Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

World War I: Teaching Stories and Information Resources
Jennifer Rotole
US History
World War I

Grade Levels:

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
  • This lesson plan is targeted specifically for teachers in training or “beginning teachers.” College students will create a 1 week curriculum on the topic of World War I using 3 different information formats for junior high age students.
  • Students will work cooperatively using technology based primary sources, children’s literature, and online educational videos on the topic of World War I.

  • Beginning teachers need practice accessing, assessing, and packaging educational resources into units to meet state core curriculum standards.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:

Iowa Core. Iowa Department of Education,2018, https://iowacore.gov/. 30 July 2018.


  • Technology Literacy – using technological resources to investigate questions or problems
  • Social Studies – inquiry – (anchor standard)
  • Literacy – meets reading standard for literacy -meets reading standards for informational texts

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Full description of activity or assignment.
  • Day #1  - Teacher will lecture on “Understanding the Iowa Core Curriculum” and Introduce the SMART method of resource validation. Students will become familiar with the Iowa Department of Education website and practice the SMART method of resource validation using  various books  they brought to class.
  • Day #2 – Teacher will lecture on the topic of “Teaching Resources – Primary, Secondary and Multimedia Use in the Classroom”. Students will access various websites, showing the instructor they understand the various types of information resources, how the websites could fit into their WWI unit, and validity of the sites.
  • Day #3 – Teacher will lecture “Assessments and Understanding Educational Accountability”. Students will create their own grading methods and produce a grade scale to the teacher.


  • Day #4 – Students will use this day to work on and complete the WWI unit.


  • Day #5 – Students will present their units to the class.

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

Grading scales are a great way to streamline and justify how and why a student received a grade. College level students seem to need them more than other levels of education. This grade scale is worth 200 points for the total of their prepared unit. Each teacher should assess the listed criteria and assign point values as they see fit. For example: The first criteria is AGE APPROPRIATENESS. Did the student make sure they considered the grade level and reading level of each of the areas? A total of 5 points in each area would then total 25 points. If the student considered all areas but one completely…the grade would then be 20 and so on.






Age Appropriate



Content Quality

(0-20 points)







(0-5 points)


Children’s Literature Books












Educational Videos






Lesson Plan Details






State Requirements






Total Points