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Activity Overview

While studying WWI, it's essential for students to understand how events unfolded and connected. Because there were several countries involved and several theaters of war, it can be overwhelming to examine every single event that occurred. In this activity, students will create a timeline of at least 5 major events between 1914 and 1921. They should be sure to analyze how each event affected the course of World War 1.

Teachers can pre-select the events they would like students to include into the timeline, or students can choose their own. In order for students to thrive in this assignment, they should be encouraged to research ten events, and select the five that they found to be the most interesting.

For an alternative to the timeline layout, have students create a timeline poster to incorporate into a presentation or gallery walk. You can add more than one template to this assignment to give students lots of options, and update the instructions accordingly.

Significant Events in World War I

  • Battle of Verdun
  • First zeppelin raid on England
  • Germany declares war on France and Russia
  • Japan declares war on Germany
  • First use of mustard gas
  • Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
  • Attack on the Lusitania
  • Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated
  • United States enters the War
  • Germany defeats Russia at the Battle Of Tannenberg
  • Beginning of trench warfare on the Western Front
  • German troops enter Belgium (Schleiffen Plan)
  • Gallipoli Offensive
  • Germany begins naval blockade of Great Britain
  • First Battle Of The Marne
  • President Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points
  • Russia signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany.
  • American women recruited to serve as bilingual telephone operators for the AEF arrive in Europe.
  • United States forces are victorious in the Battle of Cantigny, the first independent American operation.
  • Treaty of Versailles takes effect.

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 timeline of at least 5 major events in World War I.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify each event 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 exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

Type of Activity: Timelines

More Storyboard That Activities

World War I (1914-1918)

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