ALEX Lesson Plan


Mock Treaty of Versailles

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Joicelyn Armbrester
System: Oxford City
School: Oxford High School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 31048


Mock Treaty of Versailles


This project is designed to conclude a World War I Unit. In this unit, students will have examined the causes, events, and consequences of World War One.  After investigating the causes  and events of the war, students will participate as delegates  to a mock Treaty of Versailles. In the mock Treaty, students will be divided into collaborative groups and will be assigned roles within these groups.  The group as a whole will be assigned the role of a country that was integral to the negotiation of the the actual treaty. 

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SS2010 (9) World History: 1500 to the Present
12. Explain causes and consequences of World War I, including imperialism, militarism, nationalism, and the alliance system.
  • Describing the rise of Communism in Russia during World War I
  • Examples: return of Vladimir Lenin, rise of the Bolsheviks
  • Describing military technology used during World War I
  • Identifying problems created by the Treaty of Versailles of 1919
  • Examples: Germany's reparations and war guilt, international controversy over the League of Nations
  • Identifying alliances during World War I and boundary changes after World War I
  • SS2010 (11) United States History II: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
    5. Evaluate the impact of social changes and the influence of key figures in the United States from World War I through the 1920s, including Prohibition, the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the Scopes Trial, limits on immigration, Ku Klux Klan activities, the Red Scare, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Migration, the Jazz Age, Susan B. Anthony, Margaret Sanger, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, W. C. Handy, and Zelda Fitzgerald. (Alabama) [A.1.a., A.1.b., A.1.d., A.1.f., A.1.i., A.1.j., A.1.k.]
  • Analyzing radio, cinema, and print media for their impact on the creation of mass culture
  • Analyzing works of major American artists and writers, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, and H. L. Mencken, to characterize the era of the 1920s
  • Determining the relationship between technological innovations and the creation of increased leisure time
  • Local/National Standards:

    International Society for Technology in Education (NETS)

    1. Creativity and Innovation

    Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:

    a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
    b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
    c. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
    d. identify trends and forecast possibilities.
    2. Communication and Collaboration

    Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:

    a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
    b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
    c. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
    d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.
    3. Research and Information Fluency

    Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:

    a. plan strategies to guide inquiry.
    b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
    c. evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
    d. process data and report results.
    4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

    Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:

    a. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
    b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
    c. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
    d. use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

    The student in grades 5-12 should understand
    reform, revolution, and social change in the world economy of the early century.
    the causes and global consequences of World War I.
    the search for peace and stability in the 1920s and 1930s.
    the causes and global consequences of World War II.
    major global trends from 1900 to the end of World War II

    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Unit Driving Question:

    "Is war ever justified?"

    Essential Questions:

    1. How did the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles contribute to the start of World War II?
    2. Which country should assume war guilt for WWI?
    3. How might things have been different if the terms of the Treaty had been more lenient to the defeated nations?


    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    In addition to ALCOS and ARMT objectives, this unit plan focuses on collaboration, written communication, oral communication, and work ethic.

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    1. List of collaborative groups with country assignments
    2. Student individual role assignments
    3. Chart paper to record decisions


    Technology Resources Needed:

    1. Computer with Internet access



    Prior to the project, teachers should group students into collaborative groups of 4-5 members each. Keep in mind academic abilities and strengths as well as compatible personalities and work ethics when formulating groups. Within each group teachers will need to assign students one of the following roles: Leader of the Country (president, prime minister, czar, etc.), Military Advisor, Economic Advisor, Secretary/Recorder. While negotiating the Treaty, students should be mindful of and contribute according to their individual roles and duties. Teachers will then need to assign each group a country that was integral to the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles (Germany, Russia, United States, France, Great Britain, Italy). Also, teachers should draft a project calendar prior to launching this project. Project calendars should include all negotiation days, due dates, and any other pertinent project information. A sample podcast of this project may be viewed by the teacher prior to launching this project at


    Day One:

    1. Teachers should introduce the concept of the project and explain all necessary components/requirements.
    2. Next, students should be given group/country assignments.
    3. Teachers should also assign and explicitly explain individual roles/responsibilities within the group:
    Leader--guide decision making of the group; facilitate discussion
    Military Advisor-- advise leader decisions nations armed forces
    Economic Advisor--advise leader decisions regarding issues that affect the countries economic stability
    Secretary--take notes during all negotiations, country or entire delegation, and chart country position statement for each issue.
    4. Once students have been assigned groups and individual roles, they should meet to begin formulating their country's "Bottom Line". This list should be comprised of the top five most important issues/demands that they would like to see accomplished during treaty negotiations.

    Day Two:

    1. Half of this time should be allotted for groups to continue formulating "Bottom Lines".
    2. During the second half of the period, all groups should be called to order and given the instruction to begin negotiating the first provision of the Treaty: War Guilt--"Who should be blamed for starting WWI?"
    3. Groups should then return to country groups and begin formulating a 2-4 sentence position statement that both assigns war guilt but also illustrates the country's reasons for this decision.
    4. Secretaries may chart their respective position statements regarding this issue.
    5. Once all countries have charted position statements, a vote must be called as to whom should assume war guilt. If the vote is not unanimous, country leaders must debate the issue and a new vote will be called until the measure is passed.

    Days Three-Five

    These days should follow the same model as Day Two. Treaty provisions to be negotiated on these days may include: reparations, reduction of armed forces, land acquirements/ relinquishments, etc. These provisions may be set at the discretion of the teacher. The time frame for negotiations may also be limited or expanded at the discretion of the instructor.

    Day Six:
    On this date students should compare and contrast their treaty with the actual Treaty of Versailles. Students may also foreshadow how these decisions may influence later global conflicts. This day may also be used a project debriefing day where the class discusses their positive and negative experiences with this project.  The teacher may also opt to have student grade the overall performance of their group members in this task. A collaboration grading rubric is attached.


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    Assessment Strategies

    1. Country "Bottom Lines" must be submitted and approved before gaining admission to the Paris Peace Conference.
    2. All position statements should be teacher approved before charting.
    3. Group collaboration grading.




    Once checkpoints have been submitted and knowledge deficiencies are evident, individual and whole group workshops can be held to address questions and to clarify student misconceptions. These workshops should function as a small group intervention and be limited to four to six students. Workshops can be held during student work time on the project and when summoned students should report with a valid questions or concern.

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.