Saturday, 4 April 2015

ANZAC Day - Learning Options

Each year of our homeschooling (and even before), this day was spent remembering. Watching the Anzac Day Services and the March, eating Anzac biscuits, reading and watching Anzac/war movies and documentaries. 

This year will be no different. 

Below I have listed things we've done that all tie in with Anzac Day, so if you are in need of ideas on things to do with your children this year in the lead up to Anzac Day or on the day itself then I hope this helps.

In the lead up to Anzac Day we've been watching the TV mini series "Gallipoli".  It's been very eye opening for my son to watch, and while not 'pretty' and won't suit a younger audience, I think if a child can cope with watching Harry Potter movies then this is ok. It's also been great to cement what we've learnt in the past and brings up questions for us to research and learn more. You can view the extended trailer for the show here

The first book I ever read Warrior Kid about Anzac Day was "My Grandad Marches on Anzac Day".  Despite it being a picture book designed for younger children, it's a book we still love to read.  Maybe it's the tradition of it.
This year we have a lot more books to read.  My book obsession has meant that section of our growing library has filled out a little more than I realised!  

Books to read this year include:
The Red Poppy
The Anzac Puppy
50 Things You Should Know About the First World War

Australia's Air Force: The Story of the RAAF
Australia's Navy
Australia's Army

I also have a great list of books for the older or more advanced reader. These are chapter books and aimed at Middle to Upper Primary and High School ages. 

One year we took a box of memorabilia items that were from our families collection, to a get together with other homeschool families. We have quite a few family members from both sides of our families that fought in the wars past and something the men in the family have a passion for passing on and adding to the collection.  It was nice to show and share with other children and let them examine things in their own time and be able to connect by physically touching items.

It was a day that my son remembers well. Each year he goes through the items that we have and asks about the medals and what each was for and who each belonged to. There is a lot of things that can wait till he is older, like war records and papers, things that are very detailed and can be understood better as he gets older so the boxes of items always holds something new of interest each year.  

Many Libraries as well as the RSL Clubs have displays that you can go and see, so you don't have to miss out on the experience of getting up close to memorabilia and have a learning experience and I find them great at helping the younger kids connect. 

Australia Post offices also currently sell commemorative items this year.  There is an Anzac Penny, a medal containing sand from Gallipoli, and more. 

Other things we do in the lead up to Anzac Day, is some work from an RIC Publications workbook called Anzac Day.  These photos were taken a few years ago, but show some simple activities to do with the kids.  

RIC Publications have just released a new workbook on Anzac Day which seems aimed at a slightly older age group and has some great maps. The beauty of RIC's website is that you can view the books before you buy them! Click here to check out the new workbook. 

Another great workbook type activity can be downloaded free from 'Our Worldwide Classroom'.  If you check out their blog you will see samples of the pages in the download. It's very well put together and an easy activity for the kids, with little to no preparation on your end.  Click on "Our Worldwide Classroom - Free Printable Anzac Unit" to view the unit samples and download it. 

Throughout the year father and son spend many day trips out at Army Base Open Days and Air Force Museums, climbing in and out of air craft and tanks, looking at equipment and watching live displays. This is 'memorabilia come to life' in many ways so for the hands on child, this is a fun day out and another learning tool. 

These are the kind of hands on activities that my son loves and learns from the most. These are also days that Mummy gets some time to herself as the boys go adventuring.  If you are looking for something to do to learn about our Defence Force, Anzac Day, the Wars, Technology and Machinery then these kinds of places are fantastic. 

Of course what Anzac day would be complete without Anzac Biscuits?  They are a favourite in our house. So it's only to be expected that baking Anzac Biscuits on or around the day is a great activity to do. Do like your Anzac biscuits to be crunchy and hard or slightly crisp on the outside and nice and soft in the middle? 

Documentaries and DVD's:
They are also great snacks to have when watching documentaries and DVD's!  This year we have a new box set to add to our collection.  It's an 8 DVD set called World War II and is a documentary series that uses original authentic footage from the War.  (Also pictured is the book mentioned in the reading section called "50 Things You Should Know About The First World War")

I hope that this has given you a few ideas ready for Anzac Day and I hope you've enjoyed seeing the ways we learn about this day.

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