Remembrance Day is an important event for students and teachers and there are some fabulous resources available for use in the classroom and the library. We have collected our favourites to share with you.
This simple and easy to use website allows your students to plant a virtual poppy online and share a message about thoughts, feelings or stories they might wish to tell for Remembrance Day. There is no sign up or email required and students may make a donation if they wish, however, this is optional. What’s really special about this site is that each poppy is a click-able image with a story shared. This could make a wonderful shared or independent activity for your class, with students reading the shared stories and discussing them or reflecting in writers notebooks or on class blog pages.
The BBC has developed some incredibly comprehensive sites for teaching WW1 and WW2 stories and history. There are sites suitable for Primary and Secondary students, these have video content, photographs, news clippings, audio recordings, activities and plenty of links to further research and reading.
Billy Young was a boy of 15 when he joined the AIF in 1941. He was an orphan – hungry, broke, with nowhere to sleep – and the army offered him a feed, a blanket and five shillings a day in his pocket.
The trouble was, the army sent him off to Malaya where he became a POW when Singapore fell to the Japanese. From Changi, ‘Billy the Kid’ went on to spend the rest of his teenage years in some of the most barbaric Japanese prisons: the notorious labour camp at Sandakan (from which he escaped), and solitary confinement in the horrific Outram Road prison.
Billy survived by a combination of luck, larrikin humour and native cunning, learned as a market boy growing up in Sydney during the Depression. He has lasted into old age by virtue of his extraordinary spirit.
In this powerful account of one of the youngest-ever prisoners of war, award-winning author Anthony Hill takes us into the hearts and minds of the POWs, who refused to ever wholly submit to their captors.
Most Australian have heard of Lone Pine. Too few know why.
Over four days in August 1915, Australians and Turks were thrown into some of the fiercest fighting of the war, on a small plateau in Gallipoli known as Lone Pine. Thousands of lives were lost. Seven of Australia’s nine Gallipoli VCs were earned during brutal hand-to-hand combat in dark tunnels and in trenches just metres apart, bombarded by terrifying volleys of grenades.
The Battle for Lone Pine is the first book devoted to this cornerstone of the Anzac legend, drawing on unforgettable first-hand accounts scratched into diaries and letters home. The stories of the diggers, as well as the engineers, nurses, sappers, commanders and more, provide an invaluable record of the battle and serve as moving testimony to their courage in appalling conditions.
Today, pine trees are planted in remembrance around Australia. In Gallipoli, the Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial attracts large crowds to commemorate Anzac Day. David W. Cameron’s absorbing history reveals the fate of those who fought on the ground where they gather.
Early on Christmas morning the guns stop firing. A deathly silence creeps over the pitted and ruined landscape. A young soldier peers through a periscope over the top of the trench. Way out in no-man’s-land, he sees a small red shape moving on the barbed wire. A brightly coloured robin is trapped. One wing is flapping helplessly.
An eloquent counterpoint to the senselessness and inhumanity of war, In Flanders Fields tells the story of a young homesick World War I soldier, who risks his life to cross the no-man’s land and rescue a robin caught in the barbed wire that separates the opposing forces, dug into their trenches. This moving picture book is a plea for compassion.
Here are twenty-one fascinating stories about the forgotten heroes of war: animals who have served beside Australian forces.
These are all animals that dazzle with their courage and loyalty – or sometimes just by being lovable. Whether it’s a rooster guarding his battalion during the First World War or a mine-detecting dolphin in Iraq, they make the difficult lives of soldiers so much more bearable.
Of course these are just a few of the many resources and books available, and THIS SITE is one not to be missed. Please feel free to share your favourite resources with us in the comments.