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About This Lesson

This lesson describes President Wilson's struggle and his ultimate failure to reach the ideal of achieving lasting world peace through the League of Nations. It was written by Thomas B. Goehner, a museum guide at the Woodrow Wilson House. He is also an education specialist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American Art. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.

Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: This lesson could be used in teaching units on foreign policy, presidential history, or the history of World War I.
Time period: Early 20th Century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12

Objectives for students
1) To articulate the ideals of the world peace and world order that Wilson espoused.
2) To describe the conflict between Wilson's ideals and the Senate's policy of isolationism.
3) To explain why the ideals of a visionary like Wilson are significant in forming the policies of our government.

Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, high-resolution version.
Materials for students include:
1) two maps of Washington, D.C. and Wilson's Transcontinental Tour Plan;
2) copies of speeches made by key players in the debate over whether the U.S. should join the League of Nations;
3) illustrations about the League of Nations;
4) photographs from the Wilson House;
5) an editorial cartoon.

Visiting the site
The Woodrow Wilson House, a National Historic Landmark, is a museum property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The house is located at 2340 S Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20008. The Woodrow Wilson House is open to the public January through December, Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is closed on New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, contact the education coordinator at the above address or visit the museum's web pages.

 

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