Awkward dinner party: WW1 alliances seating plan

Alliances seating plan

This activity works well as a plenary or as an energising starter to the next lesson. Having studied the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente, students are faced with the problem of seating the six countries at a dinner table. They need to keep disagreements to a minimum by positioning the biggest rivals away from each other.

Students enjoy the debate involved in this activity, and often need to re-draw their plans as the discussion progresses. Having decided the seating plan, they write the name of each country on the appropriate chair and give a short explanation of their placement in the blank box.

The activity can be easily adapted for other situations – I know of colleagues using seating plans to get students to show the differing internal alliances in the early years of Stalin’s Soviet Union, and a Philosophy & Ethics teacher using it for arguments about the existence of God.

Download a printable A4 PDF here

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