The Great War to End War
A WebQuest on WWI for 11th Grade Social Studies
Meghan M. Manfra, Northwest Guilford County High School firstname.lastname@example.org
and Dr. Jim McGlinn, UNC Asheville
WWI: Soldiers in Merville, France
World War I (1914-1918) The 20th century was the bloodiest century in the history of humankind. WWI alone caused the deaths of 26 million people and half of these were civilian casualties. Now the bugles of war are opening the 21st century. As American citizens who will live out your lives in the 21st century, what can you do to end the cycle of horror and destruction which has accelerated in the last?
One thing you can do is to become informed about this first world war. By taking a close look at this war, and understanding it's causes and major events, you may be able to see how your generation might avoid making the same mistakes. As the saying goes, "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
In this project your task is to study WWI and create a newspaper set in that time which reports on aspects of this war that you find significant or in other ways interesting. The big question that unifies your paper is "What can we learn from this war to enable us live informed and peaceful lives today?"
December 4, 1918
will write and publish a newspaper on WWI from a specific date [between
1914-1920]. You will need to
write from the American perspective (remember the US didn’t enter the
war until 1917 but, certainly was very aware of the events going on in
Europe) and incorporate events and information that correlate with the
date you have chosen. Some exceptions may be made for weekly or monthly
papers, rather than daily papers. There is no required length
for the paper as long as you effectively fulfill the requirements.
The paper is due on March 12 and you will begin presenting your papers to
the class on that day. It will be created on large sheets of unlined,
white paper which should resemble a standard newspaper in size/shape.
Most papers will include at least a front and two inner middle
1. comic strips
4. movie listings
7. classified ads
8. personal ads
9. legal notices
10. fashion outlook
11. advice columns
12. fitness/diet advice
1. First you will be
assigned to a team of 5 students. You should identify persons for
the roles of editor, artist, and reporters. You will have individual
roles, but everyone shares the responsibility for the complete paper.
Once you have identified your roles and individual research assignments,
work independently to read and take notes on the General Overview sites.
Come back together to discuss the general overview and the theme or
dominant message of this issue of your paper. (Day 1) Determine the date
of your newspaper and the major topics of the key articles. Also the
city/town in which it will be published to determine the tone of the
Work independently on researching, gathering information, and
writing your reports. Be careful to take notes on the information
you find and to write up your stories using you own words. Avoid
Plagiarism. (Day 2)
Meet back with members of your group to give progress reports and share
your information with each other, begin designing the paper. (Day 3)
together the newspaper. Have articles, captions, and other text
typed and pasted on the layout. Edit for grammar and spelling.
(Day 4 & 5)
Plan your presentation and present your paper to the class. (Day 6 –
General Overview of the War Everyone should read these sites and take notes about important and interesting aspects to share with your group.
The Great War 1914-1918 - A comprehensive site by Tony Novosel including timelines, histories, countries involved, cultural aspects including poetry and art, stories, women's contributions, links. (visited 01/03/06)
World War I: Trenches on the Web - 'An Internet History of the Great War' by Mike Iavarone, a comprehensive site that includes weapons, documents, maps, photos, art, country information, and more. (visited 01/03/06)
Timelines of the Great War A variety of timelines are presented here to enable you to identify what happened on a specific date. By Mike Iavaronne. (visited 01/03/06)
Tuesday, 8-Jun-1915 - The Boston American This is the front page of the Boston American newspaper showing headlines and articles from Trenches on the Web, Mike Iavaronne. (visited visited 01/03/06)
American Cultural History 1910-1919 This site summarizes the decade and includes links to women's suffrage, African-American status, working conditions, presidents, and more. Peggy Whitley, June 2002. (visited 01/03/06)
World War One Songs American, British, and German war songs played on Real Audio. Page designed by Mark Best. (visited 01/03/06)
American Vintage Blues Gibson girls, suffragettes, and modish men. (visited 01/03/06)
Panama-California Exposition ~ San Diego ~ 1915-1916 This exposition shows the manufacturing progress and other aspects of American culture at this time. (visited 01/03/06)
Canadians in the Great War Extensive coverage of the Canadian war effort and events. By Tony Novosel, 07/11/02. (visited 02/26/03)
France in the Great War Extensive coverage. By Tony Novosel, 07/11/02. (visited 02/26/03)
German Historical Museum Collections include documents, arts, posters, weapons, uniforms, pictures. By Tony Novosel, 07/11/02. (visited 02/26/03)
Selected Historical Events Includes accounts of a sea chase and various battles. By Mike Iavarone, 01/15/2000. (visited 02/26/03)
Pacifism During the War This site describes the pacifistic philosophy of Bertrand Russell (a British philosopher) with links on pacifism. By Sanderson Beck. (visited 02/26/03)
The Soldier's Experience This site includes stories about the experiences of different soldiers in various battles and also German and Italian Poetry. By Mike Iavarone. (visited 02/26/03)
First Hand Accounts Various battles are described. By Mike Iavarone. (visited 02/26/03)
Fads and Fashions Gibson girls, suffragettes, and modish men. By Peggy Whitley, June 2002. (visited 02/25/03)
Biographies Thumbnail biographies of some of the leaders during the war are presented here with pictures. By Mike Iavarone. (visited 02/26/03)
Letters Home This is a personal web page that contains letters home from WWI and also narratives of life on the farm in the early 1900's. By R. Staley. (visited 02/26/03)
Related Essays This site contains essays about the Postal service, the Red Cross, the YMCA, and athletics during and after the war. By R. Staley. (visited 02/26/03)
Art, Artists, Poets
Art of the First World War - A collection of 110 international paintings on various aspects of the war
Poems of Glory and Despair This site features the poetry of Wilfred Owen, Sigfreid Sassoon, Robert Graves, Isaac Rosenberg and more. By Tony Novosel, 07/11/02. (visited 02/26/03)
Poetry, Imagery, and Art of the Great War This site has very extensive coverage of poetry and art during WWI. By Tony Novosel, 07/11/02. (visited 02/26/03)
African-American Soldiers This site gives a general description of African-Americans contributions to the WWI war effort. By Melvin Sylvester. (visited 02/26/03)
African-American Hero This site tells the story of the heroic courage demonstrated by Freddie Stowers, awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during WWI. Internet Consulting Group of Georgia, 1999. (visited 02/26/03)
Black Soldiers in WWI This site gives a brief history with links to the Buffalo Soldiers and the Harlem Hell Fighters. (visited 02/26/03)
The American Indian in the Great War This is a masters thesis on the subject by Diane Camurat. It is a detailed history. (visited 02/26/03)
Choctaw Code Talkers Here is a brief description of the Choctaw Indian's use of their native language as a code that couldn't be broken during WWI. There are links to individual soldiers and more. By the Choctaw Nation, 2000. (visited 02/26/03)
You will be given individual grades for the content of the articles, so make sure that each article is signed. Group grades will be given for the style of the paper and the Presentation.
World War I exacted a tremendous toll on the countries and persons involved. It did not turn out to be the "War to end all wars." Why not? Why was this war so quickly followed by World War II? What have you learned that will enable us to be more effective at waging peace?
Credits & References
Clip art of tank from Microsoft Clip Gallery 5.0.
Permission is hereby granted for other educators to copy this WebQuest, update or otherwise modify it, and post it elsewhere provided that the original authors' names are retained along with a link back to the original URL of this WebQuest. On the line after the original authors' names, you may add Modified by (your name) on (date). If you do modify it, please let us know and provide the new URL.
Last updated on 02/26/03. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page.