Primary Source Packet: World War I — American Experiences of War

Use primary sources in your classroom to analyze Americans' experiences during World War I.

World War I was the first truly global war in modern times. Familiarize your students with Americans' war experiences during the Great War Years (1914-1918) and provide a strong foundation of essential World War I knowledge.

Cost: $20ORDER


  • 23 full-color photographs of objects, posters, newspapers and songs
  • Discussion questions, context, guiding questions for each source

Sources included:

  • Soldier’s handmade trench candle. 1914-1918.
  • U.S. Army issue gas mask and bag. 1914-1918.
  • French aeronautical map in holder. 1914-1918.
  • Decorated flour sack banner. Circa 1914-1918.
  • German Black Bread. Circa 1914-1918.
  • Western Union Telegram. 1917.
  • Leila Heath and others. 1917-1918.
  • William Krensing. 1918.
  • Surgical dressing units, St. Paul. 1918.
  • Minnesota Commission of Public Safety Order No. 37. 1918.
  • Bemidji Daily Pioneer. April 6, 1917. Page 1.
  • Bemidji Daily Pioneer. November 11, 1918. Page 1.
  • Rochester Daily Post and Record. November 11, 1918. Page 1.
  • “What are you going to do for your country?” American Red Cross poster. Circa 1914-1918.
  • Draft registration card for Fulda man. September 12, 1918.
  • The Tomahawk. September 12, 1918. Page 1.
  • The Twin City Star, August 3, 1918. Page 1.
  • The Appeal. December 28, 1918. Page 1.
  • “Remember Belgium.” Bond drive poster. 1918.
  • “On Which Side of the Window are You?” Enlistment poster. 1917.
  • “Enlist in the Signal Corps.” Enlistment poster. 1917-1918.
  • Camp Songs of the United States Army and Navy. 1917-1918.
  • “They Were All Out of Step But Jim”. Sheet music. 1918.

“They Were All Out of Step But Jim”. Sheet music. 1918.

U.S. Army issue gas mask and bag. 1914-1918.

Surgical dressing units, St. Paul. 1918.

Academic standards alignment

The World War I: American Experiences of War Primary Source Packet is designed to engage your students and enrich their ability to read and analyze primary sources. Incorporating these sources, or adapting the questions and activities for other sources, into your teaching will help meet your curricular objectives and academic standards, whether they are content or skills related.

We have aligned this packet with state and national standards and benchmarks for grades 6–12. The links below outline the standards alignment for this packet.

National standards

Minnesota standards

Related resources