GCSE History: Causes of World War One

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

Worksheets and Activities for GCSE History

Sourcework Assignment Pack

A comprehensive pack of sources and questions in the style of GCSE/IGCSE examinations, designed to be printed off at the beginning of the unit and used as homework exercises over the course of several weeks.

1. Interactive Simulation: You are the Kaiser!
A great way of starting the unit: complete with a range of differentiated worksheets, this decision-making adventure really gets students thinking about the important people, themes and events.

Study Guide: The Causes of World War One
An introduction to the relevance of the topic.


The "Big Brother House"
The tensions between the major powers prior to World War One are outlined using the scenario of a shared house in this worksheet.


The Assassination at Sarajevo
The spark which started World War One. What happened?


Austria v. Serbia: Imperialism and Nationalism
The assassination at Sarajevo was merely the flashpoint of a much deeper conflict between Serbia and Austria, as explained here...


Russia v. Germany: Personal Misunderstandings and the "Willy-Nicky" Correspondence
Russia and Germany were dragged into the crisis party as a result of personal misunderstandings between the rulers of the two countries...


The Alliance System
The misunderstandings between the Kaiser and the Tsar were largely the result of tensions created by their rival alliance systems...


France v. Germany: Colonial and Economic Rivalry
France had joined an alliance system against Germany because of colonial rivalry with the Kaiser...


Britain v. Germany: The Arms Race
Britain had joined an alliance system against Germany because of an arms race with the Kaiser...

10 An Interview with Kaiser Wilhelm II [extension activity]

The July Crisis
The overall result was the July Crisis and the outbreak of World War One.

12. The July Crisis: Flash Quiz
13. Classroom Debate: Who was Most Responsible for the Outbreak of World War One?
14. Causation Exercise: How do we connect and prioritise the factors which caused World War One?
15. Historiography: Historians' Views on the Causes of World War One (designed for A-Level / IB History)
16. Structured Questions: End of Unit Test
17. Structured Questions: Sample Answers and Peer Assessment exercise (students mark sample answers for describe / explain / assess style questions).
18. Sourcework Assignment: The Origins of World War One
19. Factual Test: The Causes of World War One
Students should take this test after the class has played the Causes of World War One keyword challenge [play the game | rule of the game]

Interactive Essay Planning Tool: Origins of World War One

Professor AJP Sailor takes 5 factors and connects them together in endless combinations to help students consider the Origins of World War One and how to link factors in essays.  

"Who Am I?" Challenge - The Origins of World War One

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!  


Interactive Games and Quizzes for GCSE History


Manic Miner Game
Causes of World War One

2. "Wordshoot" Quiz
Causes of World War One
3. CannonBall Fun Quiz
Causes of World War One
4. Fling the Teacher Quizzes
Causes of World War One (GCSE / IGCSE History Level)
Causes of World War One (IB / A-Level)


© 1998-2024 Russel Tarr, Limited (Reg. 6111680)
1 Torrin Drive, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 6AW, England

All rights reserved | Privacy Policy | Contact

  WARNING: Your account expires in days. RENEW NOW to avoid losing access!


Buy the Books!


Latest Additions

New resources are added every single week of the year!

View more


ActiveHistory is the work of full-time history teacher Russel Tarr

Latest news from my classroom


Get full access now!

ActiveHistory provides vast amounts of worksheets, lesson plans, interactive simulations, self-marking quizzes, model essays and teacher support materials for the high school world history classroom.
Whole-school, 24-hour access for students and teachers costs less than a few textbooks!