Education Resource Portal

Guiding Questions and Activities


Organizing Evidence to Support an Argument (EA)

Kind Theme/Skill Topic Category Grades

Show students the "More Ballots Less Bullets" suffrage banner. Ask students to write an argument on whether this banner is more in support of expanding voting rights or more in opposition to the war.

Activity C, EA WWI suffrage, women 9-12

Have students look through the portal collection for evidence supporting the idea that life for immigrants was tough during WWI. They should be prepared to share and explain their evidence found with peers.

Activity EA WWI nativism 6-8

Using the question “During times of war, what do you think is more important - the government’s responsibility to protect the country and its people, or to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals?”, have students look through portal to find evidence from the war to support their opinion. (Extension activity: hold a class or small group debate, OR assign students to make a WWI era propaganda poster using their opinion and evidence)

Activity EA Civil War, WWI government 6-8, 9-12

Using the image of the Office for the Employment of Veterans Who are Disabled, the Plaster Bear, and Red Cross Convalescent House as a starting point, have students respond to the question “How did WWI impact soldier’s lives far beyond the battlefield?”

Activity EA WWI soldiers, Red Cross 6-8

Have students explore the Red Cross portion of the portal as they look for examples and evidence to support the statement: “The Red Cross played a vital role during WWI both on the homefront and the battlefield.”

Activity EA WWI Red Cross, homefront, medical, soldiers 6-8

Provide groups of students with a statement that was debatable at the time (Prohibition is necessary for our country to thrive, the Confederacy had the right to secede, etc). Different groups are assigned a side to the debate. Groups research their topic, organize ideas and write out their argument, citing evidence from the portal to support their argument. Extension: have them orally present their arguments in a formal class debate.

Activity EA Civil War, WWI general 6-8

Have students select a set of sources they are interested in and analyze the sources. Direct them to use their analysis of these sources to create the front page of a newspaper from the time (they’ll use the sources they selected to decide on a date that makes sense). Synthesizing events from the war and the perspectives analyzed on the portal, they will report on the events of both the warfront and homefront.

Activity EA, E Civil War, WWI general 6-8, 9-12

Select a set of sources from the soldier perspective, using the soldier tag and narrowing by war era. Direct students to read and analyze the sources and use their analysis to write an argument about why soldiers were motivated to fight.

Activity EA, E Civil War, WWI soldiers 9-12

“America First” was a popular slogan during the WWI era. Select items that support an “America First” perspective and assign students to use the portal to find a piece of evidence to counter each item you selected. Students should provide a brief rationale for their choices.

Activity EA, E WWI government, nativism 9-12

Read the following prompt to students: “In April, 1917, Congress voted by a margin of 455-56 to declare war on Germany, officially entering the United States in what is today known as WWI.” Use the portal category search to view items from the “Nativism” and “Homefront” categories. Based on what you see here, does it seems that the public was as unified in support of entering the war as was Congress? (Extension question: are there other categories that could also shed light on this prompt?)

Activity EA WWI nativism, homefront 9-12

With a partner, students select a topic and choose opposite sides of the issue. They select 3-5 items in the portal to support their side of the topic and write a 2-3 paragraph persuasive essay using their chosen items as supports.

Activity EA, E Civil War, WWI general 9-12

Prompt: “The United States SHOULD/SHOULD NOT get involved in foreign wars.” Students choose a side of the previous statement, and find evidence from the portal to support their view. They write a short essay synthesizing the items from the portal that they selected as evidence and explaining how those items support their chosen stance.

Activity EA WWI government 9-12

Using the American Indian tag on the portal, direct students to compare the impact of the US-Dakota War of 1862 on Minnesotans to the Civil War’s impact. Then, have them write an argument using the sources as evidence to prove which conflict was more significant in Minnesota history. Do a 4-corners activity to debate the question as a large group.

Activity E, EA Civil War American Indians 6-8

Students select a set of sources and create a fake Twitter feed, Snapchat, or Instagram account based on the experience of an American during the war. (Hint: focus on a specific issue or specific person’s experience).

Activity EA Civil War, WWI general 6-8, 9-12

Choose a set of 3-4 images that represent one viewpoint, and select 3-4 images that represent an opposing viewpoint. Use a fake Facebook or Twitter template to create an argument between two (real or fictional) people debating and arguing over the topic of the selected images.

Activity EA, MP Civil War, WWI general 9-12