Education Resource Portal

Guiding Questions and Activities


Comparing Multiple Perspectives (MP)

Kind Theme/Skill Topic Category Grades

Choose an advertisement or propaganda poster. Direct students to write a brief biography of a person who would support the cause represented in the item chosen.

Activity MP WWI general 9-12

Using the suffrage collection, have students describe why some Americans were for and others were against suffrage, using this evidence to support their answers.

Activity MP WWI suffrage, women 6-8

View the soldier and camp life collections with students and have students write a letter home (or a diary entry) as if they were a soldier during WWI. Research how the experience was different for African American soldiers and write another letter as an African American soldier writing home.

Activity MP WWI soldier, camp life, African Americans 6-8

Using the food category of the portal, split students into five different groups with each group getting one artifact (bucket, utensils, bottle, poster, flour bag). Have each group read more about their artifact and share their learning with the class. After all five artifacts have been shared, engage in a short discussion about other things (like food) that could have meant different things to different people during the war (ex. Music > bugles for the cavalry, anti-war and pro-war music back home, destruction of churches and other things known for music).

Activity MP WWI food 6-8

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

Pair students and direct them to explore the portal and select two different perspectives. Using their analysis of the sources, have students write Poem for Two Voices using sentence stems or prompts given. Each student should be in charge of one perspective. As a large group, have students share their Poem for Two Voices, taking turns reading each line to show contrast between the selected perspectives.

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

Curate a set of images that relate to the Immigrants and Native Americans in the United States during WWI. Ask students to compare the domestic experiences of these two groups of people. How were they included/excluded from society? How was their experience of the war similar to and different from the majority population?

Activity MP WWI American Indians, nativism 9-12

Select letters from the portal. Ask students to read the letters and discuss the context in which they were written. Who was writing to whom, and what would both parties be experiencing while writing or reading the letter? What was said in the letter, and what was left unsaid?

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

Direct students to explore the portal and find sources that represent at least three different perspectives on the war. Using their analysis of these perspectives, direct students to rewrite the lyrics to a popular song of their choice so that the song is about a wartime issue. The song should clearly convey three separate perspectives/experiences of people affected by the war.

Activity MP Civil War, WWI general 9-12

Provide students with a list of 100 key individuals depicted in David Geister’s WWI mural. Students are to write and create a brief biography of the person’s life and their impact on the WWI era (or the era’s impact on the person). Then, assign students to view the WWI portal and select items that would align with their chosen person’s experience, explain why those items were chosen.

Activity MP WWI general, African Americans, American Indians, women 9-12

Select a grouping of sources that support a political or moral viewpoint. Ask students to create a fake facebook (or other social media) profile of a person who would support the cause presented in the set of images.

Activity MP Civil War, WWI general 9-12

Assign students (or have them choose) to research a particular perspective on the portal using the tags. Using their analysis of the sources, students represent their assigned perspective in a Cafe Conversations activity, where students represent their perspective and answer questions about the perspectives their classmates researched. Debrief how the war impacted Americans as a large group.

Activity MP Civil War, WWI general 9-12

Have students use the “Category” filter tool to select a topic of political debate, such as prohibition, women’s suffrage, abolition etc. Students should select the image that they believe would be most convincing to a person during this time period and create a tweet to explain their artifact and perspective using the twitter challenge template. Do this for both sides of the political debate.

Activity E, MP Civil War, WWI prohibition, suffrage, abolition, nativism 6-8, 9-12

Direct students to explore the portal and select a person or perspective they find interesting, finding 3-5 sources that support that perspective. If one specific person does not provide a student with enough evidence, have that student develop a character based on the sources they can find about people who belong to the same social group. Then, place students in pairs and have them write an exchange of letters between the two people, using a set of guiding questions/scenarios to prompt their letters.

Activity MP Civil War, WWI general 9-12

Select a set of documents from the portal using the soldier and home front tags. Then, have students compare the soldier experience to the home front experience. What challenges did each encounter and how did people address those challenges?

Activity MP Civil War, WWI soldier, homefront 6-8

Define and explain the word assimilation and the assimilation policy towards American Indians at the turn of the century. Have students explore the American Indian tag on the WWI portal and record evidence of ways American Indians were forced to assimilate and ways they resisted assimilation. Discuss the challenges American Indians faced to preserve their culture during this period and how they resisted those challenges, based on the evidence students collected.

Activity MP, E WWI American Indians 9-12

Direct students to select and compare two sources with different points of view on the conflict, making a chart to organize their comparisons. On what do they agree and what do they disagree? Why might they see the same events differently? What about the experience and background of the source creators is likely influencing their perspective?

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

Select two items that depict the same topic from different perspectives. Have students pair up and explain how are they similar/different. Why and how might the ‘authors’ view the topic differently? Who is the intended ‘audience’ and how might they perceive the items?

Activity MP Civil War, WWI general 9-12