Lest We Forget: Unit 4

Remembering through Word and Image | Years 5 and 6

Classroom units of work to mark the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC Landings at Gallipoli

Detail from an oil paiting with blue water between headlands

Above: Detail from an oil painting by George Lambert (1919) titled Anzac from Gaba Tepe

Remembering through Word and Image invites students to enter into the ANZAC memory through the texts’ characters, which provide human faces to Australia’s history. An exploration of the words, images, and interplay between text and visuals will help students identify how authors encourage readers to empathise. The linguistic, visual and spatial meaning making systems used in Meet the ANZACS, The Light Horse Boy, Zero Hour and Archie’s War will be examined in light of author’s purpose and conveyed meaning. The ANZACS’ sense of adventure and excitement, boredom, grief and fear are reflected in the texts, along with the emotions experienced by those waiting for their return. An analysis of these feelings will form the platform for students to create their own hybrid text, set in the context of WW1.

Texts: Meet the ANZACS by Claire Saxby and Max Berry, The Light Horse Boy by Dianne Wolfer and Brian Simmonds, Zero Hour by Leon Davidson, and Archie’s War by Marcia Williams.

Teacher support: Find supporting resources including related literature and a glossary to help with background information concerning the ANZACs and the Gallipoli campaign.

Unit writer: Helen Cozmescu

Overview of the unit

Focus: This unit will examine how authors use text structure, language features, images and vocabulary to build meaning around characters and events.  Students will depict their understandings about the events and emotions surrounding the Anzacs through the creation of hybrid texts, where ideas and images are drawn from a range of resources.

Learning sequence for teaching and learning activities

The unit supports students to explore the idea that authors create meaning through words, images and the way they structure texts. The unit will support students to explore the question: How do hybrid texts inform readers and effectively convey the experience of war? The learning sequence is organised by a series of contributing questions:

  1. What is a hybrid text and how is it related to text purpose?
  2. What are some examples of hybrid texts about WW1 and how have they been constructed?
  3. How and why have authors and illustrators used hybridity to effectively convey the experiences of WW1? 
  4. How can I create a hybrid text to convey an aspect of WW1?

Some general resources that relate to this unit

Hybrid texts help to build meaning through different semiotic systems, which open multiple pathways for students to build understandings.  Read ‘An introduction to the grammar of visual design’ (.pdf 789 kB) and PETAA’s supplementary resources for the book The Shape of Text to Come. The Australian War Memorial have artefact boxes, as well as suggested resources and activities offering primary and secondary sources of information about WW1. Useful resources for teacher knowledge building around the history and meaning of ANZAC day, the use of primary resources, images and poetry, to teach about the history of WW1 can be found on Australian government sites. Other texts to explore are the ANZAC tale and Line of Fire: Diary of an unknown soldier are graphic novels. The latter, is also represented as a musical, with the reading of the diary in French, a contemporary soundtrack and the artist creating the visuals, illustrating how different forms can convey meaning. The specified and suggested texts can be linked to the Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) curriculum through ACHASSK137  ACHASSI127

Sequence 1 — What is a hybrid text and how is it related to text purpose?

Book cover in red with scrapbook elementsPreparing for learning

A hybrid text is a composite text that uses elements from different genres. Hybrid texts afford the author the benefits of breaking conventions to move beyond meaning being carried by just print, image or genre.  Rather, authors creatively blend fiction and non-fiction, image and word, text structure and text form to best meet their writing purpose.

Introduce students to the focus and intent of the unit. Explain the concept of hybrid texts (as above) by displaying some double page spreads from Archie's War. Inform students that at the conclusion of this unit, they will be constructing a hybrid text which demonstrates their understandings of some events from WW1.

Explain that the hybrid texts explored in this unit have allowed authors to capture the reader’s imagination, inform and present points of view. Meaning has been opened up through multiple pathways. For example, in Archie's War, the author captures the imagination of the reader through the character of Archie represented in his scrap book using some narrative conventions,such as the use of first person, humour and illustrations. The reader is also informed about the war, through recounts of people and events, memorabilia and newspaper articles. The author invites us to consider our position on war, when we hear the conflicting opinions and reflections of Archie's sister and those of the patriots. The author's multiple purposes are all addressed through the text’s combination of genres. The act of remembering is prominent in all texts, but especially evident in Archie's War through the construct of a scrap book.

Developing background knowledge

Support students to move from the known to the new by exploring their own remembrance.  Students create an individual mind map (using words and images) showing the annual events remembered by their families. The mind maps should indicate:  

  1. What is remembered?
  2. How is it remembered?
  3. What artefacts are involved?
  4. What symbols, colours or images help us to remember this day?


Repeat these questions for a whole class activity, focusing on what the community remembers. Use an on line mind mapping tool to display thinking. ACELA1524

Create another map to draw students' attention to ANZAC day and its significance. This can be added to throughout the unit, to include different forms of information. ACELA1524

Students evaluate their own mind map and the jointly constructed class maps in terms of how the structure, images and text have helped to achieve purpose. ACELY1701  ACHASSI103  ACHASSI131

In small collaborative groups, students are asked to explore given texts and consider which information is conveyed through image and which information is conveyed through words.  ACELY1703

Students are also asked to consider the structure of the text and rate its effectiveness using a likert scale.  Students should justify their responses. Groups present their text and findings to the whole class. Examples of texts to examine could include: 


Building the field

Visit the school library and local library to collect as many resources as possible about the ANZACs. Create categories to sort the texts. For example, poetry, diary, fictional recount, information text, newspaper report, online oral recount. Generate questions that could be explored by examining the different texts or example:

  • What is the author's purpose in creating this text?
  • Why might readers choose this text?
  • How is the author helping the reader/viewer to make meaning?
  • What has the text made you think about?


Begin a word wall to highlight the metalanguage required to discuss hybrid texts, providing definitions.  ACELA1512  

  • The language of text design — layout, border, headings, typography
  • The language of structure — paragraph, sentence type, connectives, noun groups, verb groups
  • The language of visuals as in ‘An introduction to the grammar of visual design’ (.pdf 789 kB)— perspective, mood, angles, foreground, medium, tone, vectors, salience.

Sequence 2 — What are some examples of hybrid texts about WW1 and how and how have then been constructed?

Sketch of a young soldier on horseback at a gallop on greenDeconstructing texts

Select a double page spread from Archie’s War and highlight the different genres and aspects of the text that open multiple pathways to meaning. Model how to annotate different text forms, features and purposes using post it labels. Model how to conduct a guided analysis using pages 14–15 Archie’s War.

Guide students to repeat this task using four-page spreads from Lighthorse Boy (for example, pages 4-7) and Meet the ANZACs. Emphasise why these choices were made.  Explore with students how successful these text choices have been in relation to the author’s purpose. Students work in small groups to annotate another example from one of the targeted texts. Draw students' attention to the end papers, front cover, style and types of visuals, text structure and layout, font styles and content. Discuss how these choices relate to the author's purpose. ACELT1614

Groups share their thinking and make comparisons  between the texts. Come to a class consensus about the author's purpose for each text.  Why might a reader choose to read this book?

Conduct a close reading of each text. Use the questions in the table below to direct students' attention to features of each text. ACELT1609


Archie’s War

Zero Hour 

The Light Horse Boy

Meet the ANZACS 

Text structure and organisation

What are the structural and organisational features of the text that signal the different text purposes?
Identify the many different text forms contained in Archie's scrap book — cartoons, letters, anecdotes, artefacts, photographs, headlines, etc. How might the scrapbook be structured and what might be included in it if it was created in present day? ACELY1711

Each non-fiction chapter begins with a poem and a photographic image. How do these prepare the reader for the chapter? ACELT1795

What effect does the combination of letters, narration and illustrations have on the reader? ACELY1701

What effect do the illustrations have alongside the non-fiction writing? 
What information do we get from the words and the images? ACELY1712


Sequence 3 — How and why have authors and illustrators used hybridity to effectively convey the experiences of WW1?

Watercolour of WW1 soldiers arm in arm with the headlans of Anzac Coce across blue water in the backgroundIdentifying author’s purpose and point of view

Explain that the authors and illustrators of these texts have used a variety of text features and structures to provide their readers with insights into war, they have offered different perspectives and opinions about the war and have engaged their readers by giving life to characters. They have used a combination of verbal texts, images and structural elements to meet their writing purposes.  For each of the aspects listed in the table below, explore how the elements used have helped the authors achieve their purposes. Stimulus questions might include:

  • What techniques have the authors used to help us imagine WW1?
  • What techniques have the authors used to help us develop opinions about war?
  • What techniques have the authors used to inform us about WW1?
  • Why were these techniques employed by the writers and illustrators? 
  • How does the combination of textual elements work to meet the author's purpose?


Archie’s War

Zero Hour

The Light Horse Boy 

Meet the ANZACS

Insights into War

What insights do we get about Archie and his family and friends from the scrap book?  How does the author help us receive these insights? ACELA1504

Why did the soldiers volunteer and were their expectations met?  Read first hand accounts of daily life in Gallipoli.
Watch footage of soldiers embarking ship and those who came to farewell the troops.

What insights do we have about those who volunteered on the home front, such as Alice?
Investigate the role of organisations  active during WW1, including the Red Cross, the Australian Women’s National League and the Women’s Peace Army ACELY1713

Why did the soldiers volunteer and were their expectations met?  Read first hand accounts of daily life in Gallipoli.
Watch footage of soldiers embarking ship and those who came to farewell the troops.


Ethel is against the war (see pages 8.9,11 and 13).  Different points of view are expressed throughout the book. Explore perspectives about war participation through primary resources, through the sayings and actions of Ethel and through an investigation into conscription from the text (pages 26–27) and other sources — Australian and British.  ACELA1502

Whose perspective is shown in the final pages of the text? Why has the author chosen to end the book at this point?  ACELA1502
Chapter 6 discusses New Zealand’s attitude toward  the Maoris’ involvement  in the war.  How does this compare with Australia’s views of Indigenous people at the time of WW1. 
What might the reasons be for Indigenous Australians to have enlisted?
How would this be different today?

Light Horse Boy offers views of the war from multiple perspectives, from the battlefront and at home,  Compare how Jim and Alice view an event. ACELT1610

Whose perspective is shown in the final pages of the text? Why has the author chosen to end the book at this point?  ACELA1502

How is the difficult topic of war made accessible to the reader?

How does the author use humour to soften the difficult topic of war?  Why was this choice made? ACELT1800

Each non-fiction chapter begins with a poem.  What is the intended effect of the poem on the reader?  Why did the author choose to include poetry? ACELT1800

How do the letters written by Jim and by his sister Alice provide the reader with information about the war?
How do the letters help the author achieve her purpose? ACELY1801

Examine the illustrations, particularly the colours. What effect do they have on the reader? Why did the illustrator use sepia colouring for the endpapers? What is the effect achieved by this technique? ACELY1801

Explore language

How does the evocative language help to convey feelings and emotions? ACELA1525

A number of words came into existence from WW1 (page 212).  Create a glossary of these words and compare with similar listsACELY1712

Identify language which creates a picture in the reader's mind. For example, (page 90) There was a flash and suddenly the sand ahead exploded. ACELA1525

What inferences can be made from the direct speech?  ACELT1608

How are emotions and feelings explored?

Happiness, relief hope — Victory day (page 44)
Safety — in the country (pages 37,42)
Fear — Bombing (pages 34–35)
Heroism — The Red Baron (page 40) Nurse Cavell (page 24)
Pride (page 20) ACELT1613

Read Chapter 12 and identify the emotions of the returning soldiers. ACELY1713

Describe the relationship between Jim and his horse (page 82). How does this compare to that of Jim and his friends? ACELY1713

Select one word depicting feelings or emotions for each double page spread. ACELA1512


Sequence 4 — How can I create a hybrid text to convey an aspect of WW1?

Photogrpah of Nurse Edith Cavell, linked to original file on Wikimedia CommonsPreparing to create a text

Investigate Nurse Edith Cavell (left) through a comic representation, a quote such as, an artefact from the Australian War Memorial and footage and information presenting a primary and secondary source of information. Lead a  discussion with students to explore how the varying representations provide  different perspectives on the life of Edith Cavell and why she has been remembered, Students should also consider the differing interpretations of her life that can be gained through the various representations.

Investigate Major General Bridges of the Light Horse Men (photo below) and his horse Sandy, the only horse that returned to Australia, through an online written information text, , an artefact — and the slouch hat, art work about the light horse men, images from Light Horse Boy and a quote.   ACHASSI095  ACHASSI123

Explore the semiotic systems that allow the reader to make meaning and empathise with these WW1 heroes. What are the advantages/disadvantages of each text for creating meaning?

Semiotic systems in multimodal texts

Language, written and spoken
Images, still and moving
Face and body language
Some examples of grammatical features (codes and conventions)
Grammar (for example: verbs, nouns, descriptive language)
Objects as symbols
Vector lines
Sound effects
Physical contact
Facial expressions
Body language
Layout and landscape
How things are organised
How things are placed on a page
Setting and props

Based on Anstey, M. & Bull, G. (2009) Using Multimodal Texts and Digital Resources in a Multiliterate Classroom, E:Update 04, PETAA, Sydney; Callow, J. ed. (1999) Image matters: visual texts in the classroom, PETAA, Sydney; Callow, J. (2011) When image and text meet: Teaching with visual and multimodal texts, PETAA Paper 181, PETAA, Sydney.

Frame/Shot — determines the amount of information given

  • Long shot — (public distance) gives viewer details of the setting and or landscape
  • Medium shot — (social distance – usually waist up) can see faces and interactions with others
  • Close up — (personal distance) can understand the characters emotions / feel empathy

Angle — important to shape meaning — creates relationship between the viewer and the image, or the characters

  • High (looking down on the character) vulnerable, powerless
  • Low (looking up at the character) makes them seem more powerful

Colour — emotions / symbolic

Vector Lines — lines/vectors that create patterns, suggest actions, direct gaze

Intertextuality — borrowing the characteristics of another text. Reader consciously accesses and bring knowledge from previous reading experience

Salience — highlight/emphasising what is important — foregrounding in the image, size, contrast and colour

Photo of Major General Bridges in uniform, linked to file on Wikimedia CommonsSelect an event or aspect from WW1, which the class has found of interest. Explore its representation in various online and paper texts.  Divide the class into groups and have them consider this event by discussing and brainstorming actions (what happened), adjectives (emotions and feelings) and dialogue (what might have been said).  Each group presents the event using a different form of text. Some suggestions could include: a comic, an annotation of a photograph or image, a diary account, a series of postcards, a poem, an artefact such as a cigarette card, a newspaper report, a scrapbook, examples of dialogue from primary sources, etc. ACELA1511

Students reflect on the authorship of their texts. What meaning did they find easy to convey through their chosen text form?  What meaning was difficult? How could they work around this difficulty?  ACELT1618  ACHASSI100  ACHASSI128

Hold a presentation session for students to share their work with others.

Discuss why authors may use hybrid texts.

Discuss the purpose, use and creation of hybrid texts in the context of WW1. How do these texts help us to remember?  Use the Claim/Support/Question (selection on left) thinking routine to frame this discussion.

Consider an emotion or feeling evident through the class investigation. ACELT1612 

Create a visual representation, in the context of WW1. Use a medium that was used to create images in the texts studied in this unit. The thinking routine Colour/Shapes/Lines (selection on left) can be used to self assess and peer assess the effectiveness of the image.

Assessment outline

Preparing for the task

Students choose an aspect or event of WW1, such as the involvement of nurses, members of the Lighthorse Brigade, children and the experiences of those left at home, or Indigenous soldiers in the war. They collect a variety of resources and complete a Note taking scaffold (.pdf 161 kB) to identify sources of information to inform their own hybrid text. ACELY1703  ACHASSI095  ACHASSI123

For example:

  • Indigenous Australians needed government permission to enlist
  • Racism experienced by Indigenous soldiers
  • Names of Battalions with Indigenous soldiers
  • Indigenous soldiers in battle
  • Newspaper headline quoting the number of Indigenous Australians that had enlisted
  • Comic strip, diary entry
  • Battalion emblems
  • Charcoal representation 

Students present information using a graphic organiser such as a mind map. They select information to present in a hybrid text. For each selected idea, students make notes on how it could be represented through a hybrid text. ACELT1798 

The task

Students create a double page spread to inform others about a chosen aspect of WW1. They plan the layout of the text, thinking about how the reader will read the text.  They consider how both words and images will help to convey information and help the reader to identify and empathise with the feelings involved.  explain that their double page spread should include at least three different text forms and that should be prepared to justify their choices. ACELT1612  ACHASSI105  ACHASSI133

Evaluating the task

Students present the double page spread to a small group of peers who complete a Peer-evaluation worksheet (.pdf 111 kB) worksheet.

Students read the peer evaluation and complete a Self evaluation worksheet (.pdf 124 kB) to reflect upon how they were able to convey meaning to the reader.

Complete the Check list for teacher evaluation (.pdf 251 kB)

Australian Curriculum: English

The following general capabilities are addressed explicitly in the content of the learning in this unit of work: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Literacy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, and Ethical understanding.

Find a linked overview of Australian Curriculum: English content descriptions for this unit below, alongside New South Wales and Victorian syllabus outcomes and levels for the Australian Curriculum: English.

Curriculum and syllabus links for Unit 4: Remembering through Word and Image


AC: English NSW VIC

Language for interaction

Understand that patterns of language interaction vary across social contexts and types of texts and that they help to signal social roles and relationships ACELA1501


L5/Speaking and listening /Language  


  Understand how to move beyond making bare assertions and take account of differing perspectives and points of view ACELA1502
EN3-8D L5/Speaking and Listening/ Language
Text structure and organisation Understand how texts vary in purpose, structure and topic as well as the degree of formality ACELA1504
EN3-3A L5/Reading and Viewing/Language
  Understand how authors often innovate on text structures and play with language features to achieve particular aesthetic, humorous and persuasive purposes and effects ACELA1518
EN3-7C L6/Reading and Viewing/Language 
Expressing and developing ideas Explain sequences of images in print texts and compare these to the ways hyperlinked digital texts are organised, explaining their effect on viewers’ interpretations ACELA1511



L5/Reading and Viewing/Language


  Understand the use of vocabulary to express greater precision of meaning, and know that words can have different meanings in different contexts ACELA1512 
EN3-6B L6/Reading and Viewing/Language 
  Identify and explain how analytical images like figures, tables, diagrams, maps and graphs contribute to our understanding of verbal information in factual and persuasive texts ACELA1524
EN3-3A L5/Writing/Language
  Investigate how vocabulary choices, including evaluative language can express shades of meaning, feeling and opinion ACELA1525
Literature and context
Identify aspects of literary texts that convey details or information about particular social, cultural and historical contexts ACELT1608

EN3-8D L5/Reading and Viewing/Literature 
  Make connections between students’ own experiences and those of characters and events represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts ACELT1613
L6/Reading and Viewing/Literature
  Analyse and evaluate similarities and differences in texts on similar topics, themes or plots ACELT1614
EN3-7C  L6/Speaking and Listening/Literature
Responding to literature Present a point of view about particular literary texts using appropriate metalanguage, and reflecting on the viewpoints of others ACELT1609



L5/Speaking and Listening/Literature 
  Use metalanguage to describe the effects of ideas, text structures and language features on particular audiences ACELT1795
EN3-1A L5/Reading and Viewing/Literature
Examining literature Recognise that ideas in literary texts can be conveyed from different viewpoints, which can lead to different kinds of interpretations and responses ACELT1610

L5/Reading and Viewing/Literature


Creating literature Create literary texts using realistic and fantasy settings and characters that draw on the worlds represented in texts students have experienced ACELT1612

EN3-7C L5/Writing/Literature 
  Create literary texts that experiment with structures, ideas and stylistic features of selected authors ACELT1798 
  Create literary texts that adapt or combine aspects of texts students have experienced in innovative ways ACELT1618
EN3-7C  L6/Writing/Literature
  Experiment with text structures and language and their effects in creating literary texts, for example, using imagery, sentence variation, metaphor and word choice ACELT1800
Interacting with others
Clarify understanding of content as it unfolds in formal and informal situations, connecting ideas to students’ own experiences and present and justify a point of view ACELY1699



L5/Speaking and Listening/Literacy 
  Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations for defined audiences and purposes incorporating accurate and sequenced content and multimodal elements ACELY1700
EN3-1A L5/Speaking and Listening/Literacy
  Plan, rehearse and deliver presentations, selecting and sequencing appropriate content and multimodal elements for defined audiences and purposes, making appropriate choices for modality and emphasis ACELY1710
EN3-1A L6/Speaking and Listening/Literacy
  Use interaction skills, for example paraphrasing, questioning and interpreting non-verbal cues and choose vocabulary and vocal effects appropriate for different audiences and purposes ACELY1796
EN3-1A L6/Speaking and Listening/Literacy 
  Use interaction skills, varying conventions of spoken interactions such as voice, volume, tone, pitch and pace, according to group size, formality of interaction and needs and expertise of the audience  ACELY1816
EN3-1A  L6/Speaking and Listening/Literacy 
Interpreting, analysing, evaluating Identify and explain characteristic text structures and language features used in imaginative, informative and persuasive texts to meet the purpose of the text ACELY1701

EN3-5B L5/Reading and Viewing/Literacy
  Use comprehension strategies to analyse information, integrating and linking ideas from a variety of print and digital sources ACELY1703
EN3-3A L5/Reading and Viewing/Literacy
  Analyse how text structures and language features work together to meet the purpose of a text ACELY1711
EN3-3A L6/Reading and Viewing/Literacy
  Select, navigate and read texts for a range of purposes, applying appropriate text processing strategies and interpreting structural features, for example table of contents, glossary, chapters, headings and subheadings ACELY1712
EN3-3A  L6/Reading and Viewing/Literacy
  Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts ACELY1713
EN3-3A L6/Reading and Viewing/Literacy 
  Analyse strategies authors use to influence readers ACELY1801
L6/Reading and Viewing/Literacy 
Creating texts Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, choosing and experimenting with text structures, language features images and digital resources appropriate to purpose and audience  ACELY1714 EN3-2A


Source for content descriptions above: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

Useful general links

Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)

The following general capabilities are addressed explicitly in the content of the learning in this unit of work: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Literacy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, and Ethical understanding.

Find a linked overview of Australian Curriculum: HASS content descriptions for this unit below, alongside New South Wales syllabus guidance for the Australian Curriculum: HASS. Victorian syllabus advice and levels to be included soon..

Curriculum and syllabus links for Unit 4: Remembering through Word and Image


Inquiry and skills
(Sequence 1)

Organise and represent data in a range of formats including tables, graphs and large- and small-scale maps, using discipline-appropriate conventions ACHASSI096  ACHASSI124

Content for Stage 3 Geography

(Sequence 4 and assessment) Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary sources and secondary sources ACHASSI095  ACHASSI123

Content for Stage 3 History (historical skills)

Evaluating and reflecting
(Sequence 1)
Use criteria to make decisions and judgements and consider advantages and disadvantages of preferring one decision over others ACHASSI103  ACHASSI131

Content for Stage 3 History (historical skills)

(Sequence 1 and 3)
Develop appropriate questions to guide an inquiry about people, events, developments, places, systems and challenges ACHASSI094  ACHASSI122
Content for Stage 3 History (historical skills)

(Sequence 3 and specified and suggested texts for this unit)

Examine different viewpoints on actions, events, issues and phenomena in the past and present ACHASSI099  ACHASSI127
Content for Stage 3 History (historical concepts)

(Sequence 4) Interpret data and information displayed in a range of formats to identify, describe and compare distributions, patterns and trends, and to infer relationships ACHASSI100  ACHASSI128
Content for Stage 3 Geography (geographical inquiry skills)

Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions ACHASSI105 ACHASSI133
Content for Stage 3 History (historical skills)

Knowledge and understanding (In specified and suggested texts for this unit) The contribution of individuals and groups to the development of Australian society since Federation ACHASSK137 Stage 3: History Australia as a Nation  

Source for content descriptions above: Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

Useful general links