Why should young children learn about
Learning about ANZAC Day helps young children to
understand the life and times of Australia and its people.
By building young children’s understandings about the
traditions, facts and folklore of ANZAC Day, the many real life stories
of sacrifices and heroism of everyday Australians will not be lost, but
be handed down to future generations.
Research in education tells us that children learn best
when they are highly interested, active and help make decisions about
their learning. Young children have a fascination with all things to do
with the past. By learning through hands-on, sensory and real-life
experiences about ANZAC Day, young children will have an opportunity to
understand the importance of this national day, and its role in building
peace in communities today.
What will young children learn
when they investigate ANZAC Day?
Studies of Society and Environment key
learning area strands [view note]
Description of types of active learning
about ANZAC Day [more]
|Time, Continuity and Change
||Children look closely at, feel and
talk about a range of artefacts about ANZAC Day, e.g. medals,
photographs, parts of uniforms, copies of soldiers/families’
letters and ration items. Children talk with family/community
members about what life was like during times of war. They
compare how life is different during times of peace and war, and
how war affects people.
|Place and Space
||Through making simple maps, e.g.
relief and drawing, children learn about the landscape and of
the distance travelled by the ANZACS to reach Gallipoli, Turkey,
the Middle East, Belgium and France. They begin to understand
the significance of some of the symbols that relate to the
commemoration of ANZAC Day, including the poppy flowers that
grew in the Belgian fields during and after the war.
|Culture and Identity
||Through conversations with
family/community members, children learn about the range of
roles and responsibilities of men, women and animals during
wartimes and peacekeeping efforts. Children begin to understand
the importance of ‘mateship’ as the ‘Diggers’ showed
caring, compassion and friendship towards their mates as they
battled in the trenches, in the air and on the sea. Children set
up playspaces, e.g. hospital tent, plane hangar, submarine to
roleplay their understandings about wartime
roles/responsibilities of men/women in defence forces. To build
understandings about the life of soldiers in battlefields,
children may plan and cook a typical meal, e.g. cook hard tack
(biscuits), eat bully beef (canned meat) and drink black tea
|Systems, Resources and Power
||Children join in school, class and
family activities about ANZAC Day, e.g. marching in community
ANZAC Day parades, making and laying of wreaths, and selling of
ANZAC Day badges and poppies. With teacher support, children may
plan for and prepare a special morning tea/lunch gathering with
past and present Defence Force personnel from the local
community. They may provide ideas about the design of a
school/community ANZAC Day memorial project, e.g. monument,
plaque, wall mural or special garden.
What quality information and resources will assist
teachers when planning programs about ANZAC Day?
On this website there are considerable resources giving
background and detailed information on conflicts relating to ANZAC Day.
The best start point for this information is accessible here.
The ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland has
developed a range of early childhood kits, big books and shelf books for
children’s and teachers’ use, including the following which are
available for purchase here:
A is for ANZACs (shelf book) [more]
Peace in Our Communities -- a teaching and
learning package for primary schools (children’s peace posters,
list of strategic questions, CD-ROM of teachers’ manual, all
presented in a large folder) [more]
Simpson and Duffy (big book, shelf book,
CD-ROM of teachers’ manual) [more]
Walers Go to War (shelf book) [more]
Why are they marching, Daddy? (big book,
shelf book and kit -- big book, teachers’ manual, picture/word
cards, CD-ROM of narrated story) [more]
Finding out about ANZAC Day
To assist in building children's understandings of ANZAC
Day, the Finding out about ANZAC Day sections may be explored before
beginning the Activities listed. Other early childhood resources
published by the ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee and listed
earlier on this page will also provide excellent teaching/learning
materials to help explore the topic of ANZAC Day.
Finding out about ANZAC Day --
Several pages which explain, in early childhood terms, about Defence
Forces, War, and the ANZAC connection.
Activities to reinforce the