ANZAC Day is commemorated in Australia on the 25th of April every year. Although it is a public holiday nationwide, it is important that the teaching and learning opportunity about ANZAC Day isn’t missed in our classrooms. From Kindergarten onwards, we must be teaching our students about the history, cultural significance and meaning of ANZAC Day.
Here are a few ways we have engaged our students in ANZAC Day lessons over the years that may be helpful for you when planning:
Pull out the Poppies
Make poppies to pin on student’s lapel/collar for your school or home ANZAC day ceremony (Teacher Tip: We like to laminate them and reuse them for Remembrance Day in November). While students are making or colouring poppies to wear, why not ask them to do a few extras and create a class wreath.
If you are looking for more poppy inspiration, check out our blog post that explains 6 different poppy learning activities.
Immerse in Stories
Nothing illustrates an idea to children more than reading to them. There are some wonderful picture books out there that will help you explain to your students the meaning of ANZAC Day. We recommend:
Meet… the ANZACS By Claire Saxby
Lest We Forget By Kerrie Brown
ANZAC Biscuits By Phil Cummings & Owen Swan
Anzac Ted by Mike McLeish
I was Only Nineteen by John Schumann
One Minute Silence By David Metzenthen
This video from Behind the News also explains the meaning of the day in a student-friendly way.
Discuss why we are so lucky in Australia and how events in the past have made this possible. Introduce the term ‘gratitude’ and ask students to reflect on what they are grateful for in their lives.
Once your students have a good understanding of ANZAC Day, creative activities and lessons are always the ones that students remembered. Try:
Baking ANZAC Day Biccies with your class
Designing a medal of courage or war memorial
Writing a letter of thanks to those who have served or serving our country
Design and make mini ANZAC wreaths
Discovering ANZAC Day Vocab
There are many topic specific words used when teaching about the history of ANZAC Day. Such vocabulary is necessary to assist students in better understanding the history and meaning behind the day.
Create a word wall
Have students add to your class dictionary or their personal dictionary.
Write a poem about ANZAC Day.
Complete a word search. We’ve made a free version for you!
How do you celebrate ANZAC Day in your classroom? We would love to hear any creative ideas you would like to share with our community.
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