Nan the mascot

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

Goat, mascot of the New Zealand Engineers, by Henry Sanders, 1918.

Goat, mascot of the New Zealand Engineers, by Henry Sanders, 1918. Alexander Turnbull Library, reference 1/2-013133-G

Context 

A mascot is a person, animal, or object thought to bring good luck. There are numerous examples of soldiers in the First World War adopting animals as mascots. Many of these animals helped to boost morale and provided companionship and comfort during dark times. 

Key questions 

  • What can we observe? 
  • What do we already know? 
  • How might people view this image in different ways? 

Possible discussion questions 

  • What can you observe in the photographs? 
  • What is a mascot? 
  • Why might a mascot have been important to soldiers in the First World War? 
  • Where might you see a mascot being used today? 
  • Do you have a special animal, toy, or object that makes you feel better when you are sad, worried, or scared?
  • TS
  • Print.
  • Share.