Synopsis

Lesson Snapshot

1. Engage: Students will pretend to be detectives and read a “case file” covering the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand—the spark for World War One—to engage them in an exploration of how the death of one man (and his wife) could pull the entire globe into a massive war.                   

2. Explore:  Students will conduct a “gallery walk” or “stations” activity, in which they physically move around the room while using a series of guided questions to analyze different primary source documents, maps, and graphs and determine the underlying causes of World War One.

3. Explain: Students will organize the documents under the popular World War One framework M.A.I.N. (militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism) to develop a deeper understanding of the underlying causes of World War One. Students will then collectively review this framework and tie these underlying causes to the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the outbreak of World War One.

4. Extend/Expand: Students will analyze an Emile Zola quote on war and participate in a “Four Corners” activity responding to the statement “World War One was an inevitable result of European nations’ prosperity – or competition for prosperity.”

5. Evaluate: Students will write an essay responding to the essential question as it applies to World War One—was World War One an inevitable result of European nations’ prosperity? They must cite evidence from the documents to support their responses.