external image WWI-scene.jpg

Massachusetts Social Studies Frameworks:

WHII.17 Describe the relative importance of economic and imperial competition, Balkan nationalism, German militarism and aggression, and the power vacuum in Europe due to the declining power of the Russian, Austrian, and Ottoman Empires in causing World War I. (H, E)

WHII.18 Summarize the major events and consequences of World War I. (H, E)

A. physical and economic destruction
B. the League of Nations and attempts at disarmament
C. the collapse of the Romanov dynasty and the subsequent Bolshevik Revolution and Civil War in Russia
D. post-war economic and political instability in Germany
E. the Armenian genocide in Turkey
F. the unprecedented loss of life from prolonged trench warfare

Common Core Standards:

  • RH.11-12.1. 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.
  • RH.11-12.2. 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.
  • RH.11-12.6. Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.
  • RH.11-12.8. Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.

Essential Questions:

  • When is global conflct inevitable?
  • Doe anyone really win in a war?
  • Do Alliances cause wars or prevent them?
  • Should peace treaties be fair or favor the winner?

Background on World War I:

First World War or World War I was a major war centered in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. It involved all the world's great powers which were assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (centered on the Triple Entente of the United Kingdom, France and Russia) and the Central Powers (originally centered on the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy). These alliances both reorganized (Italy fought for the Allies) and expanded as more nations entered the war. Ultimately more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history. More than 9 million combatants were killed, largely because of great technological advances in firepower without corresponding advances in mobility. It was the sixth deadliest conflict in world history, subsequently paving the way for various political changes such as revolutions in the nations involved.

Long-term causes of the war included the imperialistic foreign policies of the great powers of Europe, including the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, the British Empire, France, and Italy. The assassination on 28 June 1914 of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by a Yugoslav nationalist was the immediate trigger of the war. It resulted in a Habsburg ultimatum against the Kingdom of Serbia. Several alliances formed over the previous decades were invoked, so within weeks the major powers were at war; via their colonies, the conflict soon spread around the world.

Section 1: The Great War Begins:

Opening Activities:

A cartoon like video on the causes of WWI:

Complete the Picture Detective Strategy for the picture below in your wiki.

Copy and paste the picture and questions into your wiki to answer

1. Ask a question
2. What clues do you get from the picture
3. What message is the picture sending?

external image Archduke+ferdinand.jpg

Read the different eyewitness accounts on the assisnation here: Wintnesses to the assasination of the archduke
WHat did you learn from these eyewitnesses? Write your response in you wiki

Opener: Complete timeline activity (period 7 please upload to wiki after class)

Causes of World War I:

Map Activity:

  • Identify the Allied Powers (sometimes called the Triple Entente)
  • Who were the Central Powers (also known initially as the Triple Alliance)
  • Where is the Western Front? It begins and ends where?
  • Identify the Eastern Front.
  • How, geographically, did neutral states impact the war?

WWI- 1914-1917 Before US Enters

Video on all the "firsts provided by WWI:


Of all the "Firsts" what impressed you the most and why?

Opener on quotes:

Complete Section One terms:

Section 2: A New Kind of War


  • In pargraph form, describe your impressions of trench warfare (based on what you saw)

Activity: Life in the Trenches

Here is alink that describes the life of a soldier in the Trenches:Life in the Trenches

As you read it it fill in what you learned and your impressions of the trenches in the document provided:

Period 7 Only: Opener

  • Select five words to describe life in the trenches
  • Explain why you chose each of them

Below is very short video about the new weapons introduced in WWI:

Try This:

Here is a link to interactive trench warfare game. Try a few scenarios and the write a brief reflection on what you found out about warfare in WWI:Interactive game on Trench warfare

Watch the short video below on Battle of the Somme:

  • Write a brief reflection on what you learned abou the battle in your wiki.
  • Entitle your summaary: Reflection on the Battle of the Somme

Create a heading on your WWI page entitled:
Armenian Massacre:

Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, and by Armenians as the Great Crimewas the systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I.It was implemented through wholesale massacres and deportations, with the deportations consisting of forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees. The total number of resulting Armenian deaths is generally held to have been between 1 million and 1.5 million.

open and Copy the link below to your wiki:
Armenian Massacre Project

  • This was an NHD project completed by a student last year
  • On the homepage he explains the purpose of the project

Activity for home page:
1. Read the background of the people who wrote the song
2. Listen to the lyrics of the song and write your impressions of the song

Click on the tab: Armenia in the Ottoman Empire:

Comment on the following in your wiki:

1. Treatment of the Armenians before the massacre

2. Reasons for the Treatment:

3. Hamidian Massacres

4. Listen to and reflect on "The Armenian Massacre Song"

Click on Tab: Armenia in 1915-1917:
  • Read about what occurred to the Armenians during this time period and view the photos provided
  • In a pargraph summarize what you learned about the treatment of Armenians during this time period

Click on the tab More....
Summarize what you gained from each of the following subtopics:
1. Armenia after the genocide
2. Turkey's response
3. World's response

Section 4: The War Ends

Content Questions:

1. Why did the United States enter the War?

2. What events led to the end of the fighting?

3. What issues made the peaceocess difficult

4. What were the costs of the war?

  • Complete the Who, What, When, Where, and why of the following two events. You may use your text and the internet to complete the activity:

The Sinking of the Lusitania:

external image lusitania-ny-times.jpg

Here is a link to an eyewitness history account:






The Zimmerman Note:

external image Zimmerman_Note_by_AquaticFishy.png

Here are two links for the Zimmerman Telegram:






Here is a link that summarizes US entrance in WWI US in WWI

  • Watch the video
  • travel through the exhibit

In Paragraph form summize the role the United States played in World War I
  • Type summary into wiki .....or/
  • Create word document entitled US Role in WWI and attach it as a file

Picture Detective:

  • Read the End of the Fighting in your book or online text; pages 398-399
  • In a few sentences, summarize How the fighting came to an end?

A Difficult Peace


At the end of the War, each of the major allied powers had a different viewpoint on what should be included in the peace treaty. The French wanted to punish Germany. The United States under the direction of President Wilson wanted a treaty that would promote stability and world peace (Fourteen Points). The British seemed to fall somewhere between the two. Italy, on the other hand wanted to increase it territory.


1. List and summarize the major points of the Treaty

2. Predict how this treaty led to the rise of Hitler and ultimately WWII using evidence from the document
Use the following graphic to summarize the costs of WWI: