditions for African Americans living in the United States during the time of the Great War (1914-1918), paying particular attention to Jim Crow laws and the high rates of lynching in many states. They will learn about the Selective Service Act of 1917 and consider why African Americans were expected to serve a country that did not bestow on them full citizenship rights and allowed widespread and institutional discrimination.
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Thinking Like a Historian

Artifacts and Trench Tales

9 - 12, Other
As history becomes tangible, WWI will come alive in the classroom when students work with artifacts. Using their senses, observations, past knowledge and critical thinking skills students will learn to think like a historian to determine what historic artifacts can tell them about the past.
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Trenches of World War I

An Immersive Tour

K - 5, 6 - 8, 9 - 12, Other
Explore several model WWI trenches and understand the history of trench warfare with this narrated, immersive online tour. The tour can also be viewed as a VR experience using Google Cardboard-compatible device. Visit Google Arts and Culture to learn more.
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U.S. 42ND DIVISION

INTERACTIVE PHOTO

K - 5, 6 - 8, 9 - 12, Other
Images like this one, originally owned by a YMCA rest camp worker stationed in Germany, tell a lot about the war. Because of the information written on the back, we know it is a picture of Battery F, 151st Field Artillery, U.S. 42nd Division.
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War Fare

A Culinary Exploration of World War I

K - 5, 6 - 8, 9 - 12, Other
The National World War I Museum and Memorial addresses an often overlooked aspect of the war: food. In addition to reevaluating the effects of food on World War I and the home front, War Fare includes photographs, comments, and even vintage recipes updated for the modern era.
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When Flyers Flew

When Flyers Flew

Analyzing "The Flight of Flanders" Poem

6 - 8
What was life like as an aviator in WWI? Why did flyers agree to take on such a dangerous job in the war? As middle school students review primary sources and analyze a poem written by a Royal Flying Corps pilot they’ll decide if flying was as glamorous as the media portrayed it to be.
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With One Voice - Cover

With One Voice

The American Musical Experience of WWI

9 - 12, Other
It is easy to forget music's power to sway public opinion. Examining popular music during World War I helps us understand the public's changing sentiments about the war effort from the pacifist song "I Didn't Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier" to the rousing war anthem "Over There." This essay by Dr. Kristin Griffeath explores America's various responses to the war through music while also examining how music was used as a propaganda tool to encourage all Americans to do their bit for the war effort.
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Women and War

The Experience of European Women in the First World War

9 - 12
What was the experience of European women during the First World War? Using primary sources, students will examine a wide variety of documents and artifacts that represent the experiences of European women during the First World War in this lesson created by Laura Huffman for the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
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WWI A - Z

An A-Z Guide to the War that Shaped the 20th Century

K - 5, 6 - 8, 9 - 12, Other
From Animals to Zeppelins, this A-Z guide to World War I hosted on Google Arts and Culture uses easily-accessible items to help explain the “war to end all wars.”
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Zimmermannland

The Southwestern Front of WWI

9 - 12
The Zimmermann Telegram was a major factor in the U.S. decision to join the Allies in World War I. Using this lesson, students will analyze the context of the telegram from the perspectives of the U.S., Mexico, and Germany; examine the reaction in the Southwestern U.S. states that Germany promised to return to Mexico; and connect the Telegram's impact to today's U.S.-Mexico border issues.
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