WWI: America on the Home Front

Contributor: Sarah Lerdal. Lesson ID: 11038

How does a war in another land affect us at home? Should citizens be made to fight against their will? Study these questions against the backdrop of WWI, then write an essay or letter to Congress!


United States

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • How do you feel about the country's ability to force people to go to war?
  • Should the government have the power to require citizens to register for a draft? Why or why not?

American citizens were called upon by the government to make many sacrifices in an attempt to help with the war efforts.

Aside from rationing food and goods, and increasing production of airplanes and munitions, initially, young men aged 21-30 were required to register for the draft. Those ages expanded from 18-45 by the time of the third registration. This not only brought younger, more inexperienced soldiers into the war, it also tore apart well-established families.

There are certain people, vocabulary, laws, and agencies that are important to know when learning and speaking about WWI.

Take some time to research and takes notes on the following:

  • Selective Service Act of 1917
  • Conscientious Objectors
  • War Industries Board
  • Conserve
  • Objective
  • Propaganda

Learn more about life on the home front by viewing the first 6 minutes, 40 seconds (6:40) of World War I: Supporting the War by Media Rich Learning, available to watch only on YouTube.

Although conscientious objectors have been resisting fighting since colonial times, it was not until the Civil War that a national draft was enacted. At that time, though, such objectors could hire a substitute or pay a fee to get out of military service.

The Selective Service Act of 1917, however, set strict laws to avoid any future forms of draft dodging.

Read World War I: The CO Problem (©2015- Mennonite Central Committee) to learn about the challenges faced by this special group.

While none of the WWI battles took place in the United States, Americans felt the war's impact in their daily lives.

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