Treaty of Versailles Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

Enhance your instruction on the Treaty of Versailles with this lesson plan that features a video lesson as well as discussion questions and extension activities for further exploration.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, students should be able to do the following:

  • understand the difference between Wilson's plan for peace and the desires of the British and French
  • recall the major points of the Treaty of Versailles
  • analyze how resentment over the treaty lead to future unrest in Germany


40 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.


  • Show your class the video lesson End of WWI: The Treaty of Versailles & the League of Nations, stopping the video at the following times for discussion:
    • 2:18 - Why did each of the Big Three want their respective demands? Which of the Big Three do you think is going to get elbowed out of negotiations? Why?
    • 3:43 - What is the ultimate goal of the terms of the treaty with regard to Germany? How does this help to limit German power in the future?
    • 4:55 - What do you think would have happened if had Germany not signed the treaty? If you had been a German having been forced to live under this treaty, how do you think you would have responded?


  • Have students write a letter from the perspective of Wilson, Lloyd George, or Clemenceau, or even the German delegation, highlighting points of concern about the treaty. From the Anglo-French perspective, make them about why the treaty must be so strict.
  • Ask students to further research the Fourteen Points, then ask if they would have really made a difference.

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