Unit Overview

Grade Level: 10th Grade World History

Unit: Causes of World War 1

The quest for greater power among European nations played a key role in causing World War 1, however it was not alone.  Thourghout this unit the students will be learning about the four causes of World War 1 and the way in which they contributed to the Great War.  By the end of the unit the students will be able to identify which of the causes was most influential in starting the war from the perspective of different countries.


1. Understand how the geography of expansion and encounter have shaped global politics and ecnomies.

2. Analyze change and continuity within a historical time period.

3. Understand how International conflicts helped to define the era.


For this unit the students will master a number of facts about the countries involved in WWI.  These would include, but not limited to:

  • Participating Countries                                                
  • Definitions of Imperialism, Nationalism, Militarism and Alliances (Causes/Themes)

Students will also learn the importance and significance of the events that would shape the 20th century. 

  • How the four themes (causes) of the war led to the war
Each theme will be examined by looking different countries and the role that it played on their decision to enter the war.  This will require an indepth knowledge of the causes and the ability to evaluate their impact on different governments, cultures, societies and individuals.

Question Types

Investigable Question

Of the four major causes of World War I, which was the most important to the start of the war?


This is an investigable question because the answer to the question is an opinion and must be based off a number of facts.  The students must research and use materials to come to a conclusion that cannot be simply be looked up.


Non-Investigable Question

Why did the tank not end trench warfare?


This question is non-investigable because there is one correct answer that can be researched and examined.  There is no hands-on action that is required, but instead a need to look up and tell me why the tank failed to end trench warfare.