Introduction to the Great War

As students enter class, you can play All for You, Sophia by Franz Ferdinand (Scottish rock band, 2000s, song about the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, beginnings of WWI). This will catch the students’ attention and is a great hook to what’s ahead.

The teacher can then hand out the student guide. The teacher can then explain and review the requirements for the timeline. Students are to take notes required for the timeline while they view the presentation. See student handout.

The teacher can now  show the presentation on the chain of events leading up to WWI, with European and world context, the Canadian and Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR) roles. You can find more information here and in the presentation. Additional videos: Assassination of Franz Ferdinand- cartoon Simple History, 1:42 minutes and this excellent 12 minute video by Epic History introducing the beginning of the War, massive casualties and world context. July 1914-December 1914. The links are also in the presentation document.

Maps of Europe and timeline

See student guide for details on the activity. Maps of Europe in 1914 and 1919 can be found in the presentation (Activity A and C in the student guide). See the table here for dates of when different countries entered the war (Activity B).

Activities you might also like

Exhibition Regiments on the Ridge: 100 years after the Battle of Vimy Ridge

This exhibition provides an overview of the First World War, from its causes to its consequences, with a special focus on the Battle of Vimy Ridge and its importance to the conflict. It is composed of 14 panels.

Letters Home

The only way soldiers could communicate with their loved ones was through letters and postcards. Student will read and analyze orinigal WWI letters.

Renegotiate the Treaty of Versailles

This historical role playing game lets the students come to their own conclusions about the end of the First World War, while showing how contradicting hopes and expectations contributed to the formulation of this controversial document.