Commemoration

Commemoration is a way to preserve memories of significant people or events. Who and what we commemorate, and how we do so, reflect our views and values.

This inquiry explores how and why people commemorate events connected to New Zealand’s participation in the First World War, for example, through wearing poppies, visiting war memorials, and singing songs.

The twelve resources below introduce students to a range of examples like these, which are intended as starting points for students investigating and/or participating in commemorations within their own communities. 

Leaving Gallipoli (external link) Watch this short video clip on Leaving Gallipoli from War Stories – Episode One.

War News video clips courtesy of PRIME TV, The Gibson Group Ltd & NZ On Air. 

Additional Commemoration resources

Years 1-4

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Anzac Day

The students examine some images typical of what is seen during Anzac Day ceremonies in New Zealand.

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Memorial to Bess the horse

The students examine an image of a memorial that commemorates the contribution made by New Zealand horses to the First World War.

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Shared remembrance

The students study a book about how a town in France remembers the New Zealand soldiers who saved it.

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Special places

The students study an image of a memorial park where the number of trees represents the number of soldiers from this area who died during...

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The poppy

The students study an image of a poppy, which is a commonly used and understood symbol of commemoration of the First World War and other...

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Town memorial

The students view an image of a town memorial. A visit to your local town memorial would be an excellent alternative hook.

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Years 5-8

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Art and performance

A waiata composed by Sir Apirana Ngata (Ngāti Porou) that welcomed home returning Māori soldiers is still sung today.

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Ceremony of remembrance

A programme for a ceremony of remembrance at dawn on Anzac Day helps us to think about the traditions we observe on this day every...

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Shared remembrance

Three different memorials in three different countries share the same words of tribute and commemoration.

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The poppy

A cartoon challenges the viewer to take action on Poppy Day. The symbol of the poppy and the role of the RSA in commemoration are...

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Town memorials

This hook is an image of a town memorial. It has an interesting history and commemorates the First World War. A visit to your local...

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‘ie tōga

A historic ‘ie tōga gifted to Helen Clark on the occasion of her apology to the people of Samoa challenges us to think about the...

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