Commemorating Anzac through engaging learning

English Stage 1


Three elderly men march down the street. You can see that one is wearing medals. They are followed by a youth wearing an army uniform. People line the street.

Sydney 2015 Anzac Day March

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.

Teaching and learning activities

A group of men wearing medals march along a street as people watch from behind barricades.

Anzac Day Parade, Sydney, 2013

Anzac Day Parade by Glenda Kane and Lisa Allen

This story provides a poignant look at war through the eyes of a former member of the 18th Battalion. It takes place on Anzac Day, when an elderly man and a young boy meet. The young boy is wide-eyed and wanting to hear the glories of war and death; the elderly man is quietly sad to remember the reality of what was faced.

  • Read the story and discuss personal responses to the text. How did the story make you feel? Did you share the same feelings as your classmates? Why do we have different reactions/responses to stories?

  • How was the story told? Why did the characters share a different perspective?

  • Discuss how both characters have been portrayed. What has the author done to help us understand these characters?

  • Encourage students to make connections to the character and events.

  • Compose a description of the Anzac Day parade from the point of view of an onlooker. Include a personal response—how did you feel about the march?

Other Texts

Archie’s War: My Scrapbook by Marcia Williams

Anzac Biscuits by Phil Cummings

Lone Pine by Susie Brown and Margaret Warner

Three images from the Australian Comforts Fund image gallery

Three images from the Australian Comforts Fund image gallery

  1. Compose a scrapbook including letters, diary entries, cartoon sequences and mementos from your local area as if you were living during the period 1914–1918. Refer to the Australian Comforts Fund image gallery (accessible from Experiences > Patriotic Support) or view the links to the image gallery – sources.

  • Respond to advertisements and timeline images for Vegemite, Aeroplane Jelly and Arnott’s biscuits, and discuss purpose, audience and language use.

  • Compose a poem about the lone pine.

Learning concepts

These additional questions can be used for discussion or further investigations.


Discuss the challenges that the elderly man experienced during the war and after the war. Why is it important that these stories are told?


Discuss how the elderly man’s life had changed due to the war. What affect had these changes had on the soldiers and their families? How did the boy’s perceptions of war change after his talk with the elderly man?


How is community represented in the story?


How did the author address the importance of remembrance?

Syllabus links

EN1-8B recognises that there are different kinds of texts when reading and viewing and shows an awareness of purpose, audience and subject matter

Respond to and compose texts

  • respond to a range of literature and discuss purpose and audience

EN1-10C thinks imaginatively and creatively about familiar topics, ideas and texts when responding to and composing texts

Engage personally with texts

  • recognise the way that different texts create different personal responses

EN1-11D responds to and composes a range of texts about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences

Respond to and compose texts

  • predict and discuss ideas drawn from picture books and digital stories

Respond to and compose texts

  • respond to a range of texts, eg short films, documentaries and digital texts, that include issues about their world, including home life and the wider community