4 Concepts you need to cover when teaching ANZAC Day to Early Primary

Updated: May 8


ANZAC Teaching ideas for early primary students in Australia. Help students with HASS and the ACARA curriculum with these classroom craft and lesson ideas.

Discussing ANZAC Day (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps Day) can be difficult with young students due to its possibly distressing content of war and death. However, it's essential that young students understand the importance of this commemoration on the 25th of April every year for both Australia and New Zealand.


Here are 4 ANZAC Day concepts to cover in your early years classroom.


One: Going to war was scary for young men

This is a difficult concept for young students to grasp but it is an important one to cover. Young men were sent a long way away from their families to a place they had never been to. Some never came home - THIS is why we remember them.


Questions to ask students:

How would you feel if you went to a new and scary place across the world?

It’s important to focus on how the ANZAC’s may have felt ‘then’ so as not to distress children. Use this as an opportunity to add to your vocabulary wall with words such as ‘brave’ and ‘scared’ - these are great pieces of vocabulary for students to build into their writing.


ANZAC Teaching ideas for early primary students in Australia. Help students with HASS and the ACARA curriculum with these classroom craft and lesson ideas.


Two: Gallipoli was a long way to travel.

Show students a world map and locate Gallipoli on the map and then consider its distance from Australia.


Questions to ask students:

How long do you think it would take to get there? How do you think you got there? This is a great way to discuss how life has changed from the past. Explain to students that the soldiers took boats there and show them some photographs of the ships that took the soldiers to Gallipoli.


ANZAC Teaching ideas for early primary students in Australia. Help students with HASS and the ACARA curriculum with these classroom craft and lesson ideas.


Three: ANZAC Day a commemoration

Do your students understand the difference between a commemoration and a celebration? This is a big concept to cover when discussing ANZAC Day but another important one and a key concept of the HASS curriculum. How we behave during a celebration is different to a commemoration, however, there are some similarities. Celebrations are a joyous occasion whereas commemorations are more sombre.


Questions to ask students:

How are celebrations and commemorations alike? What special songs do we use on ANZAC Day? Is there special food?


ANZAC Teaching ideas for early primary students in Australia. Help students with HASS and the ACARA curriculum with these classroom craft and lesson ideas.

Four: ANZAC biscuits were important to soldiers on the front-line

Discussing life in the trenches is hard but this book by Phil Cummings and Owen Swan (possibly out of print now but still available at all libraries) called ANZAC Biscuits is a lovely tale of a little girl and her father's life in the trenches. She bakes some cookies for him and her life in the warmth of the home is compared to the life her father is having at the same time in the trenches.


You can also bring in or bake some ANZAC biscuits and this can form the basis of your study of method or sequencing. A method recount and recipe can be found in the ANZAC Day Activity Pack.


Questions to ask students:

Why were ANZAC biscuits so important to the soldiers? What do you think they thought/felt when they opened up a box of biscuits from home?


ANZAC Teaching ideas for early primary students in Australia. Help students with HASS and the ACARA curriculum with these classroom craft and lesson ideas.

These are four concepts that you can discuss with students in the lead up to ANZAC Day. There are, of course, many more but keep your discussions simple, focus on the bravery of the ANZAC men and women and how it’s important that we never forget (so we never have a war like that again).


If you are looking for more ANZAC Ideas take a look at these useful products you can download now:


ANZAC Teaching ideas for early primary students in Australia. Help students with HASS and the ACARA curriculum with these classroom craft and lesson ideas.
ANZAC Teaching ideas for early primary students in Australia. Help students with HASS and the ACARA curriculum with these classroom craft and lesson ideas.
ANZAC Teaching ideas for early primary students in Australia. Help students with HASS and the ACARA curriculum with these classroom craft and lesson ideas.

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