National WWI Museum and Memorial Launches Free Resources for Educators & Students

'How World War I Changed America' features new perspectives & tools to teach history online or in the classroom
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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 20 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,” National WWI Museum and Memorial President and CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor said. “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 pageviews 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.

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About the National WWI Museum and Memorial

The National World WWI 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 and Memorial holds the most comprehensive 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 and Memorial 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 WWI 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 theworldwar.org.

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