ANZAC Day – 25 April – is arguably one of Australia’s most important days of commemoration. With this day, many symbols and traditions of ANZAC have become well-recognised icons. When people see a poppy, slouch hat, or ANZAC biscuit, or hear the Last Post, they are reminded of the men and women who have fought for Australia and those still serving in the Defence Forces today.
ANZAC Day services also follow a traditional pattern: an introduction, hymn, prayer, an address, laying of wreaths, a recitation, the Last Post, a period of silence, either the Rouse or the Reveille, and the national anthem. After the ceremony, families often place red poppies beside the names of relatives on the Memorial’s Roll of Honour.
In this lesson, students will learn about our ANZAC symbols and traditions and why it is important that we recognise and uphold them.
Participating in this lesson will help students to achieve the following learning outcomes:
You will need:
The following websites for further information:
Please note: Some of the content in this lesson may be upsetting for students. It is advised that teachers use their discretion when selecting the proposed activities for use in their classroom.
As a class, brainstorm what students think of when they hear the word ‘ANZAC.’ Record responses.
Now discuss the words ‘symbol’ and ‘tradition’. What do students think symbols and traditions are? Why do we have them? Where do we see symbols? What sort of traditions do we celebrate throughout the year?
Ask students to close their eyes and think about the word ANZAC. What imagery comes into their heads
Ask students to brainstorm any ANZAC symbols or traditions they can think of. Some responses may include:
Place students into small groups. Each member of the group will select a different ANZAC symbol or tradition to research. They will record six interesting facts about it on the ‘ANZAC symbols and traditions’ activity sheet, then return to their original group and share their information.
If you have access to any ANZAC items (e.g. a slouch hat, poppy, ANZAC biscuit, medal, wreath, sprig of rosemary etc.) set up stations around the room for the groups to work at.
Here are some suggested extra activities to extend the students’ learning.
School children from across Australia are invited to capture their individual reflections about those Australians who have sacrificed their lives for us in conflicts by writing their individual thoughts upon a Commemorative Cross.More information >