Treaty of Versailles Lesson Plan - Classroom Simulation - World War I for Kids Illustration

Treaty of Versailles
Lesson Plan Classroom Simulation

For Teachers

WWI Treaty of Versailles Lesson Plan:

  • Divide your class into small groups (4 students per group) give each student within each group one of the 4 major countries goals

  • Have each group work out a peace treaty.

  • Have each group present its version of the peace treaty.

  • Show the students the summary of what actually came out of the peace treaty.

  • Ask the students who represented Germany how they felt about the treaty.

Treaty of Versailles: Class Simulation, Goals

German Goals: You have been defeated. Your people are starving. Your army has old worn out equipment. Your economy is so weak that your money is worthless. Your Goals at the peace conference is just to survive as a country. Your only lever is that you still have a huge army and to conquer you as a nation would cost the allies millions of casualties.

French Goals: You want to destroy Germany as a country. You want to divide all German territory into little countries that can never threaten you again. You want Germany to pay the cost of the entire war. You want all the German colonies around the World to be given to France.

English Goals: You want all the German colonies in Africa and all the Ottoman Empire territories in Africa and the Middle East. You also insist that the German Navy be destroyed. You would like Germany to pay for the War but this is not very high on your list of things you need.

American Goals: You want an end to the fighting. You want an International Organization that will prevent future wars. You want to go back to your traditional Isolationist standing. You just want the rest of the world to leave you alone.

Summary of the actual Treaty of Versailles

Germany has been defeated. Its army is in shambles and while still fighting is being destroyed especially with the influx of the millions of Americans now joining the fighting. Austria-Hungary has collapsed and surrendered. The Ottoman Empire is too far away to help. The Communist revolution in Russia has succeeded and the communists are moving into Germany. There is no food left in Germany and the population is starving. Germany had to surrender.

Germany as the losing power had to:

  1. Give to France the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine
  2. Pay each of the Allies (England, France, Italy, and the USA) millions of dollars per year until the entire cost of the war was paid for
  3. Let France occupy the industrial province of the Ruhr until the war was paid for.(This would be like the US having to give up California.)
  4. Give up about 1/3 of its prewar territory to the new country of Poland
  5. Reduce its army to less then 10,000 men (smaller then the armies of Denmark, Belgium or Switzerland)
  6. Destroy its Navy and Air Force
  7. Promise to never go to war again
  8. Give up the Right to form alliances unless the Allies approved
  9. Give up the patents to several inventions (including the snorkel for submarines and various types of batteries)
  10. Give all its colonies in Africa to France and England
  11. Give all of its colonies in Asia to Japan
  12. The Kaiser is put in jail

Austria-Hungary was broken into several smaller countries plus it was required to abide by provisions 2, 5, 6, and 7 above.

The Ottoman Empire was broken up with England being given most of the Middle East and Egypt. The Ottoman Empire was broke so they were not required to pay cash. Instead they had to give up territory.