The First World War When was the First World War (1914-1918) and why are these men unusual (first time aeroplanes - and tanks - were used, first set of pilots)? What does this picture tell you (planes were quite primitive, pilots were "amateurs" compared with today's high-tech ones, ill equipped for battle, for example scarves and goggles).
Conflict Why do countries go to war (many causes, including territorial disputes; religious, ideological, political reasons; vanity or aggression of leaders or ruling factions; resolving a royal succession or argument about who is in charge)? Why did this war start (assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian nationalist in June 1914). This was just the spark. The two sides, Britain, France and Russia versus Austria and Germany, were ready for a battle. How does war affect the speed of technological change?
Writingdiscussing Write or enact a debate between two imaginary leaders: one believes that war is inescapable and is heroic (great leaders like Churchill emerge, individuals mature, heroes excel in battle); the other thinks it is a great human tragedy that can be avoided (by diplomacy; millions were killed in the 1916 battles at Verdun and the Somme).
Ted Wragg is professor of education at the University of Exeter