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Library of Congress: Recordings from WWI and the 1920 Election

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

Tech Product Equipment

computer, Internet, audio system

Activity Description

This historical site consists of fifty-nine sound recordings of speeches by American leaders at the turn of the century. The speeches focus on issues and events surrounding the First World War and the presidential election of 1920. Text of speeches is also available. RealAudio, MP3 or Windows Media player is needed to listen to the recordings. (Most PC's probably have at least the Windows Media Player.)


Students should have a basic previous knowledge of the events before, during, and after the WWI.

  1. Review the material in order to guide your students through the speeches available.
  2. Download recordings before the class.
  3. Check if your computer has the software needed to play the speech recording.


  1. Ask students to listen and read the following speeches regarding World War I:World War, 1914-1918--Collaborationists--United States.
    1. World War, 1914-1918--Economic aspects--United States.
    2. World War, 1914-1918--Finance--United States.
    3. World War, 1914-1918--Naval operations, American.
    4. World War, 1914-1918--Propaganda--United States.
    5. World War, 1914-1918--Propaganda.--United States
    6. World War, 1914-1918--United States.
  2. Ask students to take notes as they listen to each speech.
  3. At the end of each speech, compile the students ideas on the whiteboard.
  4. Compare and contrast the ideas and opinions making two lists, one of similar and one of contrasting ideas.
  5. Ask students to write an essay about what they learned from the speeches.

More Ways

You can use the same steps to teach the 1920 election or other items in the speech list.


Select subjects and subcategories

English Language Arts

  • Journalism
  • Speech

Social Studies

  • U.S. History
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.