Teacher Notes

Grade Level/Unit: Grade 10-World War I and Its Consequences

Lesson Purpose: To have students understand the many causes of World War I.


The students will:


Language Arts Grade 10: Listening and Speaking


Reading Comprehensive


10.5 Students analyze the causes and course of the First World War.

Historical and Social Science Analysis Skills 9 - 12

Chronological and Spatial Thinking

Historical Research, Evidence, and Point of View

Historical Interpretation

Information Literacy Skills

Length of Lesson
Five 45-50 minute periods.

Interdisciplinary Connections: Students can also study World War I poetry. Look up "Lost Poets of the World War I" (http://www.emory.edu/ENGLISH/LostPoets/index.html ). They can also read All Quiet on the Western Front.

Resources or materials needed

Marking pens and large sheets of paper are needed for the presentations. Students may also choose to make their presentations using a computer presentation program like PowerPoint or HyperStudio. They can copy maps, pictures, symbols and music from the web sites to enhance their presentations.

Background information that might be helpful

It would help students to understand the dynastic relationships between Britain, Germany, and Russia.

Lesson Sequence

1. Divide the class up into seven teams of at least four students per team. If you have extra students, make the Germany and/or Great Britain teams larger because there are more documents to read.

2. Assign each student one section: background information, short term causes, and long term causes. Put one student in charge of keeping the team on task and writing the peace proposal. Extra students should work on background information.

3. Allow at least two class periods for research and working on the presentations. If you are using a computer presentation program like PowerPoint, you may want to allow an extra period to use the computers.

4. Students should take notes in their journals for each country's presentation or the teacher may want to provide a special chart for note taking.

5. Provide adequate time (at least 45 minutes) for formulating the peace proposals from each country. Encourage students to prioritize their country's demands so that it will be easier for them to negotiate in the smaller groups.

6. Break up the class into at least four peace proposal groups. Have a representative from each country make their peace proposal presentation. If possible, make copies of the peace proposal for everyone in the group. Vote on the proposals and choose the one with the most votes (note that some countries have more than one vote) and negotiate on that proposal. Set a time limit of at least 45 minutes for the negotiations. If all the countries can agree on a peace proposal and still get some of their demands, they have reached a valid consensus. If not, each person in the group must write a declaration of war explaining which countries they are declaring war against and list their countryís grievances.

7. In conclusion, have students discuss the questions in the 'Conclusion' section and write on one or all of them.