Letters from the Trenches in WWI Primary Source Analysis Activity World War One

Rated 4.75 out of 5, based on 20 reviews
20 Ratings
Michele Luck's Social Studies
Grade Levels
7th - 11th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
10 pages
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Michele Luck's Social Studies


Allow students to analyze actual letters from soldiers in WWI with an engaging lesson that sparks inquiry and practices analysis skills as they collect data on the Great World War.

Students will first explore Trench Warfare with a ready to show Powerpoint on the war strategy. The presentation identifies the practice while also introducing the hardships placed on soldiers while having to live in and fight from the trenches.

Following the presentation, students can be placed in groups or can work individually to analyze actual letters from soldiers fighting from the trenches. The letters encompass a number of different experiences. A student graphic organizer is provided to help students in data collection. Wrap-up Questions are on a separate page for students to complete after all letters have been analyzed.

Once analysis of the letters is completed, wrap up the lesson by returning to the presentation for a writing prompt on letters from the war.

Resource Includes

7 Primary Source Letters from the Trenches

Student Graphic Organizer for Analysis

Wrap-Up Questions

Teaching suggestions for varied activities

PowerPoint presentation

Writing Prompt (at end of presentation)

Content Topics Covered

Lack of food and other supplies

Long amounts of time in the trenches


Fear and Anxiety

Worry about family or friends

Hopes and dreams of returning home

Death of soldiers in trenches

Social Studies Skills Addressed


Reading Comprehension

Primary Source Analysis

Image Analysis

Quote Analysis

Data Collection


Addresses state and national standards (including TEKs, Common Core, and more).

About this Resource

See PREVIEW for complete resource.

Suggestions for implementing lesson is included, but no specific answer key included since student data collection will (and should) vary. I encourage going over the entire resource as a wrap-up to conclude the lesson, checking student accuracy and comprehension.

Created for use in a unit on WWI, but could be used for any geographic or historic study of the U.S. or world.

This is also included in my World War One Complete Unit.

Buying from Michele Luck’s Social Studies

If you like this resource, please leave feedback. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at michele@micheleluckssocialstudies.com to let me know!

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Thank you for downloading. Happy Teaching!

Total Pages
10 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
1 hour
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


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