Depth study 3 – Australians at war: World War I (1914-1918)

A learning sequence where students explore the causes of World War I and reasons for enlisting.

An overview of the causes of the wars, why men enlisted and where Australians fought.


  • outline the main causes of both wars
  • locate and sequence the places where Australians fought in both wars
  • explain why Australians enlisted to fight in both wars

As part of the learning in this unit, students will build a webpage outlining the causes of World War I, including:

  • alliances – what role did the existence of the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance play in the outbreak of World War I?
  • imperialism – how did the race to acquire new colonies create conflict between Britain, France and Germany?
  • militarism – explain the significance of the arms build-up by France, Britain and Germany in the period leading up to the outbreak of World War I.
  • nationalism – outline the significance of nationalist sentiment (belief in the greatness of one’s own country) in pushing the world to war.
  • an annotated timeline of significant events and crises that led to the outbreak of the war including; Moroccan crisis, Bosnian crisis, and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary.


Please note:

Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from History K-10 (2012) Syllabus © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2012

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