Commemorating Anzac through engaging learning

A band marching down George Street past the Sydney Town Hall. Many people line the street, and steps and balcony of the town hall.

Burwood Girls HS Burwood Ensemble Program, Anzac Day, Sydney 2015

This section provides syllabus related teaching and learning opportunities for students in the subjects of English, History, Geography, Science, Visual Arts, Music, Dance and Drama.

The learning concepts of challenge, change, caring, community and commemoration form the focus of the teaching and learning. Questions for discussion and further investigation are listed for each concept.

For each subject area, teaching and learning activities are listed, the learning concepts are expanded and the syllabus outcomes and content are provided.

Through integrated learning, students can be engaged in inquiry that is relevant and that develops deep understanding of big ideas. Integrated learning provides opportunities to engage all students.

What is integrated learning?

Deep learning that draws on more than one discipline, and that is situated in authentic and engaging contexts for students.

Integrated learning is when a teacher or teachers draw on two or more learning areas to construct teaching and learning sequences to create deep learning in authentic contexts. Integrated learning explores key concepts, skills and processes from the syllabuses and their relationships to the real world. Students are engaged in inquiry that is relevant and that develops deep understanding of these big ideas.

'Research has consistently shown that students in integrated programs demonstrate academic performance equal to, or better than, students in discipline-based programs.' Drake & Reid (2010) page 1

‘Recent research on the brain affirms what many teachers know experientially. Students learn by making connections; the more connections they can make, the more they can learn,’ Caine & Caine, as cited in Drake & Burns (2004) page 26

‘Integrated approaches to teaching and learning are not new. A century ago, John Dewey and his contemporaries suggested that by applying ideas from one discipline to another, students would come to appreciate the interconnection of ideas and the relevance of their schooling.’ John Wallace, G. V. (2005)

Early Stage 1


English ES1 thumbanil

Students explore the learning concepts of challenge, commemoration and community through the text My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day by Catriona Hay and Benjamin Johnson. Through responding to the text and images of Anzac Day marches, students draw an image to represent their ideas about Anzac Day. View English.


History ES1 thumbnail

Students investigate the significance of the Australian Army’s slouch hat. They compare family photographs from World War One to those from today and consider the significance of family members in uniform. Students identify their roles and responsibilities in Anzac Day commemorations within their school community and discuss the significance of the Centenary of Anzac. View history.


Geography ES1 thumbnail

Students locate memorials within their school and investigate how the location of memorials can be represented. View geography.

Science and technology

Science ES1 thumbnail

Students investigate how memorials within their school are made to suit their purpose. They identify the materials commonly used in the construction of memorials. Students design a memorial to commemorate an event within their school. View science and technology.

Visual arts

Visual arts ES1 thumbnail

Students view images in picture books of Anzac Day marches. Students imagine they are marching on Anzac Day and draw the imagined surrounds, an object in those surroundings or a person marching with them. As artists students provide alternate points of view in and through their artworks. View visual arts.


Music ES1 thumbnail

Students view images and videos of Anzac Day marches. They create a soundscape to accompany the still images. View music.


Drama ES1 thumbanil

Students take on the role of characters to enact images from the book My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day by Catriona Hoy and Benjamin Johnson. View drama.


Dance ES1 thumbnail

Students explore Anzac Day movements. They use marching movement as a returning motif while exploring other movements to create a sequence of movements to create a composition. View dance.

Stage 1


English S1 thumbnail

Students explore characters and their perspectives of Anzac Day through the text Anzac Day Parade by Glenda Kane and Lisa Allen. Students compose a description of the Anzac Day parade from the point of view of an onlooker, which includes a personal response. View English.


History S1 thumbnail

Students investigate everyday life, changing technologies and remains of the past in the context of the First World War. They investigate transportation of people, animals, equipment and mail 100 years ago and schooling of the period. Students also identify the significance of personal and community symbols of remembrance. View history.


Geography S1 thumbnail

Students visit a war memorial in the local area, record its features and map its location and surrounds. Using sources and re-enactment students develop understandings of its significance. Students also use a variety of sources to investigate other uses of and arrangements of the site. View geography.

Science and technology

Science S1 thumbnail

Students investigate the properties of various fabrics and materials used in soldiers’ uniforms in the First World War. They identify which fabrics and materials are most suited for particular purposes and explore the functionality of uniform items. View science and technology.


Music S1 thumbnail

Students sing patriotic songs from the First World War. They compose and play percussion accompaniments to the songs. View music.


Dance S1 thumbnail

Students explore the steps and movements of ragtime era dances. They compose and perform their own dance sequences. View dance.

Stage 2


English S2 thumbnail

Through the text Memorial by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan, students explore the author’s and illustrator’s representations of memories, memorials and their significance in communities. Students compose a letter seeking to protect a community memorial and compose a poem that commemorates the fallen. View English.


History S2 thumbnail

Students research war memorials and honour boards held in their local community and consider their significance. They research the role of the Red Cross during the First World War and the contribution of school children. Students explore how Anzac Day and Remembrance Day are commemorated in Australia and identify symbols of remembrance. View history.


Geography S2 thumbnail

Students undertake a cultural study of Istanbul and Sydney and identify similarities and differences in the natural and human features of each country, climate, settlement patterns, demographics and daily life of people. They investigate people’s perceptions of the Anzac memorials on the Gallipoli peninsula and construct links between perceptions and protection of places. View geography.

Science and technology

Science S2 thumbnail

Students investigate the physical properties of hard tack biscuits that were a staple food ration for service people on the front in the First World War. They make hard tack biscuits and observe changes in the ingredients in the making and during baking. They test the properties of the baked biscuits and make connections between the properties and their use in the war. View science and technology.

Visual Arts

Visual arts S2 thumbnail

Students discuss the reasons and choices Shaun Tan made in his illustrations in Memorial by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan. They create images or their local memorial using ideas, media and techniques used by Shaun Tan. View visual arts.


Drama S2 thumbnail

Students create freeze frames for each set of memories in the text Memorial by Shaun Tan and Gary Crew. They bring these to life to provide a vignette of the time and place. Students also explore ways to represent changes in time periods dramatically. They perform their vignettes and time changes in sequence. View drama.

Stage 3


English S3 thumbnail

Through the text Light Horse Boy by Dianne Wolfer, students explore the use of narrative voice and its effect on the reader. They analyse the images and photos in the text and discuss how they add further meaning. Students compose a letter from the perspective of a soldier or a family member back at home. View English.


History S3 thumbnail

Students investigate the contributions of Indigenous Australian servicemen in the First World War. They consider the impact of the First World War on the broader community, in particular, the changing role of women. Students also investigate schemes for returned soldiers including soldier settlements. Students investigate frontier wars in Australia. View history.


Geography S3 thumbnail

Students investigate Anzac Day events held at local, regional and global scales and the effects of the event on the places and people. Students identify global connections relating to Anzac day events and explain them through a chart or infographic. Students communicate their understandings through a mock media report. View geography.

Science and technology

Science S3 thumbnail

Students construct simple electrical circuits incorporating a switch and globe. Students use the switch to send a Morse code message that uses flashes of light. Students label a diagram of their electrical circuit explaining its operation. They state how scientific understanding about electricity was applied to its use during the First World War. View science and technology.

Visual Arts

Visual arts S3 thumbnail

Students investigate a range of techniques to explore how war artists created their artworks. They create an artwork inspired by the works of a war artist. Students also view images of underwater First World War wreckage and consider the effects of time and water. They explore filters and effects by digitally manipulating a selection of images. View visual arts.


Music S3 thumbnail

Students compose a soundscape using graphic or traditional notation in response to the images of underwater First World War wreckage. View music.


Drama S3 thumbnail

Students explore life-sized puppets and their movements in trailers of the stage show, War Horse. They explore the use of design, sound design, music and lighting in creating the dramatic elements of mood, tension and contrast. Students explore and perform their own stories about horses using simple puppetry. View drama.