KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National WWI Museum and Memorial, the Doughboy Foundation and the World War One Centennial Commission launched “How World War I Changed America” today, an interactive educational website about the enduring impact of the World War I featuring videos and podcasts with free resources for teachers, including lesson plans and primary source student activities.
World War I reshaped the 20th century and America’s place in the world, yet it is largely a forgotten war in the United States. Through How World War I Changed America, the organizations aim to strengthen America’s understanding of the Great War era, particularly within history classrooms.
“To understand the U.S. today, one must first understand the history of the Great War era,” said Dr. Matthew Naylor, the president and CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial. “The lessons within this project will help students better understand the war and how we got to where we are today. The decisions made in the aftermath of the Great War will affect future generations.”
“How World War I Changed America” features nine different topics, all focused on a different aspect of the Great War era. They include: “America Goes to War,” “Selling the War,” “Citizenship and Objection,” “African American Experiences,” “Immigrants and Immigration,” “Native American Service,” “Women in WWI,” “Influenza Epidemic” and “Coming Home.”
Each toolkit contains a video pertaining to the topic, a primary source document that students can study, a lesson plan for educators and a podcast featuring various discussions on WWI. These resources are readily adaptable for in-person, online or blended learning environments. All resources are downloadable and available with transcripts.
The project resources are free to use and can be downloaded to share with students directly or through Learning Management Systems like Canvas, Google Classroom or Blackboard. The information can be accessed at WWIChangedUS.org.
People from around the world visit the Museum and Memorial’s website to view educational content. In 2019, individuals from more than 200 countries and territories combined for more than 2.6 million page views on the website.
The project received support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and was created in partnership with National History Day and the Gilder Lehrman Institute, with the assistance of five historians who specialize in World War I: Drs. Christopher Capozzola, Jennifer Keene, John Morrow, Jeffrey Sammons and Herman Viola.