Commemorating Anzac through engaging learning

History Stage 1


Troops and civilians stand on a wharf in front of a docked ship

Queensland troops leaving on the SS Omrah for service in the First World War, 1914

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.

Teaching and learning activities

A plane lies nose down in a ditch as soldiers wait nearby and others on horseback and driving a horse and cart pass by.

A crashed aircraft and transport by horse and cart during the First World War

1. Challenge — How were people transported 100 years ago?

  • Collect and display images of different transport types from 100 years ago.

  • Use a world map or globe; identify Australia and then the area of the First World War. How did people move around from one place to another inside Australia? How did the soldiers get to the war in Europe 100 years ago?

  • Develop students’ understanding of the challenge of moving men, horses and supplies from Australia to the war in Europe, including the time taken. Also consider the challenge of transporting letters and postcards as the main form of communicating.

  • What would it have been like to have had a relative serving in the war so far away 100 years ago? Students develop a role play farewelling a family member who is heading off to war. Refer to Experiences > Perspectives tab.

2. Change — How has family life changed or remained the same over time?

What was it like going to school during the First World War in Australia?

3. Community — What aspects of the past can you see today?

  • Identify symbols of remembrance and where you will see these in the local community. What events are these symbols connected to?

  • Brainstorm symbols of remembrance, such as memorial gardens, memorial halls, plaques, rosemary bushes, pine trees, memorials, monuments, honour boards. Will other communities also use these symbols?

  • What personal items do people have to remember someone special who has died? Are these similar to the symbols to commemorate those who died in war? Refer to Personal stories: Brothers Lost under the heading Multiple losses (accessible from Why commemorate? > Impacts of war tab).

  • Use images of commemorative symbols for students to annotate with a description of their significance.

Learning concepts

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


What would it have been like to have had a relative serving in the war so far away 100 years ago?


What was it like going to school during the First World War in Australia?


What remains of the past are important to the local community? Why?


What symbols of remembrance remain in the local community?


What is the significance of the Centenary of Anzac to local communities?

Syllabus links

HT1-1 communicates an understanding of change and continuity in family life using appropriate historical terms

HT1-2 identifies and describes significant people, events, places and sites in the local community over time

HT1-4 demonstrates skills of historical inquiry and communication

Activity 1

The impact of changing technology on people's lives (ACHHK046)

  • identify examples of changing technologies in their home or community

  • discuss the similarities and differences of technology from the past through a range of sources and sequence them over time

Activity 2

Differences and similarities between students' daily lives and life during their parents' and grandparents' childhoods, including family traditions, leisure time and communications (ACHHK030)

  • discuss similarities and differences from generation to generation, for example, family celebrations and traditions, leisure activities and changes in technology/communications over time through a range of sources

Activity 3

The importance today of an historical site of cultural or spiritual significance; for example, a community building, a landmark, a war memorial (ACHHK045)

  • identify an historical site or sites in the local community. Discuss their significance, why these sites have survived and the importance of preserving them