Lest We Forget

Primary English resources for the teaching and learning of ANZAC Day with a cross-curriculum approach. 

Below, you'll find an updated collection of literature-based units of work created in 2022 for PETAA's 50th birthday, as well as a series of units created for the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC Landings at Gallipoli. Combined, these resources enable a modern generation of primary students to make connections with the experiences of ANZACs in World War 1.

Lest We Forget 2022 comprises five new literature-based units of work for PETAA members. The units support the study of contemporary picture books and novels so that students can explore representations of WW1, analyse quality texts and use them as a model to develop personal responses to aspects of the war. Students are invited to share their responses by submitting work samples.

Each classroom unit of work is linked to the Australian Curriculum and offers classroom activities, strategies, and exercises for examining context, content, language, grammar, and more. 

These units are available exclusively for PETAA members.

 

 

 

 

2022 Lest We Forget literature-based teaching units of work

 

The ANZAC Billy by Claire Saxby, Mark Jackson & Heather Potter

Themes: Family, war, ANZACs, World War One.

Year levels: Australian Curriculum: English, Foundation – 2; HASS (History), Foundation – 2; Technologies (Design & Technology), Foundation – 2; Mathematics, Foundation – 2

Why use this book: This book tells the story of the impact of war on the families left behind. Narration of the story from the perspective of a young boy allows young learners to relate to events from history in an age-appropriate way. The simple sentences and use of first-person language provides opportunities for analysing sentence-level grammar and for supporting students to apply their understanding to their own writing. The book can also be used as a springboard for investigating the cross-curriculum areas of Mathematics and Design & Technology.
 
Unit writer: Karen Rogers

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Alfred's War by Rachel Bin Salleh and Samantha Fry

Themes: Belonging, citizenship, discrimination, mateship, war, remembrance, sacrifice, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories & Culture.

Year levels: Australian Curriculum: English, Year 5 & 6; HASS – History, Year 5 &6; Critical & Creative Thinking, Level 4; Arts (Drama & Visual Arts), Year 5 & 6

Why use this book: This book challenges students to acknowledge the discrimination experienced by First Nations people throughout history. It tells the story of Alfred using factual language, and the effective use of illustrative techniques allow the reader to engage with the story as an outsider, while offering an invitation to ‘walk in the shoes’ of the main character. This book  acknowledges the often overlooked and unacknowledged contribution by First Nations people.
 
Unit writer: Karen Rogers

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When the War is Over by Jackie French and Anne Spudvilas 

Themes: Peace, war, hope, family, togetherness, love.

Year levels: Australian Curriculum: English, Year 5 & 6; HASS (History), Year 5 & 6, Visual Arts, Year 5 

Why use this book: This text prompts readers to think about the impact of war, not from the perspective of those who fought, but from those left behind. It builds an appreciation of what it might be like to have a loved one leave for war. Touching on the atrocities of war in an age-appropriate way, the text provides a springboard for further investigation of specific conflicts or the impact on those left behind. The poetic style of the book allows for the exploration of ways that we can use language to express our feelings about a topic in a moving and insightful way.

Unit writer: Karen Rogers

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The Poppy by Andrew Plant 

Themes: Remembrance, gratitude, war, peace, connection, hope, friendship, place.

Year levels: Australian Curriculum: English, Year 3 & 4; HASS (History & Geography), Year 3 & 4; Visual Arts, Year 3 & 4; Mathematics, Year 3 & 4.

Why use this book: The connection and enduring ANZAC-inspired friendship between this small town in France and Australia provides a message of hope for young students as they try to understand the atrocities of war. The content and themes of the text act as a springboard for learning about the events of war and the significance of commemorations such as ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day. The images created to tell the story allow students to make connections between the text and the world and to understand the ways that places can be significant to different people for different reasons.

Unit writer: Karen Rogers

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Dreaming Soldiers by Catherine Bauer

Themes: Friendship, discrimination, racism, loyalty, culture, mateship.

Year levels: Australian Curriculum: English, Foundation – 2; HASS (History & Geography), Foundation – 2; The Arts (Drama & Visual Arts), Foundation - 2

Why use this book: This book supports students to see the effects of war through the eyes of the two fictional characters and their families. It acts as a springboard for conversations about discrimination and friendship as well as introducing students to the reasons for commemorative days such as ANZAC Day. The narrative gives an insight into the way that families and soldiers were affected by war and the hardships they faced.  It provides opportunities for interpreting visual texts and for noticing how words and pictures work together to convey an author’s message. Students can make connections to the text by thinking about the ways that we can remember and recognise the contributions that First Nations people have made.

Unit writer: Karen Rogers

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Children in sunshine and holding Australian flgs look outward at a paradeLest We Forget 2015 comprises six literature-based units of work for PETAA members. The units support the study of contemporary picture books and novels and twentieth century poetry, as well as primary source materials (such as photographs, newspapers, letters and diaries) so that students can explore representations of WW1, analyse quality texts and use them as a model to develop personal responses to aspects of the war. Students are invited to share their responses by submitting work samples.

Each classroom unit of work represents approximately five weeks duration in four teaching and learning sequences, with worksheets, a summative assessment task, supporting teacher resources for background on the ANZACs and the Gallipoli campaign, and links to the Australian Curriculum: English and New South Wales and Victorian syllabus outcomes.

Above: Children at an ANZAC Day Parade in Palmerston NT 2013

Foundation to Year 2

Red poppies under a blue sky

Objects and Memories

Through an exploration of the books Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and ANZAC Biscuits students will be given an introduction to concepts related to WW1 and an understanding that objects can have symbolic meaning and provoke strong memories. View unit >

Years 3 and 4

Old black and white photo with wounded soldier on a donkey and private Simpson to his right

Who Tells the Story?

This unit explores the idea that stories of the same event can be told from different perspectives and points of view. Via the study of two key texts My Grandad Marches on ANZAC Day and Simpson and his Donkey, as well as documents from the time, students examine a range of points of view. View unit >

Years 3 and 4

Drawing of a young soldier: detail from book cover illustration

Changing Contexts

This unit supports students to explore the idea that the cultural, historical and social contexts surrounding WW1 affected the point of view from which texts were written and how they were read. Texts include WW1 newspaper articles and photos, and books Gallipoli, In Flanders Fields and The Beach They Called Gallipoli.  View unit >

Years 5 and 6

Oil painting of vivid blue sea and Turkish coastline looking towards Anzac cove- detail

Remembering through Word and Image

This unit will provide opportunities for students to work with hybrid texts, along with primary sources and case studies to engage with the ANZAC spirit. Word and image will be explored in Meet the ANZACs, Light Horse Boy, Zero Hour and Archie’s War. View unit >

Years 5 and 6

Lone Pine over gravestones at Gallipoli Cemetery and War Memorial

Remembering the Past through Symbols

This unit will explore how memorials help us remember the past, and how these are connected to symbolic images and words used in literature. Texts include the books Memorial, A Day to Remember and Lone Pine. View unit >

Years 5, 6 and 7

Broze WW1 soldier statue atop a plinth with his open hand and face to the sky

The Images of War

This unit focuses on the use of imagery to convey the experience of war. Using the books One Minute’s Silence, The Beach they Called Gallipoli and poems ‘Futility’ and ‘In Flanders Fields’, students explore the use of figurative language and visual devices. View unit >

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