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Project: "The U.S. in World War I: A Journey through Time"

History

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The U.S.World War I

Contextualization

World War I, often referred to as "The Great War," was a global conflict that took place from 1914 to 1918. It involved many of the world's great powers, organized into two opposing alliances: the Allies (including the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Russia) and the Central Powers (including Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire). This war was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary on June 28, 1914, and the subsequent declaration of war by Austria-Hungary against Serbia.

From the American perspective, the United States initially remained neutral in the war, which was a reflection of President Woodrow Wilson’s policy of non-intervention, encapsulated in his campaign slogan of "He kept us out of war." However, as the war progressed, the United States became increasingly drawn into the conflict, and this shift in policy had profound consequences both domestically and internationally.

One key reason for the U.S.'s entry into the war was Germany's policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, which resulted in the sinking of several American merchant ships. Additionally, the discovery of the Zimmerman Telegram, where Germany proposed a military alliance with Mexico against the United States, further swayed public opinion in favor of war. On April 6th, 1917, the United States declared war on Germany, and its entry into the conflict turned the tide in favor of the Allies, leading to their eventual victory.

Resources

To gain a deeper understanding of this topic, students can explore the following resources:

  1. The First World War by the BBC - A series of educational videos that provide a comprehensive overview of the war, its causes, and its consequences.

  2. The American Entry into World War I by the U.S. Department of State - This article details the factors that led to the U.S.'s entry into the war.

  3. The First World War by Khan Academy - An interactive tutorial that covers all aspects of the war, including the role of the United States.

  4. World War I by the National World War I Museum and Memorial - This resource offers a wide range of materials, including articles, photos, and primary source documents, to aid in the understanding of World War I.

By utilizing these resources and engaging in the project activities, students will not only gain a comprehensive understanding of the U.S.'s involvement in World War I but also develop essential research, collaboration, and communication skills.

Practical Activity

Activity Title: "The U.S. in World War I: A Journey through Time"

Objective of the Project:

The objective of this project is to enhance students' understanding of the U.S.'s involvement in World War I, its causes, and consequences. Students will work collaboratively to create a detailed timeline of the key events leading to the U.S.'s entry into the war, and the significant actions and decisions made by the United States during the war. Furthermore, students will be required to analyze and discuss the social, economic, and political impacts of the war on the United States.

Detailed Description of the Project:

Students will be divided into groups of 3 to 5 members. Each group will be responsible for creating a comprehensive timeline covering the period from 1914 to 1918, with a specific focus on the United States' role in World War I. The timeline should include significant events such as the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, the Zimmerman Telegram, and the U.S.'s declaration of war on Germany. In addition to the events, it should also include the social, economic, and political impacts of the war on the United States.

The timeline should be presented creatively, using a platform of the group's choice, such as Google Slides, Canva, or Prezi. The use of visuals, such as images, videos, and graphs, is highly encouraged to make the timeline engaging and informative.

Necessary Materials:

  • Access to reliable Internet for research
  • Digital platform for creating the timeline (such as Google Slides, Canva, Prezi, etc.)
  • Access to library resources for additional research (optional)

Detailed Step-by-step for Carrying out the Activity:

  1. Formation of Groups and Allocation of Roles: Students will be divided into groups. Each group should assign roles to its members, such as researcher, writer, designer, and presenter, to ensure that everyone participates actively.

  2. Research: Each group will research the events leading to the U.S.'s entry into World War I, and the significant actions and decisions made by the United States during the war. They should also investigate and discuss the social, economic, and political impacts of the war on the United States.

  3. Timeline Creation: Based on their research, each group will create a detailed timeline using their chosen digital platform. The timeline should be interactive and visually appealing, containing all the significant events, actions, and decisions related to the U.S.'s role in World War I.

  4. Presentation Preparation: After creating the timeline, each group will prepare a presentation to explain their timeline and discuss the research findings.

  5. Presentation: Each group will present their timeline and findings to the class. This presentation should be interactive, engaging, and clear, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of the U.S.'s role in World War I.

All the steps above should be completed within one week, with approximately two to four hours of work per participating student.

Project Deliverables:

At the end of the project, each group will submit their timeline (in digital format) and a written report. The written report should be divided into four main sections: Introduction, Development, Conclusions, and Used Bibliography.

  1. Introduction: The students should provide a brief overview of World War I, its significance, and the role of the United States. They should also state the objectives of their project and the relevance of their timeline.

  2. Development: In this section, students should detail the theory behind World War I focusing on the United States' role, explain the timeline creation process, and present their timeline. They should also discuss the methodology used in their research.

  3. Conclusion: The students should summarize their findings, highlighting the key events and impacts, and the journey they took to complete the project. They should also reflect on what they learned about World War I and the U.S.'s role in it, as well as the skills they developed during the project.

  4. Used Bibliography: The students should list all the sources they used for their research, including books, websites, videos, etc.

By the end of this project, students should have a comprehensive understanding of the United States' role in World War I, as well as have developed essential skills such as teamwork, time management, research, and communication.

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