Introducing Anzac Day Activities In Your Classroom

Anzac Day is an important and special part of both Australia and New Zealand and a topic that I have found can be very engaging for students. When introducing Anzac Day activities in your classroom, it is crucial to consider the prior knowledge and experiences that each child brings with them and how this can be harnessed to its best effect.
Introducing Anzac Day Activities In Your Classroom -teacher created material

What is Anzac Day?

Anzac Day occurs on 25 April. It commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders killed in war, and also honours returned servicemen and women. It marks the anniversary of the landing of the ANZAC troops at Gallipoli.

Assessing Students Prior knowledge of Anzac Day

Good readers constantly try to make sense out of what they read by weighing it up against they already know. When students make connections with their prior knowledge and experiences before, during, and after they read, they build on what they already know. Prior knowledge, therefore, helps a reader to understand and remember what they are reading. Activating prior knowledge also aids in other reading skills such as being able to make inferences in a text, and considering multiple meanings of a word.

Laura Wenk explains,

The more we understand about what students already think, and the more we help them engage their prior understandings, the more likely they are to learn well.

Before jumping straight into a unit about Anzac Day, it is important to investigate the prior knowledge and experiences of your students.

Prior Knowledge Poppies

FREE Prior Knowledge Poppy activity classroom instructional materials

To help you to clearly assess your students’ prior knowledge of Anzac Day, we have created a FREE Prior Knowledge Poppy activity. We have created a version to match both an Australian and New Zealand poppy. The purpose of this resource is to provide an interactive and engaging way to discover and present your students’ prior knowledge about ANZAC Day.

Students fill out the poppy puzzle pieces, answer the question prompts, and complete statement prompts. This activity is easy to differentiate and can be used with a range of ages – students could draw or write their responses, either a few words or a longer paragraph.

Students then colour in their poppy puzzle pieces and cut out their poppy to assemble it. Use a thin piece of green paper or card for the poppy stem. You could also use a piece of card with their name on it to resemble the label that is seen on an Anzac Day poppy.

Keep reading to sign up to receive our free Anzac Day Prior Knowledge poppies. We will also email you some useful tips for introducing Anzac Day in your classroom.

What about those with no prior knowledge?

While many students in your class will have some experience or knowledge of Anzac Day, some children, for example, those new to New Zealand or Australia, will have little to no understanding of this event.

Below we have provided options for creating some understanding of ANZAC day that can be introduced before using the prior knowledge poppy.

Introducing Anzac Day through videos

The following video gives some clear background information on ANZAC Day and its importance to both Australia and New Zealand. They would be a great videos to share to students via Seesaw, Google Classroom, or email.

“What is Anzac Day?” – Video running time: 2:08

One experience of Anzac Day that may be familiar for some of your students is hearing The Last Post played. The following video by BTN (Behind the News) looks at this special tune played by bugle players around the world on Anzac Day.

“Anzac Special – The Last Post” – Video running time: 1:50

BTN (Behind the News) is a great resource for videos about Anzac Day that are made specifically for children. Australian’s can view the videos via their official website, while those in other locations can view them via their Youtube channel.

Introducing Anzac Day Activities through picture books

Book to Introduce Anzac Day teaching resources

Another way to introduce Anzac Day to your students is by reading an Anzac Day themed picture book.
Three picture books that we recommend are:
  • My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day
  • Anzac Ted
  • The Last ANZAC

Digital Anzac Day Activities

Here are three Anzac Day activities that would work great in a home setting. Click on each image to go to the resource.

Anzac Day Digital Puzzle teaching materials

Anzac Day Digital Reading Comprehension.

More Anzac Day Activities

Anzac Day reading stations

Our Anzac Day Reading Stations are an engaging and interactive way for your learners to explore more about Anzac Day. Explore what Anzac Day is, the Gallipoli campaign, Anzac Day and Poppies, and Māori in the First and Second World Wars.

Place the stations around your room and have students rotate through the stations. Each station has a mix of interesting web links and follow-up questions featuring higher-order thinking and reading comprehension skills.

We have a great range of Anzac Day Activities that are suitable for both lower and upper primary (Year 3 to Year 8).

Anzac Day teaching resources

Fantastic Anzac Day Activities BUNDLE

We have a great range of Anzac Day Activities that are suitable for both lower and upper primary (Year 3 to Year 8).

Watch our video below and click here to see our full range. 

Anzac Day Scavenger Hunt Puzzle Poster.

Did you mention FREEBIE?

Anzac Day Poppy activity & classroom resource.

In case you missed the link below, sign up below to our newsletter to receive our Prior Knowledge Poppy as a free download.

Click here to read Part Two where I highlight a range of great web resources to help you teach Anzac Day in your classroom.

Anzac Day Ideas for Kids social studies lesson plans

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