Why We Remember: P-3 Commemoration presentation

Cover image

Presentation slide deck for teachers of P-3 students in Australia. Designed 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. This resource aligns with the history content descriptors in the Australian Curriculum for Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS).

Teacher notes

The PowerPoint and related activities are suitable for use in lower primary classrooms. They are designed to align with the history content descriptors in the Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences.

Note

  • All aspects of the slides will transition with the click of the mouse so that teachers have control over the conversation and how quickly the class moves through the slides.
  • The PowerPoint is designed to evoke class discussion and for students to share their experiences.
  • The celebrations and commemorations included in this package have been kept as generic as possible. Please adjust the content if your class has specific cultural or religious celebrations and commemorations which should be acknowledged.

Slide 1: Introduction

Concepts to explore with the students:

  • Remember - this might be a new word for students, explore its meaning
  • Photo - What is happening in the photo? What do students see in the photo?
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs logo - What is a logo? What does it mean? For older students you could introduce them to the work of the Department: Overview of DVA

Slide 2: Celebration

Intention: To help students understand that a symbol on its own could represent many different things but when combined with other symbols it helps us recognise a celebration or commemoration.

  • Each image will appear after a click of the mouse:
    1. Present - Ask students to name the image. When do we give presents? When do we receive presents?
    2. Balloons - Ask students to name the image. When do we see balloons? For example, parties, fetes, festivals, at shops, markets, graduations etc.
    3. Cake - Ask students to name the image. When do we eat cake? Do we only eat cake when we are celebrating something? Is there a clue in the image as to what type of cake it is?
    4. Friends - Ask students to identify what is happening in the image? Look at all the images and symbols on the screen. What do they tell us about the type of celebration that is happening?
    5. Happy Birthday - Can they read the image? Did they guess correctly? Sometimes a symbol can be words.
  • Each of these symbols on their own could represent a number of celebrations but together they reflect a birthday.
  • Ask the students how they celebrate their birthdays. Some families may not celebrate birthdays but may celebrate a naming day or in other ways.

Slide 3: Celebration description

Intention: To understand what a celebration is.

  • Explore the definition of a celebration.
  • Emotions, feelings and actions at a celebration are very different to those experienced at a commemoration. Helping students to identify the emotions and actions at a celebration will help them understand how it differs to a commemoration in a later slide.

Slide 4: Types of celebrations

Intention: To identify different types of celebrations.

  • Look at each image separately and discuss type of celebration and the symbols they see.
  • Depending on the social, cultural and religious influences in your school community you could include Chinese New Year, Australia Day, Harmony Day, Ramadan, Eid, Christmas Day, Easter, Baptism, Name Day or days specific to your state or area, like Ekka.

Slide 5: Commemoration description

Intention: To understand what a commemoration is.

  • Ask students if they know what a commemoration is. For younger students discuss that it is a big word but they will be able to recognise it for this lesson because of its beginning sounds. For younger students this is only an introduction to the word commemoration.
  • The photo is of an Anzac Day commemoration ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Slide 6: Anzac Day and Remembrance Day

Intention: To recognise aspects of a commemorative ceremony.

  • Two of Australia’s most recognised commemorative dates are Anzac Day on 25 April and Remembrance Day on 11 November. On these days, Australians pause to remember the men and women who have served in Australia’s Defence Forces in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
  • The images on this slide are from the DVA produced book Here they come-A day to remember, a lower Primary big book with related videos and activities about Anzac Day. Please email education@dva.gov.au if you would like a copy of the book.
  • Each image will appear after the click of the mouse. Ask students if they can identify what is happening in each image. Generate a discussion that identifies the commemorative symbols in each image – these will be discussed further on the next slide.
    1. Memorial and wreath
    2. Marching band and child on fathers shoulders watching the parade
    3. Service man playing the bugle

Slide 7: Commemorative symbols

Intention: To recognise symbols of commemoration.

  • Discuss that we have symbols in all aspects of our life. Common symbols students will see at school are during an assembly. They include the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags or the school logo. If you teach in a faith based school then you could discuss symbols used in religious ceremonies.
  • Lead the conversation to help students understand that a symbol is a thing or object that represents or stands for something else. It can be an object that has special meaning and is often used in commemorations.
  • We use symbols to commemorate Australia’s wartime history because one symbol can represent many men and women who have served or are serving in the Australian Defence Force.
  • Each image will appear after the click of the mouse. Ask the students to identify each symbol as it appears. Have they seen these symbols before? Where? When? (Background information about each symbol can be found on the last page of this document.)
    1. Poppy
    2. Wreath
    3. Medals
    4. Memorials
    5. Rosemary
  • For some students they will have seen these symbols in assembly (particularly Anzac Day and Remembrance Day), at a memorial service, on TV, while visiting a war memorial, or in connection with a member of their family in the defence forces.

Slide 8: Commemorative symbols

Intention: To recognise that symbols of commemoration include music and silence.

  • Sometimes a symbol can be a sound that we associate specifically with a commemoration or event. This can include the National Anthem, or a special piece of music reserved for commemorative events such as the Last Post. The symbols we hear or don’t hear are just as important as the ones we see.
  • Listen to the clip of the Last Post played on the bugle. Have the students heard it before? Where? How did listening to it make them feel?
  • Following the Last Post, introduce the One Minute’s Silence. Before this, explain the appropriate way for people to behave. For some students this might be challenging and seem like a very long time.

Slide 9: Poppy

Intention: To recognise and understand the poppy as a symbol of commemoration.

  • Watch the short video about red poppies as a symbol of commemoration. Do students think they would recognise this flower now? If you are preparing for Anzac Day or Remembrance Day you may choose to make, draw or create your own red poppies in class.
  • This video is part of the series created to support the big book Here they come-A day to remember.

Note: to help students understand what is happening in the photos before comparing them, we have presented each photo individually on slides 10 and 11. They appear side by side on slide 12 for the comparison.

Slide 10: Photos of commemorative events

Intention: To examine a photo of a commemorative event from the 1920s.

  • This black and white photo (AWM H16147) is courtesy of the Australian War Memorial collection. The photo shows men of the cruiser HMAS Australia marching north along Macquarie Street during peace celebrations in 1919.
  • Generate a discussion that identifies what is happening in this photo. What do you notice about the photo? Can you identify any symbols in the photo?

Slide 11: Photos of commemorative events

Intention: To examine a photo of a commemorative events taken recently.

  • This photo was taken more recently, during an Anzac day service in 2012. Representatives of the Navy, Army and Air Force place wreaths at the Stone of Remembrance during the National Service at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
  • Generate a discussion that identifies what is happening in this photo. What do you notice about the photo? Can you identify any symbols in the photo?

Slide 12: Photos of commemorative events

Intention: To compare two photos of commemorative events.

  • Anzac Day and Remembrance Day commemorative events are steeped in history. By comparing the two photos help students develop an understanding that, although they were taken years apart, there are some similarities. Generate a discussion that identifies what is happening in each image and the symbols in each one.

Slide 13: Memorials

Intention: To recognise a memorial as a symbol of commemoration.

  • Watch the short video about memorials as a symbol of commemoration. Help students identify your local memorial. Have students visited this memorial either at Anzac Day, Remembrance Day or with their family? Have they seen memorials in other towns or cities?
  • This video is part of the series created to support the big book Here they come-A day to remember.

Note: slides 14, 15 and 16 are linked.

Slide 14: Commemorative services

Intention: To recognise aspects of commemorative services.

  • Ask students if they have been to a commemorative service for Anzac Day or Remembrance Day. There are many types of commemorative services such as ones held in the classroom, a school assembly or special gathering, at a town memorial or community hall, at war memorials or on TV.
  • Ask the students to try and imagine or picture it in their minds.

Slide 15: Commemorative services

Intention: To recognise aspects of commemorative services.

  • Ask students who was at the service. Were current members of the ADF at the service? What were they wearing? Were there any veterans at the service? How did they recognise them? Were there any other important people at the service?

Slide 16: Commemorative services

Intention: To recognise aspects of commemorative services.

  • Ask students to identify other aspects of the service.
  • What do you see and hear? Describe the sounds and what you see.
  • What could you do? Do you think you would participate? Would you just watch?
  • Who else might be there? Who would you invite? Your family? Veterans? Why?

Symbols of Commemoration

Poppy - One of the most recognisable commemorative symbols.  During the First World War, red poppies grew abundantly in the battlefields of northern France and Belgium. The bright red poppies inspired the poem, In Flanders Field by Canadian doctor John McCrae. American Moina Michael wrote a poem in reply and campaigned to make the poppy a symbol of remembrance. Since 1921 poppies have been sold to raise money for veterans, are worn on Remembrance Day, placed on honour rolls and added to Anzac Day wreaths.

Wreath - In ancient Roman times wreaths of laurel were used to crown victors as a symbol of bravery, honour and strength. In ancient Greece evergreen wreaths symbolised eternal life. In more recent years, wreaths have been laid on graves and memorials in memory of the dead.

Medals - Medals are awarded to members of the Australian Defence Force for their service or actions during war, conflict or peacekeeping operations. Veterans often wear their medals to a commemorative event, such as an Anzac Day or Remembrance Day ceremony. Veterans wear their medals on the left side of their chest. A family member of a veteran may wear their relative's medals on the right side.

Memorials - Memorials provide a place for people to gather and remember those Australian men and women from the local community who are currently or who have previously served in the Australian Defence Force. Memorials may be large buildings like the Australian War Memorial in Canberra or smaller but no less significant cenotaphs, obelisks and walls. These memorials often list the wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations that members of the local community have served in, as well of the names of those who lost their lives in service. People gather at these memorials, especially for events such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.

Rosemary - Since ancient times, rosemary has been associated with improving memory and was used as a symbol of fidelity and remembrance. For Australians, rosemary is significant as it grew wild on the Gallipoli peninsula during the First World War. Sprigs of rosemary are worn as a symbol of remembrance, particularly on Anzac Day.

The Last Post - In the military, the Last Post was traditionally played on the bugle to signify the end to a day’s activities. The Last Post is also played at commemorative services and military funerals as a final farewell and to signify that those who have died can now rest in peace.

One Minute’s Silence - Explain that this is a time to reflect and remember all those people who have lost their lives in war, conflict or peacekeeping operations. The One Minute’s Silence has been part of Anzac Day and Remembrance Day ceremonies for over 100 years. For Remembrance Day the One Minute’s Silence is held at 11.00am on the 11th day of the 11th month, marking the anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting in the First World War.

Copyright

Department of Veterans' Affairs 2020

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