Lesson Plan

Mock Paris Peace Conference

Students will simulate the negotiations done during the Paris Peace Conference. This activity will help students to understand the challenge faced when negotiating terms after World War I.

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Enduring Understanding

The different players of the Paris Peace Conference all had their own agendas and ideas on repercussions.

Essential Question

  • 1Is it possible to negotiate terms that everyone can be pleased with?


10 Min
Teacher's Note
Prior to this lesson students should have a general knowledge and understanding of World War I. If not, please go back to one of the lessons on WWI to prepare students for this lessons.

Open up the lesson with this simple activity: Imagine you have to split one pizza among four people. One person is gluten free, one is a vegetarian, one is allergic to olives, and the other LOVES meat. How do you compromise? What kind of pizza can you order that everyone could agree to?

You may want to draw a pizza on the board and have students raise their hands with options for crust and toppings.


10 Min
Teacher's Note
Mock trials and simulations are appropriate for this topic as it does not place students in the role of victim or perpetrator. In other lessons on the Holocaust, we caution against using simulations and role play activities.

Explain to the class that they will be divided into three groups in order to simulate the negotiations for the Paris Peace Conference. This document will provide the three groups with the information they will need in order to speak on behalf of either France, Britain, or the United States.

Divide the class into three groups and assign them to be France, Britain, or the US. Ask the students to read the materials for their country to understand where they stand in the negotiations.


40 Min

The worksheets that will be used below can be found on the Treaty of Versailles Simulation resource.

Provide students with the Options for Negotiation (page 4) so they are able to see what their options are during the negotiations.

It would be beneficial if you can arrange the classroom in a manner that would allow the three groups to converse openly during the negotiations, such as forming a giant circle with all chairs facing towards the center.

As the teacher you will be the one facilitating the negotiations. Using the Options for Negotiation (page 4), ask the first question to the class as a point for negotiation. You may not have time to go over every question so read them through and pick out which ones you find the most suited for your class. Provide students with the Negotiation Worksheet (page 5) to record the terms of agreement they were able to come up with.

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