Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Mr. Postman Deliver the Letter
Linda Winer
US History
Time Frame:
Three to Five Days
World War I

Grade Levels:
5, 6, 7, 8

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

Students will read and assess letters of former President Harry Truman to understand what was transpiring in his life during the time he spent in the army during World War One.


Soldiers in the Armed Services during World War One depended, in part, on letters from the Home Front to keep up morale. In this tech world this way of communicating has become almost obsolete. But during the Great War enlisted men wrote to, and received letters from, loved ones
In the States. €œWhile passes were relished, mail call was the highlight of each soldier€™s day.€- Browne- An American Soldier in World War One.

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

  • US11.7 Describe impact of War on the Home Front
  • US11.5 Explain reasons for US involvement in WWI

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
  • Browne-“An American Soldier in World War One.”
    Palmer and Wallis-“Intimate Voices from the First World War
  • Books on the life of Harry Truman

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


Full description of activity or assignment.

Teacher will talk on the reasons why we became involved in the War in 1917, relying on lectures given by presenters at the 2018 worksjop
Students will get a sense of what it was like for Captain Truman to be far from home and Fighting in the War to End All Wars. They will also get a feeling of the leadership qualities of the Future president as he led his Company in Europe.

Students will be encouraged to read letters from a fighter for the Central Powers.

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

Students will summarize a one page report on the knowledge they gleaned from reading at least 25 letters. Assignment will be judged on neatness, correct use of grammar. Students will write a short paper on the character of Truman as seen in his letters.