GCSE/IB History: International Relations, 1919-29

World History teaching resources for the high school classroom: lesson plans, worksheets, quizzes and simulation games for KS3, IGCSE, IB and A-Level teachers.

The League of Nations in the 1920s: The Theory

Aims and Strengths of the League
An overview of the objectives and promising initial features of this innovative institution.The Big Three

Decision Making Game 1 - The League in Theory
Take a series of decisions about the membership, structure and objectives of the League of Nations. At the end of the simulation, students will be presented with an essay writing frame based on their choices to complete as a homework exercise. Complete with 2 worksheets and a factual test as the game proceeds, the scores from which can be emailed to the teacher.

Membership Problems | Extension Task
Students are provided with essential information and questions about the changing membership of the League of Nations, and a series of cartoons to analyse relating to debates in America as to whether the United States should join the League. In the extension task, students produce a diagram which illustrates the changing membership of the League.

Structural Problems
Students are provided with information about the League's procedures and institions which they then have to turn into a diagram. There is also a teacher version of this worksheet available, providing a diagram of the League's structure.

The League of Nations in the 1920s: The Practice

Introductory Video Clip: The League in the 1920s
A starter video clip to introduce the League in action.

Decision Making Game 2 - How successful was the League in the 1920s?
In this multimedia simulation students will take on the role of an ambitious civil servant, working for the British government. They will offer advice about how ministers should try to improve international stability.
A structured worksheet guides students through 12 key issues: 4 relating to border disputes, 4 relating to social affairs, and 4 relating to disarmament - each of which focuses on issues often overlooked by the most popular textbooks to help students get a useful 'edge' in the final exams. Completed teacher notes and a follow-up factual test are also provided.

Border Disputes in the 1920s: A Classroom Roleplay Exercise | ActiveHistory Online Presentation | Student Record Grid
In this classroom roleplay exercise, students are divided into teams of four (idealists and pragmatists) and 11 students are also given a particular country to represent. We then go through each of the major border disputes of the 1920s hearing the arguments on both sides, reaching a decided course of action, then comparing this to what was actually decided so that students can proceed to formulate a judgement on how successfully the League dealt with border disputes in the 1920s. A simpler approach, if preferred, is provided by a more didcatic worksheet: Border Disputes | teacher notes.

Border Disputes - Diamond 9 Analysis
Students organise the successes and failures of Border Disputes into a 'Diamond 9' formation and explain their reasoning. An effective revision aid. There is a sample Teacher Version. An alternative approach is to produce a "TripAdvisor"-style infographic, as also shown below!

"Triangle 9" Diagram - download template from Tarr's Toolbox "Tripadvisor Graphic" - see blogpost at Tarr's Toolbox

Border Disputes - Extension Task
Cartoons analysis. Some teacher notes are available.
At this point it is good to show the students this Soviet video called "Why Wars Happen?" - it follows on well from the "War of the Stray Dog"

Social Issues
Students organise the social successes of the League into appropriate categories.

Disarmament in the 1920s: A Classroom Roleplay Exercise
There is an introductory video to start this topic.
Using this worksheet and this record sheet, students are given different sources from different witnesses and have to analyse their position on the issue of disarmament. They then 'interview' each other by moving around the classroom, trying to reach a judgement on the key question of "Who was to blame for the failure of disarmament in the 1920s?". There are important teacher notes and sources that should be downloaded for this activity.
If you prefer a more straightforward approach to the teaching of disarmament, there is a structured worksheet you can use instead.

Agreements reached outside the League
These agreements were reached outside the League, but were ratified by it. The worksheet helps students to organise them into key categories.

Factual Test (25 questions)
A useful resource to ensure that students have consolidated their understanding.

Structured question task
Students complete a three-part structured question in the style of the IGCSE examination. There is a model answer available for teachers.

League of Nations in the 1920s: Interactive Cartoon analysis
Analyse a series of cartoons by hovering over details and answering exam-style questions. When you have finished, the computer will provide you with a printout comparing your answer to a model answer. A great way to revise and develop sourcework skills.


End of Unit Quizzes / Revision

League of Nations in the 1920s: Telescopic Topic
Collapsible revision notes created using

"Fling the Teacher" Quizzes
International Relations in the 1920's

"Hot Potatoes" Self-Marking Quizzes
League in the 1920's

Decision Making Game - Broad Overview
This is the decision-making game which I originally wrote a few years ago, now superceded by the two-part game listed above. It still serves as a very handy overview of the entire 1920s period.

"Who Am I?" Challenge - International Relations in the 1920s
Each team will be presented with a clue about a key historical figure. They get 50 points if they guess it correctly. If they wish to 'pass', they get further (easier) clues but the points available steadily decline. An incorrect guess at any point means they get zero points for that round. You can play as many rounds as you wish. It's a great way to revise!

The League of Nations in the 1920s: IB-Style Sourcework Assignments

The League and Disarmament [1]
A 1-hour sourcework assignment in the style of the International Baccalaureate syllabus for History.

The League and Disarmament [2]
A second 1-hour sourcework assignment in the style of the International Baccalaureate syllabus for History.


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