Goals & Objectives

Дата канвертавання25.04.2016
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The United States Enters the Fray

Goals & Objectives

Students will learn about why the United States declared war upon Germany during the First World War using evidence from Primary Sources. Using primary sources provided by the Teacher, the Students will analyze the documents to determine how they effected America's entry into the First World War. Students will also learn how analyze the source, context and author's intent behind a Primary Source document.

California State Content and Common Core Standards

10.5 Students analyze the causes and course of the First World War.
3. Explain how the Russian Revolution and the entry of the United States affected the course and outcome of the war.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

Lesson Introduction

The Teacher will provide a short Introduction to the situation of the War in 1917, this will be used to set the stage and context for the main lesson. This information will include the stalemate on the Western Front, the status of the war with Russia and the Russian Revolution, and the resumption of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare by Germany. Most of this information will have already been given to the students during other lecture, but is necessary for them to understand the context at the time.


The vocabulary for this lesson will mostly center around those having to do with primary sources, such as:

  • Primary Source

  • Secondary Source

  • Context

  • Bias

  • Author's Intent

Content Delivery

The Teacher will split the class into groups and each group will be given one of four different Primary Sources that relate to the entry of the United States into the war. With their group the students will first analyze the document for its origin and context and then determine what it says or shows. Each document will also come with a short introduction to help the students understand the document. As a group the students will then answer questions specific to each primary source. After ten minutes, the groups will then switch primary sources and repeat the above, this will be done until each group has viewed all Primary Sources.

Student Engagement

First Source: Article reporting the sinking of the RMS Lusitania

Sinking of the RMS Lusitania

Students must answer the following questions based upon the evidence found in the primary source document:

  1. When and where was the RMS Lusitania sunk and what Nationality owned the ship?

  2. Who sunk the Lusitania and why?

  3. How do you believe the American public felt about the sinking of the Lusitania? Consider what type of ship the Lusitania was and the nationality of the people on board.

  4. Do you believe there was any justification for the sinking of the Lusitania?

Second Source: The Deciphered Zimmerman Telegraph

The Zimmerman Telegraph

Students must answer the following questions based upon the evidence found in the primary source document:

  1. When and who sent the Zimmerman telegraph? Who was it sent to?

  2. What was the content of the Zimmerman Telegraph?

  3. How do you believe America would react to the contents of the Telegram?

  4. How did the receiver of the telegram react?

  5. Why do you think the British passed on the Telegram to the American Government?

Third Source: The Declaration of War upon Germany by the United States

Declaration of War Upon Germany

Students must answer the following questions based upon the evidence found in the primary source document:

  1. When was the document created and by whom?

  2. What reasons were the reasons given in the document for the declaration of war?

  3. Do you believe the above reasons are a justification for war? Defend and explain your answer as if you were a member of congress who voted for the declaration (think about how this declaration means Americans will fight and die because of it).

Fourth Source: News Article reporting the declaration of war

News of the Declaration of War

Students must answer the following questions based upon the evidence found in the primary source document:

  1. When was the article written and by whom?

  2. What is the tone of the article as it reports the news of the war?

  3. What effect does it say that the declaration has had upon international relations?

  4. Imagine yourself as an American during the First World War. How do you believe you will react to the declaration of war upon Germany?

Lesson Closure

The class will end with a whip around, where each student will say one thing that surprised them about the days lesson or what they feel is the most important thing that they have learned.


Formative- As the students discuss in groups, the teacher will move between the groups, listening to what the students are discussing and answering any questions that might arise. While doing this the teacher will be able to see what the students are getting and where they may need more information.

Summative- The Whip around at the end of class will allow the Teacher to see what the students have taken away from the assignment and if this aligns with the lesson's goals and objectives as well as what may need to be reinforced or recovered in another lesson.

Accommodations for English Learners, Striving Readers and Students with Special Needs

The teacher will provide a handout with additional vocabulary words to the students to bolster their ability to access the information in the activity. The handout will also contain tips and additional information on each primary source that will help them to better understand the document.

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