How did alliances and geographic/cultural factors influence the start and continuation of WW1?
Examine documents and online sources, to establish facts and events related to the formation of alliances leading up to World War One.
Refer to available resources available in the Alliances section on the student page at
Refer also to our main document collection, and follow source links for more context and to note additional information.
Then on a blank map (use Cartograf or Google My Maps) outline, describe and situate the Alliances that led up to WW1. Also, when appropriate, map and describe key events and people to locations, explaining their significance. For example, students can indicate and describe two or three key Alliances that formed before world war one:
Use Zones (polygon shapes and lines) to trace countries and/or alliances. In Cartograf there is then a place within each of these items to write descriptions and even to attach images.
Using Points of Interest to locate, then include descriptions and even appropriate images: Students could identify 5 to 10 key locations, what “significant” event occurred there, and/or who was involved. For each location, students could also explain why they chose to locate their point in that exact spot.
Teachers: note that for the map investigations a sample Cartograf map has already been started and already contains certain locations mentioned in our document collections. Indeed, this map also already contains some alliance zones with information. Feel free to duplicate and use that map as a starter map for other activities or for students to copy for this activity. Teachers can of course delete parts that you want them to do on their own, or not show them that sample map at all and have them do their own.