The Sinking of the Lusitania and America's Entrance To World War I

The Lusitania & America's Entrance to World War I
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Lusitania Lesson Plan

In this World War I lesson plan, students learn the amazing story of the sinking of the Lusitania and the tensions that brought Europe to war and the factors that drove America from neutrality into the war.

 Lesson Overview

The first episode of our World War One unit focuses on the Lusitania, German submarine warfare, and what caused America to enter the Great War. It tells the dramatic story of Lusitania itself and the last tour it took before being shot down by German U-boats and why that moved America and Wilson into war.  This story-lecture also unpacks the start and causes of World War I (the 'Main' causes) in Europe, America's neutrality, and the events that led America, under President Wilson to declare war including the Zimmerman Note, Sussex Pledge, and unrestricted submarine warfare. Students are left considering how civilian casualties have become increasingly a part of all modern warfare.

What Students Do

Students learn about propaganda before analyzing some famous WWI posters. Then students create original propaganda posters on the Lusitania.

Skill Development: Analyzing propaganda and persuasion techniques, creative design.