Their Stories, Our Stories

This inquiry suggests ways to explore the theme Their Stories, Our Stories.

The twelve resources presented below introduce students to a range of stories from the First World War: stories from home, the Pacific, and the battlefield. By exploring these stories, students gain insight into perspectives and experiences of people whose lives were impacted by the war.

Comparing and contrasting these stories with their own stories and with those of people within their communities makes students’ learning about the First World War meaningful and relevant. 

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. 

(external link) Watch this short video clip on Recruitment of Maori from War Stories – Episode Two.

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

Arras Tunnel (external link) Watch this short video clip on Arras Tunnels from War Stories – Episode Three.

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

Teeth (external link) Watch this short video clip on Teeth from War Stories – Episode Five.

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

Additional Their Stories, Our Stories resources

Years 1-4

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Childhood during the First World War

Students examine photographs from the early 1900s and imagine what life was like for children 100 years ago living in New Zealand.

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Nan the mascot

Students learn about animals that provided companionship and comfort to soldiers during the First World War. 

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Pigeon Mail

Students learn about a carrier pigeon that saved the lives of 194 men by successfully delivering a soldier’s desperate message.   

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Postcards

Students learn about an efficient way for First World War soldiers to send messages home. 

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The Donkey Man

The Donkey Man tells the story of Lieutenant Richard Alexander “Dick” Henderson of the New Zealand Medical Corps and his donkey, Roly. 

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Torty the tortoise

Students learn about the only living survivor of the First World War in New Zealand: a 200-year-old tortoise called Torty. 

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Years 5-8

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A dental record

A soldier’s dental record reveals a story of national tooth decay that led to the formation of the School Dental Service. 

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Gallipoli war diary

Excerpts from the war diary of Rikihana Carkeek provide insight into the tumultuous experiences of a soldier at Gallipoli.   

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Letter to Henry Nicholas

An interactive comic strip based on a letter that was never received contrasts the experiences of a soldier at war with those of a young...

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Recruitment poster

A First World War recruitment poster uses an image of Tūmatauenga to encourage Māori to enlist. But what stories of inequality and discrimination does the...

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Tunnelling at Arras

The tunnels created by the New Zealand Tunnelling Company in Arras, France were rediscovered in 1990. Until recently, the stories of the men who made...

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White feather

A newspaper tells the story of a man who is given two symbolic offerings in a single day: the first for valour, the second as...

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