Truth and Fiction

The First World War inquiry guides below, suggests ways for students to explore the theme Truth and Fiction by investigating the nature and use of information during the First World War.

The six “hooks” presented in the initial I Wonder stage of each guide introduce students to a range of information relating to conflicting perspectives and truths. This information may have originally been either publicly available (for example, as posters, pamphlets, speeches, cartoons, propaganda, photos, or letters) or withheld from the public.

Students investigate how accurate and valid the information is, determine what its purpose is, and consider how what is thought of as true changes over time.

Conscientious Objectors (external link) Watch this short video clip on Conscientious Objectors from War Stories – Episode Three.

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

Additional Truth and Fiction resources

Years 9-10

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Field postcard

This hook provides an example of how government censorship during the First World War limited what soldiers could say and what the general public could...

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Freedom and censorship

This hook presents an anticonscription poster created by Tom Barker, a key member of an organisation called the Industrial Workers of the World. The IWW...

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Lions led by donkeys?

This hook discusses one of the more controversial figures of the First World War, General Douglas Haig, who ordered the allied forces’ Somme offensive in...

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Propaganda

This hook presents a photograph of four New Zealand soldiers in a front line trench, posing beneath a sign that reads “The Cannibals Paradise Supply...

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Returned New Zealand soldiers

This hook provides images of soldiers wounded during the war. As a result of their injuries, many New Zealand soldiers needed an artificial limb, and...

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War poem

This hook presents a poem that was published in the Free Lance, a Wellington newspaper, in August 1915. The message of “The Mother” is clear:...

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Years 11-13

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Adventure and aftermath

This hook contrasts a patriotic speech by the 1914 Mayor of Auckland, extolling the glories of war, with the grim realities recorded as a diary...

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Conscientious objectors

This hook presents a painting about the New Zealander Archibald Baxter, a conscientious objector who was subjected to harsh military punishment because he refused to...

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Freedom and censorship

This hook provides an example of how government censorship during and after the First World War limited what soldiers could say and what the general...

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Propaganda

This hook presents a propaganda poster that was used to encourage men from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and India to support the British Empire by...

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The art of commemoration

This hook presents a painting in which the ghosts of soldiers who had died on the beaches of Belgium are gathered as they listen to...

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The landing at Anzac Cove

This hook presents a photograph and a painting of the landing at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, on 25 April 1915.

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