When Italy signed two peace treaties with Abyssinia just 7 years before, why then did Mussolini invade in 1935? Explanation builder

Students are given a short answer to this question that appeared as an answer on the Student Room website. It was not worth 9 marks. Students have to work out why not and then improve it. To help structure their work the first activity offers students a range of clues to encourage them to make deductions. Following feedback on this range of ideas, students are then told that historians often explain the invasion in terms of long-, medium-,short-term, and trigger causes. To help them to think in this way, they are given 12 ‘explanation builder’ cards to organise using a template before improving and then peer assessing the Student Room answer.

Learning objectives

  • Students make deductions about Mussolini’s motivation from visual and short written clues
  • Students classify causes of the invasion of Abyssinia into long-, medium-, and short-term causes
  • Students evaluate and improve a given answer and are then able to peer assess

Step 1
Introduce students to the perplexing question on slide 1, then, using slide 2, remind them of Mussolini’s apparent intentions in the 1920s.

Step 2
Then show students what one answer, presented on the Student Room website and claiming to be worth 9 marks, looks like.

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