World War I: The War Ends


As the war dragged on into 1916 and then 1917 it seemed to be a war with no end. The Western Front was a stalemate with battles that yielded little progress but costs thousands of lives. In response to a British blockade the Germans utilized U-boats or submarines to attack British naval vessels but then the Germans began to target British merchant ships delivering goods to Great Britain. When the passenger ship Lusitania was sunk by a U-boat killing over 1200 people including 120 Americans. Fearing the entry of the US into war Germany soon ceased attacking passenger ships but by 1917 the Germans returned to unrestricted submarine warfare because they saw it as vital to defeating the British navy.

WWI U-boat

The attacks on shipping began to draw the US closer to war and then the discovery of the Zimmerman note which was a secret message from the German government to Mexico promising the southwestern US if they came into the war on the side of Germany. So with the pressure from different directions, the US declared war in April 1917.


The Zimmerman Note

Today we will examine the end of the war and the Treaty of Versailles which formally ended the war. We will examine the conditions of the peace treaty and how it also set up the conditions that led to World War II.

End of WWI and the Peace Treaty Powerpoint

End of WWI and the Peace Treaty Guided Notes

Battle of The Somme Primary Source Worksheet

Treaty of Versailles Source Reading


Russian Revolution


Vladimir Lenin

At the beginning of World War I Russia was a nation in turmoil. The reforms promised after the Revolution of 1905 never materialized and poverty persisted as the economy worsened. As the war progressed Russia’s prospects in the war were dim as Russia showed herself ill-equipped to fight a war against the Germans. As 1917 began Russia was on the edge of another revolution. By the end of 1917 Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin had seized power began to establish a radical Communist government as well as executing the entire Russian royal family. This led to a negotiated peace with the Central Powers and Russia’s withdrawal from World War One.


Below you find links to the Russian Revolution, Guided notes and the worksheet for the day.

Russian Revolution Textbook Reading

Russian Revolution Powerpoint

Russian Revolution Guided Notes 

Russian Revolution Guided Reading & Crossword

Assassin’s Creed® Chronicles: Russia_20160209173945



Black & Asian Troops in World War I

WW1 Flower_Paris_1916_Toor Collection

Many Sikh Indian troops fought for the British during WWI

Because most of the action and fighting during WWI took place within Europe many have the mistaken idea that only Europeans fought in WWI. But the reality is that WWI was a truly global war that included troops from around the world. Many African and Asian troops took part in the fighting as colonial troops with the hope that their courage and valor world win them respect and eventually self-rule and independence.


369th Infantry Unit

When the United States entered the war in 1917 one of the most decorated and prestigious units was the  369th Infantry Unit better known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The Harlem Hellfighters were an all African-American unit who fought with amazing tenacity and courage alongside French troops in Europe. Because of racial discrimination in the US during training, the 369th was sent to France ahead of other troops and were allowed to fight alongside French troops because American generals did not want them fighting with white US troops. The

The French government awarded the entire regiment the Croix de Guerre. The video below  by the National Guard highlights the courage of the Harlem Hellfighters.

The Harlem Hellfighters
African Soldiers in World War I
India’s WW1 Hero You’ve Never Heard of


Below are links to the Powerpoint and assignments for the day.

Black and Asian Troops during World War One Powerpoint

Black and Asian Troops during World War One Guided Notes

Harlem Hellfighters Reading

Harlem Hellfighters Organizer Worksheet

We will also watch a trailer from the movie Joyeux Noel a movie which recounts the true and extraordinary Christmas truce of Christmas 1914 when German and Allied troops exchanged Christmas presents and played each other in soccer.

The graphic novel below is based on The Harlem Hellfighters; 200 Bonus points will awarded to students who read the novel and write a 1-page typed review.


For more information on Black history in Great Britain see the website Black Presence in Britain- Black British History

World War I: A New Kind of War


Today we will continue to examine World War One or The Great War as it came to be known. World War One began with great waves of patriotic enthusiasm but the enthusiasm soon died down as the war reached a stalemate on the Western Front and thousands died trying to claim a few feet.


WWI also became a new type of war as new technologies led to new weapons and even more horrific ways to bring death to the battlefield. WWI saw the introduction to machine guns, poison gas, new artillery and high powered shells. Airplanes and tanks were seen for the first time on the battlefield. We will also see that the war spread to battlefields outside of Europe to the Ottoman Empire, Middle East, Africa and even Asia. When you come to class you will take about 5 minutes to take an online review quiz. Afterward, we will examine the war in more detail as we look at the powerpoint found below.

World War One-A New Kind of War Powerpoint

World War One- A New Kind of War Guided Notes

Europe Plunges into War Textbook reading

After we take notes we will break into groups and examine what makes World War I different than the wars that came before it. You will research with your group one of the following areas: Tanks, Poison Gas, Weapons, Aircraft, U-boats & submarines or Trench Warfare. If you are absent then you can complete the worksheet below.


World War Definitions & Questions  (Substitute in case of absence)

New Unit: World War I


Next, we will begin looking at World War One sometimes called the Great War.We will first examine the complicated causes and events leading up to World War One. These events are complicated but are based on four basic causes. These four causes or tensions were

  • Militarism
  • Alliances
  • Imperialism
  • Nationalism

But the spark that caused the explosion of World War One was the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914. As the Archduke and his wife were traveling through the streets of Sarajevo they were both killed by Gavrilo Princip a member of a Serbian nationalist group. Soon after recriminations and ultimatums were issued that led to multiple declarations of war that plunged all of Europe into a war that spread worldwide.


Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife

Below are the links for the day:

Beginnings & Causes of World War 1 Powerpoint

Beginnings & Causes  of World War 1 Guided Notes

Causes of World War One Organizer 

Serb student assassinates Archduke and his duchess


African American Hero: William Shepherd

Image result for congo free stateImage result for congo free stateImage result for king leopold

Today you will read about the atrocities in the Congo under King Leopold and the actions of a little known African American hero who served as a missionary in the Congo. William Shepherd was one of the missionaries who risked his life by telling the wider world about the human rights abuses and deaths in the Congo. Shepherd also became renowned as an explorer. While black History month has just passed William Shepherd is an African American hero worth remembering. Read about Shepherd and then answer the questions in complete sentences and paragraphs. The links for the classwork is found below. If you finish early then you can catch up on incomplete work.


William Shepherd-center

William Shepherd Missionary & Explorer Reading

William Shepherd Missionary & Explorer Worksheet

Imperialism in Africa Definitions and Cartoon  (Use as makeup work)

Related image

Belgians working in the Congo cut off the hands of villagers who refused to harvest rubber or to show that they did not waste bullets. Reports by William Sheppard helped make the world aware of atrocities being committed against the native tribes.

Image result for congo atrocities king leopold

Imperialism:Scramble for Africa


During the mid-1800s Africa was largely unknown and unexplored by Europeans but between 1880 and 1914 European nations competed among themselves to divide Africa up as colonial possessions. This is often called the Scramble for Africa as Europeans divided the continent up with no attention given to language or cultural differences. The impact of this division of Africa still impacts Africa today as the continent struggles with the legacy of imperialism.

Image result for africa colonial

You will examine the PowerPoint fond below. Then you will read about the atrocities in the Congo and the actions of a little known African American hero who served as a missionary in the Congo. Finally, you will examine a political cartoon and complete definitions relevant to imperialism in Africa.

Scramble for Africa Powerpoint

Scramble for Africa Guided Notes

Africa Colonial Map & Current Africa Map  (You can use the maps below)

Imperialism in Africa Definitions and Cartoon  (Use as makeup work)

Scramble for Africa Textbook reading


Africa After the Scramble, 1914

Image result for africa map

Africa Today