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'Understanding the Great War' newsletter launches

WWI teacher leson plans

WASHINGTON, D.C./KANSAS CITY, Mo. _ The United States World War One Centennial Commission and the National World War I Museum and Memorial pooled their resources to create one of the most comprehensive collections of World War I education-related materials in the country.

Understanding the Great War is a bi-monthly education electronic newsletter featuring support and content from organizations across the country. Each edition focuses on a different topic related to the First World War and includes an extensive selection of articles, lessons, teaching guidelines and primary sources free to use and distributed the third Tuesday of every other month.

"Giving teachers a vast array of topics and resources to educate young generations about the impact of WWI on today's world is an essential mission of the WWI centennial commission,” said United States World War One Centennial Commissioner Dr. Monique Brouillet Seefried. “So many of the causes and consequences of WWI are routed in our current events, from terrorism to the events in the Middle East or many other corners of the world and young Americans need to know about it. Peace didn't last for long 100 years ago. We owe it to our fellow Americans who didn't return from the battlefields of WWI to continue to work for peace and to defend it.”

Before the end of 2016, Understanding the Great War is estimated to reach more than 5 million students throughout the country.

“A primary goal of the National World War I Museum and Memorial is to educate the public about the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community,” said National World War I Museum and Memorial President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor. “Understanding the Great War is a phenomenal tool for educators comprised of content from some of the world’s leading academic organizations.”

The inaugural issue in June focused on understanding why World War I began. The upcoming Aug. 16 edition addresses the global impact of World War I. In addition to Understanding the Great War, the organizations collaborated to create an archive of World War I educational materials accessible for free at

Additional partners in the project include the Department of Education, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, HISTORY Channel, and the American Battle Monuments Commission, Pritzker Military Museum and Library, National Archives, The Great War YouTube Channel, MacArthur Memorial, National History Day , American Battle Monuments Commission, Stanford History Education Group, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, at the University of Arizona, HISTORY Channel, AFS Intercultural Programs, Library of Congress, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Department of Education, The Map as History, International Baccalaureate and College Board.

Visit for more free education resources as well as to sign up to receive the Understanding the Great War newsletter and access archives.

About United States World War One Centennial Commission 

World War One Commission

The WWI Centennial Commission was chartered by Congress in 2013 (Public Law 112-272) and expires in July 2019. Commissioners are appointed by the President, Congress, the VFW, the American Legion, the National World War I Museum and Memorial and serve without compensation. The commission’s role is to commemorate and honor the more than 4 million Americans who served during World War One, and the 116,516 who gave their lives. The commission also honors the efforts of all Americans who served on the home front abroad and on the home front during the war. Finally its role is also to educate the American people about the causes and consequences of the war and the contributions made by the United States to the war and to the peace. The commission makes recommendations to Congress and the President about the commemoration of the centennial of WWI, plans and executes as well as facilitates and coordinates commemorative programs and projects in the US and abroad. The WWICC serves as a clearinghouse for information about centennial events and encourage private organizations as well as State and local governments to organize and participate in commemorative activities. 

About the National World War I Museum and Memorial

national WWI Museum

The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National World War I Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit

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