ALEX Lesson Plan


Weapons of World War I

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Brandi Mullis
System: Huntsville City
School: Westlawn Middle School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 6750


Weapons of World War I


The students will use the Internet and the school's media center to discover the weapons of World War I. They will compare and contrast the weapons used during that time period with the weapons that are used in warfare today. At the conclusion of the lesson, the students will create a digital slideshow with the history, uses, and changes in old and new military technology.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Information Literacy
IL (1998)
Grade: K-12
1 ) The student who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively.

•  Recognizes the need for information.
•  Recognizes that accurate and comprehensive information is the basis for intelligent decision making.
•  Formulates questions based on information needs.
•  Identifies a variety of potential sources of information.
•  Develops and uses successful strategies for locating information.
Information Literacy
IL (1998)
Grade: K-12
3 ) The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively.

•  Organizes information for practical application.
•  Integrates new information into one's own knowledge.
•  Applies information in critical thinking and problem solving.
•  Produces and communicates information and ideas in appropriate formats.
Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
2 ) Publish digital products that communicate curriculum concepts.

Examples: Web pages, videos, podcasts, multimedia presentations

Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
5 ) Use basic features of word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation software.

Examples: word processing—reports, letters, brochures

-  spreadsheets—discovering patterns, tracking spending, creating budgets

-  databases—contact list of addresses and telephone numbers

-  presentation software—slideshow

Technology Education
TC2 (2009)
Grade: 6-8
11 ) Use digital tools and strategies to locate, collect, organize, evaluate, and synthesize information.

Examples: locating—Boolean searches, graphic organizers, spreadsheets, databases

-  collecting—probeware, graphing calculators

-  organizing—graphic organizers, spreadsheets

-  evaluating—reviewing publication dates, determining credibility

-  synthesizing—word processing software, concept-mapping software

Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 6
United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
3 ) Identify causes and consequences of World War I and reasons for the United States' entry into the war.

Examples: sinking of the Lusitania, Zimmerman Note, alliances, militarism, imperialism, nationalism

•  Describing military and civilian roles in the United States during World War I
•  Explaining roles of important persons associated with World War I, including Woodrow Wilson and Archduke Franz Ferdinand
•  Analyzing technological advances of the World War I era for their impact on modern warfare
Examples: machine gun, tank, submarine, airplane, poisonous gas, gas mask

•  Locating on a map major countries involved in World War I and boundary changes after the war
•  Explaining the intensification of isolationism in the United States after World War I
Example: reaction of the Congress of the United States to the Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations, and Red Scare

•  Recognizing the strategic placement of military bases in Alabama (Alabama)
Insight Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, Geography, History, Civics and Government
Course Title: United States Studies: The Industrial Revolution to the Present
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Identify how the sinking of the Lusitania, the Zimmerman Note, alliances, imperialism, militarism and nationalism led to U.S. entry into WWI.
  • Describe the various roles of military and civilians in WWI.
  • Explain Woodrow Wilson and Archduke Franz Ferdinand and their association to WWI.
  • Analyze machine guns, tanks, submarines, airplanes, poison gas, and gas masks and their contributions to advancing modern warfare during WWI.
  • Use map skills to locate key countries involved in WWI and boundary changes post WWI.
  • Explain reactions to the Treaty of Versailles, League of Nations and the Red Scare pertaining to the intensification of isolationism in the United States after WWI.
  • Recognize military bases of Alabama and their strategic placement.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • WWI
  • Lusitania
  • Zimmerman Note
  • alliances
  • militarism
  • imperialism
  • nationalism
  • modern warfare
  • isolationism
  • Treaty of Versailles
  • League of Nations
  • Red Scare
Students know:
  • The causes and consequences of U.S. involvement in WWI (sinking of the Lusitania, the Zimmerman Note, Alliance System, Militarism, Imperialism, and Nationalism).
  • The roles of military and civilians played in WWI.
  • Important people involved in WWI (Woodrow Wilson, Archduke Franz Ferdinand).
  • The impact of technological advances of WWI on modern warfare (machine guns, tanks, submarines, airplanes, poison gas, and gas masks).
  • How to locate countries involved in WWI on a map and boundary changes that occurred after WWI.
  • The factors contributing to isolationism in the United States after WWI (Treaty of Versailles debate, Red Scare, League of Nations).
  • Strategic locations of military bases in Alabama.
Students are able to:
  • Locate places on a map.
  • Read and interpret primary source documents.
  • Cite evidence to support historical events.
Students understand that:
  • There were many reasons for United States entry and involvement in World War I and there were causes and consequences of this involvement.
Alabama Archives Resources:
Click below to access all Alabama Archives resources aligned to this standard.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will use the Internet to collect and analyze data about the invention, use, and technological changes of the weapons used in World War I. Students will create a slideshow presentation or a brochure to communicate the information they have gathered on the weapons of World War I. The digital slide presentation or brochure will show a distinct comparison and contrast between the weapons of WWI with the technology used in warfare now.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

encyclopedias and other reference books, list of weapons, rubric (see attached) to evaluate each paper or story board sheet

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access, presentation software, word processing or desktop publishing software, digital projection device, such as LCD projector or TV scan converter for sharing presentations is desirable


The teacher should understand and recognize the uses of the weapons and how they have changed over the last several decades. Arrangements should be made to spend two days in the media center and three days in the computer lab. Students should have a working knowledge of the usage of the Internet, PowerPoint, and Publisher.

1.)The first day the students should receive a rubric (see attached) and assignment sheet for the project. The assignment sheet will specify that each student should choose three of the four military weapons and any other specifics the teacher may require. They may choose from tanks, machine guns, submarines, and gas and gas masks. After deciding on their weapons, the students should begin looking in the media center for the following information: when the weapon was created, what was it used for, how it has changed over the years.

2.)After the students have researched the history of the weapons, they will need to compare and contrast them with the same types of weapons used in warfare today. Because of different learning styles, the children may complete their research using reference books, the Internet, or CD-ROMs.

3.)After research is completed, the students will complete a storyboard of the slideshow presentation (see attached) to be used as a rough draft. Students who are having a hard time organizing their thoughts may cut their story board apart to physically place it in the order they wish. The rough draft should be checked and approved by a teacher before work in the lab can begin.

4.)After rough drafts are completed and the students have an idea of the design, work in the computer lab can begin. The teacher will want to briefly go over the basics of the presentation software before students begin.

5.)As the students work, the teacher will monitor the their progress. Help may be needed to find appropriate pictures. Web sites which may be helpful are included (see attachment).

6.)After the class has completed the project, students will have a chance to present their brochures or slideshows for a final grade. Samples of a presentation and a brochure are attached.

**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

Assessment Strategies

Rubrics (see attached) will be used to assess slideshow presentation or brochure to determine a letter grade. Teacher observation will determine a class participation grade for students' work in the media center, in the computer lab, and on the rough draft.


Students already proficient with the material maycreate additional slides with facts they find interesting about each weapon.


Students needing extra assistance may be paired with another student for help, may create fewer slides, choose only one weapon to research, or the teacher may provide the information needed with the students putting it into their own words to create the presentation.

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.