Best resources for Anzac Day in primary schools
Enrich your lesson plans with historically accurate information and excellent primary sources. You can download free books and classroom activities from our site.
Education specialists and historians who work at the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) have prepared these materials to present the stories and images of people who have served Australia in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
Hard copies of many of our books and resources should be available in your school library. Contact us at email@example.com to request hard copies for your school.
Why We Remember: P-3 Commemoration presentation
We created a presentation slide deck to explain the difference between 'celebration' and 'commemoration' to lower primary students. It explores the terms 'remember', 'celebration' and 'commemoration', activities related to Anzac Day and Remembrance Day, and the symbols of commemoration in Australia.
Here They Come: A Day to Remember series
Big picture book
We published the ‘big book’ to help lower primary students develop an understanding of commemoration.
It explores different characters and their perspectives on Anzac Day. Balancing fictional characters, stylised illustrations and photographs, the book teaches students that Anzac Day is:
- significant to many Australians for many reasons
- an important part of Australian community life
- a respectful event containing commemorative traditions and symbols
The big book and its supporting educational materials align to the Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS).
Key concepts in the text include: commemoration, identity and diversity, citizenship and civic participation, community values, connections to the past, symbols, service and sacrifice.
We created two digibooks that are easy to use on a smartboard or tablet:
We created a 7-minute animation to visually tell the story of the big book, as well as 8 short videos that explore the symbols of commemoration. The short videos are narrated by Australian author and cartoonist, Warren Brown.
Each video is available to watch and share on YouTube, or to download as an MP4 file.
Classroom activity booklet
These activities teach students to understand and appreciate the concept of commemoration and to broaden their knowledge of Australia’s wartime experiences.
By exploring a range of possible perspectives, students will come to understand why Australians:
- choose to commemorate
- observe Anzac Day as a day of national significance
- remember the impact of war on Australian communities.
Century of Service series
In the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, there are 15 stained-glass windows. Each shows a figure dressed in military uniform, and under each figure is a word that describes a quality displayed by Australians during wartime. This series of books was inspired by those qualities.
- Ancestry—Stories of multicultural Anzacs
- Audacity—Stories of heroic Australians in wartime
- Candour—Stories in the words of those who served 1914—18
- Comradeship—Stories of friendship and recreation in wartime
- Control—Stories of Australian peacekeeping and humanitarian operations
- Curiosity—Stories of those who report during wartime
- Decision—Stories of Leadership in the Services
- Devotion—Stories of Australia's Wartime Nurses
- Resource—Stories of innovation in wartime
- Patriotism—Stories from the Australian home front during the Second World War
Other great resources for primary school students
- Australians on the Western Front: A Resource for Primary and Secondary Schools
- Chinese Anzacs
- Forever Yours
- Indigenous Service: A Resource for Primary Schools
- Investigating Gallipoli: A Resource for Primary Schools
- Keeping the Peace: Investigating Australia’s Contribution to Peacekeeping
- M is for Mates: Animals in Wartime from Ajax to Zep
- Schooling, Service and the Great War
- We Remember Anzac: A Resource for Primary Schools