WWI Magazine Activity

Lesson Author
Required Time Frame
Depending on how they are working, if they are using their time wisely and productively, I would give them between 5 and ten days.
Grade Level(s)
Lesson Abstract
The students will produce a monthly magazine from WWI. The time frame (month) will be chosen to coincide with a particular battle of their choice.

The students will produce a monthly magazine from WWI.  The time frame (month) will be chosen to coincide with a particular battle of their choice. Included in the magazine will be a section that will cover the particular battle described as an eye witness (journalist) who was there. A map of the area and the battle will be required with this news story.   Other sections will cover: events taking place on the home front, fashions for the time period, sports, music, literature, art, and movies for the month. A section covering individuals serving in the armed forces and an editorial page will also be   included.

Rationale (why are you doing this?)

So much of what is happening today had their roots in World War I.  I am using this lesson to introduce my students to the reasons (or some of them) so they can make the connection.  I am hoping the areas of the world that they are hearing about every day and events taking place will have a greater meaning for them. So many of the students either have a family member overseas or know someone who does.  I want them to understand as much as possible, why.  ( also see attached rationale for course curriculum)

Lesson Objectives - the student will
  • be able to identify the individuals and countries involved in World War I and their importance to the time period and the war.
  • be able to understand the effect that the war had on the United States and the rest of the world then and how these events affect us today.
  • be able to analyze and identify main ideas, cause and effect, find and use primary and secondary sources to accomplish their project.
District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met
  • National standards 2B and 2C
  • Missouri Show Me State Standards
  • 1 – 1. 2. 3. 4.
  • 3 – 1. 2. 3. 4
  • 6 – 1. 2. 3. 4
  • 7 – 1. 2. 3. 4.


Benchmark 1: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points in the era of the emergence of the modern United States (1890-1930).

6. (A) analyzes the reasons for and impact of the United States’ entrance into World War I.

7. (A) analyzes how the home front was influenced by United States involvement in World War I (e.g., Food Administration, Espionage Act, Red Scare, influenza, Creel Committee).

Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.

1. (A) analyzes a theme in United States history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.

2. (A) develops historical questions on a specific topic in United States history and analyzes the evidence in primary source documents to speculate on the answers.

3. (A) uses primary and secondary sources about an event in U.S. history to develop a credible interpretation of the event, evaluating on its meaning (e.g., uses provided primary and secondary sources to interpret a historical-based conclusion).

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed
  • Encyclopedia Britannica
  • All Quiet on the Western Front, film and book
  • Biography Sgt. York, book, film
  • Encyclopedia of the 20th Century
  • America’s Time ABC video series
  • National Archives
Primary sources needed (document, photograph, artifact, diary or letter, audio or visual recording, etc.) needed
  • Truman Library resources
  • National Archives
  • Newspaper and magazine articles from the time period
  • Library of Congress documents
  • Local newspaper archives
  • Interviews with individuals who had family members involved, letters, and family photographs.
  • Liberty Memorial and Museum resources.
Technology Required

Library resources, computer access

Fully describe the activity or assignment in detail. What will both the teacher and the students do?

This is a class project.  Each student will choose the section they would like to create.  They will be responsible for the research and construction of their section.  The students will choose an editor whose responsibility will be to coordinate the sections and be responsible for the layout of the magazine. I will assist the students with technical help and guidance, Provide time in the library, computer labs and classroom; I will also provide the students with the materials necessary for constructing the magazine. I will have classroom sources available and I will be responsible for helping with the final editing for each student’s article for the magazine.  The students will choose their magazine’s name and each class will have their own magazine

Each article will have definite requirements that will have to be met. The students will be given scoring guides subject to their area of the magazine.  The class will get a percentage grade for the completed lesson and each student will be given an individual grade for their contribution.  Accuracy, spelling, grammar, neatness, imagination and effort will be graded individually on the part of the scoring guide that relates to the individual student’s work.  

Scoring Guide per Section

Battle Report

Required information

1.  Beginning and ending dates.

2.  Countries involved, which armies, or if a sea battle which navies.

3. Description of action, where it took place

4.  Weapons used, ex. artillery, machine guns, chemical weapons, flame throwers, etc.

5.  Casualties

6.  Who was successful, and what was the objective attained.

7. A detailed map of the area identifying each army and their positions


Home Front News

1. Political events taking place during this month.

2. Economical news during the month

3. Any news making event for the month

4. Inventions

5. This information will be written in the form of a news article with a headline and a byline.  Photographs if available will be expected.  The more information in the articles; the better.



 Articles describing new fashions for women and men as well as pictures and or illustrations of the fashions will be expected. 


Typical magazine advertisements showing a variety of merchandise will include a description of the item, a picture, where to get the item, price and a written sales incentive is expected.  Sports

Articles reporting on sporting events for the month:  baseball, football, college sports, track and field events, etc. Information will include teams, individual players, scores, location of events and any other important information needed to explain what happened.



This arts and entertainment section will cover all of the above.  What books, songs, and motion pictures were popular for the month this magazine was published.  If there is time, you may have the student read a book, watch a movie or listen to recordings and have them write the review.  If not they can try to find written reviews from the time period.


Local News

This section will have news about local individuals serving in the armed forces during this time.  Where are they, what are they doing, health status have they been injured are they fine, and


Posters and Political Cartoons


There will be at least 2 posters and 2 political cartoons in this section.  They are to be original.  You may use ideas from cartoon and posters from the time period and you may use 1 (one) original poster and cartoon as well, but the 2 required posters and cartoons have to be original.


Editorial Page

This will include letters to the editor.  They may be about any section in the magazine or any original thoughts about the WWI, or war in general.  This is the section you get to say and tell others what you really think.



On any researched material used, the information has to be cited and a bibliography is required. 


All written material used in this project is to be in the student’s own words.  Any work done and turned in that is not will not be accepted and the student will receive a zero (0) for the project.

Assessment: fully explain the assessment method in detail or create and attach a scoring guide

Points given for each assignment:

An exceptional job, over and above the necessary information required.  Well written and orderly and interesting. Detailed information, pictures as required, and additional items that are important and significant for your project.


50 points


A good job, complete with the required information and the required amount of pictures specified.  Well written orderly and interesting.  An above average product.


40 - 45 points


An average job, some required information and pictures (if required) missing.  Well written, orderly and interesting.  An average product.


30 - 35 points


Less than average, very little effort, less than half the required information is missing and there are no pictures if they are required.  Poorly written and lacks order and interest.


20 – 25 points


Completed project class points                      25

Peer evaluation                                           25

Possible total points                                   100

Online Collection