Bringing the Great War Home: Teaching with the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery —A Free World War I Teacher’s Guide

The American Battle Monuments Commission in conjunction with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) and Virginia Tech (VT) has released Bringing the Great War Home: Teaching with the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, a free World War I Teacher’s Guide. Available for download via iBook or directly available on the ABMC website, this guide includes lesson plans and ideas developed by teachers to help students better understand the service, experience and sacrifice of Americans that served and died during the Great War. These lesson plans and lesson ideas cover a range of topics that can be applied in various subject areas, such as history, art, math, and English.

This partnership, a first-of-its-kind for ABMC, created a teacher-scholar program that matched a team of education experts with middle and high school teachers to create hands-on curriculum using the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Romagne-sous-Montfaucon, France. “It is our belief that the best people to develop classroom resources are teachers,” said ABMC Secretary Max Cleland. “In a real sense they are “in the trenches” and know best how to connect young Americans with the past.  Good teachers know best how to make history interesting and relevant.” This professional development program provided the resources, support and opportunities for the teachers to craft inquiry-based units and lessons that were grounded in best practices as well as Common Core and state standards.  

Martinette Horner, director of outreach for the School of Education at UNC-Chapel Hill, said the project was meaningful to participating teachers. “The teachers had powerful experiences doing this research, which led to rich lesson plans that can be put to use immediately in classrooms.” This free resource includes 10 chapters, along with supporting materials such as videos, photos, and classroom handouts:

Established in 1923 by Congress, ABMC is a U.S. government agency charged with commemorating the service, achievements and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed forces where they have served overseas since 1917. ABMC administers our nation’s overseas commemorative cemeteries and federal memorials. For more information visit, or connect with us on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.

LEARN NC serves as the primary professional development center for the School of Education at UNC-CH.  Since 1997, LEARN NC has worked with schools and educators on a variety of projects meant to extend professional learning for in-service practitioners. More than a website, LEARN NC also supports a strong element of face-to-face work in an effort to achieve the goal of creating a community of teachers who are exploring and sharing best practices and hands-on teaching approaches. Today we receive nearly 20,000 hits daily, and as geography blurs in the digital age, our reach and impact extends across the region and the nation.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech includes programs in the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The college seeks to illuminate human experience and expression by creating works of lasting scholarly, cultural, and aesthetic value; empower individuals to engage critically with the complexities of a diverse, global society; and foster the inquiry, innovation, and growth that produce individual and social transformation.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 215 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 30,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $450 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.