World War I, previously known as the Great War, took place from July 28, 1914 until November 11, 1918. Although it was mostly concentrated in Europe, it involved all of the world's great powers, many of which were spread all over the world. By the end of the war, four major world empires (German, Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman) were defeated and dismantled. The winning countries formed the League of Nations to try to prevent a recurrence of such a war, but the restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles on the defeated countries eventually led to World War II.
Since its formation in 1922, the British Broadcasting Corporation has gained a worldwide reputation as a reliable distributor of news, adhering to its goal: "to inform, educate and entertain." As expected, its section on World War One is a reliable source for kids doing research on the First World War, from its causes and origins all the way through it to its ending with the League of Nations and the Treaty of Versailles. Mix your research with a little fun by taking a virtual tour into the trenches, or by watching an animated video explaining what life was like for soldiers.
In addition to its main site, BBC has created a special educational site about World War One, designed especially with kids in mind. Explore the war from four different perspectives: an observer, a sister at the front, a soldier, and a survivor. Then explore a timeline of the war, take a quiz, play some games, and be sure to view some animated war-inspired poetry.
Organized as a timeline, this series of articles on World War I makes it easy for kids to learn about the War in a chronological format. The articles are printer-friendly and include photographs and diagrams to make them come alive for kids. The resources listed at the end of each article will help kids who are looking to do more research on any given topic.
"If you are new to the First World War -- or are rusty after many years since history class -- the reasons for the so-called 'Great War' can be shrouded in confusion." Start your exploration with Countdown to War, a one-page summary of all the seemingly unrelated events that lead to the start of World War I as summer neared its end in 1914. For a more in-depth look, next read should be How it Began ? An Introduction. The rest of the site tells even more of the story with photographs, maps, videos, and old diaries.
Even if you don't have the opportunity to view the eight-part PBS series "The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century," you'll find plenty to enjoy at this companion website. Visit to discover written and audio quotes from actual participants in the war, complemented by photographs and commentaries from historians in the "Voices" section found on the right side of most pages. Other great clicks include a timeline linked to articles, and the Maps & Battles section.