Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Changes for the Ages: WWI Technology & Its Impact
Lindsay Kingsolver
US History
Time Frame:
1 class period
World War I

Grade Levels:
9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

Students, in groups, will research various new technologies in World War I. Students will present
these technologies to the class and discuss what effects these technologies had on warfare after
their creation.


Students need to understand that WWI was a new type of warfare - modern war. In this type of war
there are new technologies that produce new effects and students should understand how this would
change warfare from this point forward.

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

6-12 Missouri Social Studies Learning Standards
� 9-12.WH.5.CC.B - Trace the origins and relationships among the world wars, revolutions, and global
conflicts of twentieth century to determine their impact on the world today.
� 9-12.WH.5.PC.C - Analyze the technological, intellectual, artistic, and literary achievements of the
modern era to determine how society reflects and challenges the status quo.

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

YouTube video - “3 WWI inventions you use every day! - Part 1” -
â�� YouTube video - “5 WWI inventions you use everyday! - Part 2” -

Full description of activity or assignment.

Anticipatory Set – Students will create a quick of list of items/technologies that they believe were
created during World War I. After sharing out our lists, the class will watch “3 WWI inventions you
use every day! – Part 1” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNf8ave7P3k) and “5 WWI inventions
you use every day! – Part 2” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QigkNnA_Vu8).

The class will discuss their lists compared to the inventions listed in the videos.


â�� Lesson – Class will discuss how the creation/use of various technologies can have impacts upon
the people that use them or the people have the technologies used against them. Class will then
complete the first two technologies of the Cause & Effect chart of World War I Weapons and discuss
the technologies specific impacts.

â�� Guided Practice – Students will then complete the following two technologies on the Cause & Effect
chart of World War I weapons. After completing these individually, the class will discuss the rows
together and compare the answers among the students.

â�� Group Work – Students will then be broken into ability groups and assigned one of four (airplanes,
machine guns, mustard gas, or tanks) new WWI technologies based on their collective reading and
ability levels. After being assigned one of the technologies, the students will read the included fact
sheet and complete the analysis sheet. Groups will be given individualized instruction based on the
needs of the groups/individual students in the group.

â�� Check for Understanding – After completing the analysis sheets, students will share out the answers
to their questions to the class as a whole. The class will discuss the technologies and the answers
to the analysis questions. The teacher will check for student and group understanding of their

â�� Independent Practice – After discussing all of the technologies, the students will complete the WWI
technology ranking and writing prompt. Students will make the decision as to which technology they
feel is the most important/impactful and will complete a writing prompt based upon their decision.

â�� Closure – Students (if they wish) will share out their writing prompts with the class. The class will
discuss the differences between students’ writing prompts.





Machine Guns

Mustard Gas

Cause and efffect of weapons

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