Activity Overview

The objective of this activity is to have students display their understanding of the primary causes of World War I. Teachers are encouraged to introduce students to the helpful acronym “M.A.I.N.” to approach the causes of the war. This acronym can serve as a very useful resource for students to apply their knowledge of what are seen as the primary causes of the war. In this activity, students will create a frayer model that describes how each of these topics influences countries to engage in global war.

CauseKey Questions
  • What is militarism?
  • How did militarism lead to global competition?
  • What were the benefits of war for countries/empires?
  • How did militarism lead to paranoia?
  • What alliances were formed in the 19th and 20th centuries between the major countries involved in WWI?
  • What are the benefits of alliances?
  • What are the drawbacks of alliances?
  • What major alliances occurred between 1882 and 1907?
Imperial Competition
  • What is imperialism?
  • How did colonies benefit the “mother country”?
  • How does imperialism lead to conflict?
  • What is nationalism?
  • How can nationalism lead to conflict?
Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a frayer model that illustrates the M.A.I.N. causes of WWI (militarism, alliances, imperial competition, nationalism).

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify each cause in the title boxes.
  3. Write a short summary of each in the description boxes.
  4. Create an illustration that represents each cell using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.


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World War I (1914-1918)

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