The Causes of the Second World War Lesson

"Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Munich, Germany".  National Archives and Records Administration, Item No. 540151. Public Domain. Source: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/540151
"Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Munich, Germany". National Archives and Records Administration, Item No. 540151. Public Domain. Source: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/540151

Learning objectives

In this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the causes of the Second World War. They will develop an awareness of the key people, events, and concepts associated with this event, including militarism, imperialism, alliances, and nationalism. Students will have the opportunity to achieve this through choosing their own method of learning, from reading, source analysis, research options, and video watching, as well as the chance to engage in extension activities. This lesson includes a self-marking quiz for students to demonstrate their learning.

How would you like to learn?

Option 1: Reading


Step 1: Download the reading questions worksheet below:

Step 2: Answer the questions while reading the webpage below:


Option 2: Using sources


Step 1: Download a copy of the source analysis worksheet below:

Step 2: Answer the set questions by using the following sources:

How Britain Hoped To Avoid War With Germany In The 1930s. (n.d.). Imperial War Museums. https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/how-britain-hoped-to-avoid-war-with-germany-in-the-1930s

© IWM. (CC BY-NC 4.0)


Option 3: Internet research


Download a copy of the research worksheet and use the internet to complete the tables.


Option 4: Watch video


Step 1: Download a copy of the viewing questions worksheet:

Step 2: Answer the set questions by watching the documentary below:


Resources for subscribers



Extension Activities