African American Officers doughboys with mules gas masks pilots in dress uniforms African American Soldiers 1 Riveters Mule Rearing The pilots


The Centennial Commemoration provides an opportunity to focus the attention of students and adults across the country on the war. Using educational resources beyond classroom settings, the Commission intends to create a comprehensive educational program about all aspects of the First World War. Areas of focus will be the history of the war, including the causes of the war, the reason for America’s entry, and the role of American servicemen and women in the war, as well as:

  • The war’s effects on geopolitics to the current day

  • Implications for the forces of nationalism and self-determination of free peoples

  • Technological changes the war brought to manufacturing and industry

  • The war’s impacts on society and on arts & culture

While many of the Commission’s educational programs will be available to the country at large, its particular focus will be on students in grades 6-12 – the so-called “Generation Z” who were born beginning in the late 1990s. The Commission expects to supplement traditional classroom materials with “virtual classroom” materials and other Internet-driven media to reach as wide an audience as possible. By working with educators across the country, the Commission’s goal is to reach over 10 million students by the conclusion of the Centennial period.


  • The Commission has partnered with A+E/History Channel to develop a national educational programming outreach for students in grades 6-12. Much of this content will be delivered to classrooms via electronic format. The curriculum will include original programming to be broadcast nationwide starting in June 2014, with shorter- length programs broadcast on the History Channel Classroom. The curriculum resources and teacher’s guides accompanying A+E programs will be distributed to over 600,000 teachers through the HISTORY e-mail newsletters.

  • As a tool for engaging middle school and high school teachers, the Commission proposes to sponsor a WWI lesson plan contest for teachers, creating a direct link to the Common Core requirements and other curriculum standards. This program would be managed by a volunteer committee composed of educators and WWI historians from across the country.

  • As an additional opportunity for engaging students in grades 6-12, the Commission proposes to sponsor a national essay contest. During each year of the Centennial, students from across the country would be given a specific WWI-themed topic on which to write a short essay. This contest would be similarly managed by a volunteer committee of educators and WWI historians from across the country.

  • Working with A+E/History Channel and other national partners, the Commission plans to develop a digital learning program that would create a virtual classroom environment, in which teachers at museums and other venues can use web-based applications to reach schools and students across the country.


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