A Day To Remember: The Story of Anzac Day

Exploring the 2013 CBCA Short List: Picture Books

A parent and child by the memory wall of the Australian War Memorial, from the cover

Authors: Jackie French and Mark Wilson

Angus and Robertson | ISBN 978-0-7322-9360-4

Themes: ANZAC Day, World War, Australian history

Years: Australian Curriculum: English  Year 3  Year 4   Year 5. NSW Stages 2 and 3

From the publishers synopsis: Containing reference to the many places the ANZACs have fought, and the various ways in which they keep the peace and support the civilians in war-torn parts of the world today, this is a picture book that looks not only at traditions, but also the effects of war.

Codes: ACE – Australian Curriculum: English | EN – NSW English syllabus for AC:E

Unit writer: Jennifer Asha

Building field knowledge

Exploring the context of the text

  • Share and discuss symbols of ANZAC day such as the poppy, rosemary, medals, slouch hat. Search the images of the book for examples and their context.  ACELY1676   EN2–6B
  • Make note of all of the locations mentioned throughout the book and use a map to mark where ANZAC soldiers have served.  ACELY1702   EN3–3A
  • Use the book to track women’s involvement in the wars and the army. Discuss how this has changed over time and how that reflects women’s changing roles in society.  ACELY1699   EN3–8D
  • Collect ceremony order of service pamphlets and compare their elements to the history of ANZAC ceremonies explained in the book.  ACELY1692   EN2–4A
  • Compare the recipe on the last page of the book to recipes for ANZAC biscuits found in recipe books or websites. Make some biscuits and discuss why they were first made.   ACELY1686   EN2–4A

Responding to the text

  • Projection of Peace. Look closely at the style of writing used by Jackie French and ask students to look to the future and write an entry for the book for the year 2030, describing peace.  ACELY1682
  • Use drama to consolidate the meanings within the text.  Ask a group of students to create a Freeze Frame illustrating one of the dates recorded in the book. Ask students to think about the actions shown and the emotions portrayed through the images and how they might represent those things in their Freeze Frame.   ACELT1605   EN2–10C
  • Discuss the themes and issues touched on in the book. Ask students to respond personally by writing a Dylan Thomas portrait. Themes for their poems could include ‘war’, ‘peace’,‘remembering’ or ‘serving your country’.  ACELT1798   EN3–2A
  • Research how ANZAC day is commemorated at ANZAC cove or other places around the world. What are the common themes and elements?   ACELY1692   EN2–4A

Examining text structure and organisation

  • Compare the past tense of A Day To Remember to the present tense of My Grandad Marches on ANZAC day. How does the tense of each text help to serve its social purpose?    ACELA1482
  • Source newspaper articles on the theme of war from different times through history. See Additional Resources for possible sources. Compare the text structure, language choices and grammatical features of the different articles to the book. How is similar information conveyed in different contexts?   ACELY1686   EN2–4A

Examining grammar

  • Track the verbs and nouns to do with war and those to do with peace and remembrance through the book. Create a multimodal presentation combining the words found and pictorial representation of the words. Make connections between student made images and the illustrations of A Day To Remember.    ACELA1482   EN2–9B

Examining visual and multimodal features

  • Visual contact refers to the way a reader views characters in images. Contact can be made through a demand, when the character seems to look at the reader, or an offer, when the character seems to look elsewhere. Search the illustrations of A Day To Remember for offer and demand. Which is most prevalent? Why may Mark Wilson have made these choices? How does this visual element add to the meaning of the text?   ACELA1483   EN2–8B
  • Modality refers to the relative realism of  illustrations. Modality can be thought of as a scale from highly realistic to very symbolic or impressionistic. Discuss the modality of the visual text. Compare the modality to photographs of similar events. How does the level of modality help readers to absorb the meanings in the book without being too confronted?   ACELA1496   EN2–8B

Additional resources and links to other texts: Find more at the Australian War Memorial, from the Age, the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and Trove.

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