Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Learning about Anzac Day

Teaching young children about the brutality of war is not something I encourage. Many parents choose not to teach their children about Anzac Day for this reason. I, however, am a proud Australian and come from a long line of proud Aussies. For our family, we see Anzac Day as an important part of identifying who we are, being grateful for the freedom that we have and understanding more about Aussie spirit. This past week, on 25th April, we celebrated Anzac Day where we remember all those who have fought for our country's freedom both in the past and present day.

Keeping in mind that my children are still very young, here are some of the activities we did to help develop an understanding and appreciation for Anzac Day.
After a short discussion about the importance of Anzac Day, we used a Free Printable Anzac Unit For Young Learners from Our Worldwide Classroom. My daughters were able to participate using their dot-markers for the letter A for Anzac.
My son worked through the printable worksheets that focuses on what Anzac Day is all about, the symbols that represent Anzac Day and the ceremonies and rituals that take place on that day.
We love eating Anzac Biscuits but learning about the history behind the biscuit is an important part of Australian history. Phil Cummings wrote this book titled Anzac Biscuit which helps children understand how the legend of the Anzac biscuit came about
The illustrations by Owen Swan give a soft glimpse into the horror of war and what life was like for the Anzacs.
As the story plays out  in the battle field, it also shows the connection with the families left at home and how Anzac biscuits made their way from home to the front line. If you would like to know more about this book, head over to My Little Bookcase and read their book review on Anzac Biscuits and links to other Anzac activities.
Following our reading, we made our own Anzac biscuit which has become a much loved tradition in our home. All my children are involved as we make and then eat these delicious biscuits. You can download our very own special recipe for the Anzac Biscuit from here.
Taking my children to see an Anzac Day march brings alive everything they had been learning about. Seeing the service men and women both from past and present day marching together, displaying their medals and the symbols on their uniforms as their families and friends honour them is a very pateriotic moment. 
After the Anzac Day march, we reflected on what we saw and made connection with what we had learnt. My son decided to draw a picture of what the poppy fields looked like from a picture he had seen at the march. He sketched his picture first then painted it very carefully. Painting is very therapeutic and allowed for much discussion. My son took great care and pride in his painting and I think it looks beautiful
Not to be left out, my daughters also did some painting. I gave them two pieces of paper and they each painted one red (with a black circle in the middle) and one green. When the paint was dry, I cut out the shape of the poppy flower, the steam and the leaves from the painted sheets and then we stuck them together to make our poppy flower (picture above).

Here is another Anzac Day Craft, which is a free printable, that you might also like to try. It also has some wonderful child-friendly information about the Anzac Day tradition. 
I also found a kid-friendly version of the tradition Anzac Day game called Two-Up. Over at My Little Bookcase, they have come up with a game called Come In Spinner with illustrated guidelines on how you and your children can play this Anzac tradition

If you would like to see more activity ideas for Anzac day, pop over and visit my pinterest board.

This blog post has been linked up with:
Every bed of Roses

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