Sunday, 27 March 2016

Fresh ideas for ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day is commemorated in Australia on 25 April, when we honour and pay tribute to those who fought in wars to protect our country and our futures.

When I was putting together this bundle to support the reading comprehension of three ANZAC picture books, I was moved with great pride for the soldiers who fought in these battles, but also for the dogs that served beside them during World War 1.

There are 59 pages (including title pages and credits) in this bundle to support the comprehension of these three ANZAC picture books.  

You can view an overview of the contents of each of the resources included in the bundle, through the images below, via this link, or by clicking on the image above to view a YouTube preview video of the resource.

My friend, Nikki Tester from Ocean View Learning Resources, taught me today how to make a preview of a resource in Powerpoint and then upload it to YouTube with music.  

I am pretty proud of my very first attempt. You can view it and preview of my ANZAC Day bundle here or by clicking on the cover image above.

It was only when I was putting together the resource that I realised that all three picture books feature characters from the New Zealand troops who fought in World War 1.

The first picture book is, "The ANZAC Puppy" by Peter Millet.  This is the true story of Freda, a dalmatian and the mascot of the New Zealand Rifles during World War 1. You can view a read-aloud of the story by clicking on the read-aloud hyperlink.

"The Red Poppy" by David Hill, features New Zealand's involvement in the battles  of the Western Front, in France, through the eyes of the main character, Jim, with Nipper who is the messenger dog.    

Instructions for how to make a red poppy pin are included in the bundle.  A YouTube demonstration about how to make a memorial poppy is available here.  

Finally, I selected "Caesar the ANZAC Dog" as my third picture book within the bundle.  It more suited to the middle years (or upper years of primary school).  

Caesar is a very famous dog now in New Zealand and the picture book is based on a true story.  

Caesar, the bulldog, was the mascot for the Rifle Brigade.  Caesar worked during the Battle of Somme in 1916 as a Red Cross dog, helping to rescue injured soldiers.  
His official collar is held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum and visitors may purchase a soft toy version of Caesar, complete with a replica of his official collar.
What I learnt from putting this resource together, is that not only did our soldiers show courage and bravery during World War 1, but so did the canines (dogs) who worked beside them.  Sara Holton reminds us of this and the important role that dogs played in War on YouTube.

Author Stephen Dando-Collins speaks about some of the War dogs that inspired his writing of "Caesar the War Dog" which is a different story to the one above.  This version is based on an Australian War dog serving in Afghanistan that worked as an explosive detection dog and became a special forces dog.  You can view this interview here.

The bundle (resource) I created, includes higher order thinking reading comprehension activities for the
three ANZAC picture books mentioned above and includes:

  • Synonym snap game
  • Adjectives cut & paste activity
  • Character traits
  • Story mapping
  • de Bono's thinking hats
  • Philosophy for children reflection - empathy, courage & enemies
  • The Four Resources Model & close reading teaching notes
  • Figurative language (personification & similes)
  • Song lyrics
  • How to make a poppy pin
  • Compare & contrast Venn diagrams (including a triple Venn)
  • QR code comprehension questions
  • Mapping
  • Close reading - Dogs at War
  • Research & information report scaffold and links...and much more!
You may also be interested in my friend Nikki's new resource for ANZAC Day.  You can preview this resource here or by clicking on the image below:
To find out more about this resource, click on this link here.

Make sure you also check out Nikki's resource on first and second hand accounts of events in Australia. It is just brilliant for close reading, higher order thinking in reading comprehension and critical literacy. You can find this resource here or by clicking on the image on the right.  Find out about Nikki's other very popular resources here.

So, this ANZAC Day, when we say, "Lest we forget", let's remember our canine friends who fought beside their handlers or owners with determination, courage and bravery.  
"We will remember them."

Other teaching colleagues from Australia or New Zealand are more than welcome to share a link to their ANZAC Day teaching resources in the comments section below (choose one your favourite or most popular link to share).

More ANZAC Day resources from Aussie or NZ teachers are available using these links:

MontessorikiwiANZAC Day Scavenger HuntANZAC Day Flip Book

Tech Teacher Pto3
ANZAC Day Activity Pack - Craft, Word Search, Worksheets, Posters and more !

Lest we forget image sourced from here.


  1. What a brilliant resource, Kylie!! I love the YouTube preview, as well! The dog tie-in for each of these books is a great hook for students-the triple Venn diagram is terrific! Another home run!

  2. Thanks so much Joy - your feedback means the world to me as I know what an awesome teacher you are :)

  3. I have these 2 ANZAC resources available to use. An ANZAC scavenger hunt: and ANZAC day flip book

    1. Terrific resources Lisa - I have added the links to the bottom of the blog post. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  4. What a resource, everything you could want plus more!

  5. Thanks so much Anne - I had fun putting it together and I have made my first video previews of my ANZAC resources for children's picture books:

    ANZAC Ted - higher order thinking and reading comprehension preview

    ANZAC Day bundle - Dogs in WW1 - reading comprehension resources for three picture books

    Thanks so much for your lovely feedback :)