Transcript of "Teaching australian wartime history"
Nuriootpa High School
World War 1 at Year 9
World War 2 at Year 10
Premier’s Anzac Spirit School Prize and the
Nuriootpa High School has approximately 850 students
We are a country High School but close enough to Adelaide for
day trip excursions
History has been offered as an elective from Year 9 onwards and
is one of our most popular subjects
We trialled Australian Curriculum: History in 2010 and 2011 with
a particular focus on Year 10
We have a number of History specialists though need to rely on
We have a great relationship with our local RSL branch.
Every year we do a special Anzac Day assembly and a
Remembrance Day assembly
We have a memorial to ex-students who were killed in WWII.
Recently a ex-student was killed in Afghanistan.
Teaching Wartime History
Students are interested. “Most Australian History
might be boring but our wartime history isn’t.”
Develops historical empathy
Some great resources, especially online and
through the DVA
Great competitions like the Premier’s Anzac Spirit
and Simpson Prizes
Core Content – Year 9 WWI, Year 10 WWII
World War 1 as an accident
Why did the driver hit the tree?
Was it mostly because of the kangaroo, the
sun, the bend in the road or because he wasn’t
paying attention? Of course, if the tree wasn’t
there, he wouldn’t have hit it!
Which of these causes is short term and
which is long term?
Have a go!
Can you come up with your own analogy to explain the
multiple causes of World War 1? For an added
complication, try to include the effects as well.
Any incident will do, it just needs a number of causes
Think about the different sorts of causes, what might
be short and long term? What causes are
Social/Cultural? Economic? Political?
Boardgame (or Computer) simulation of European
Some of the advantages
It allows students to experience the MAIN causes of
WWI directly – Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism and
It teaches them some European geography
There are some interesting lessons to be learnt about
human nature, teamwork and negotiation skills
The game in action
Turkey planning their next move
Students use mobile phones to
take pictures of the map, plan what
they will do and then try to
convince at least some of the other
countries to go along with it!
A useful video that explains the rules in nine minutes
https://www.academia.edu ‘Teaching Diplomacy by other means’
Some examples and articles about how you might use an online
Diplomacy game in class
Family History: ‘In their Footsteps’ Project (Stage 2)
Creative Works Presentation (Stage 2)
Documentaries (Stage 1)
Premier’s Anzac Spirit School Prize (Year 9/10)
Simpson Prize (Year 9/10)
Basic Research Task
You must use inquiry-based research – come up with
at least 5 questions about your topic. For example:
What did they do? What battles were they in? Who
won those battles? How many Australians died or were
wounded in that battle?
How did they die? How did they earn their medals?
Where did they serve? What was that like?
Why should they be remembered?
You must then write a letter to or from a soldier, sailor
or nurse serving overseas. Use your research to make
it seem more real.
“Five years after Atkinson’s death his mother was
sent a memorial scroll and memorial plaque and the
following year she received a Victory Medal for his
services. I think she would have rather had her son.
One document that I found while looking through
the archives that made me feel quite sad was the
permission slip from his parents consenting to him
joining the army… When Atkinson died his personal
effects were returned to his mother, there was not
very much to return, 2 electric lamps, razor strap,
shaving brush, razor, soap, woolen cap, 2 bibles,
wallet and some writing gear. Not a lot to show for
his life. From the records about conditions in the
trenches most of his belongings would have been
fairly useless in a practical sense but probably gave
him some comfort. This only adds to the sadness I
felt when exploring the life of Frederick Atkinson.”
Frank explained to his parents that had the war not ended when it did, many of the
POWs in Siam would have been shot. He describes the year of 1943 as particularly
bad especially when he and the other POWs were “driven like galley slaves and life
was a horrible misery” this comment is in reference to the way the prisoners of the
Japanese were treated in the building of the Burma-Thailand Railway. A
combination of the poor health of the prisoners, the terrain, climate and the lack
of tools and supplies would have made the labour even more horrific for prisoners.
In one particular letter (see Appendix 1) Frank describes the horrific details of
living as a prisoner of the Japanese to his parents. “They died in twos and threes
and when the cholera came as many as a dozen at a time.” The lives of many
Australian POWs were lost to the Japanese. Although Australian POWs often
experienced brutality and deprivation at the hands of the Japanese many also
recognised the importance of mateship and hope. Comparing himself to others
helped Frank realise “I’m not so badly off”. This ANZAC spirit would have been
present among many of the Australian prisoners. As ex-POW Ian Wall says, “You
lived for one another”.
As stated by the Australian War
Memorial, he is thought to be the
youngest Australian to die on
Note the age
Also the reference
Australian Curriculum asks us to focus on key questions at
each year level.
For Year 9
What were the changing features of the movements of people from 1750 to 1918?
How did new ideas and technological developments contribute to change in this
What was the origin, development, significance and long-term impact of
imperialism in this period?
What was the significance of World War I?
For Year 10
How did the nature of global conflict change during the twentieth century?
What were the consequences of World War II? How did these consequences shape
the modern world?
How was Australian society affected by other significant global events and changes in
Understanding by Design or
experiences & activities“Begin with the end in mind”
needs to occur?
What will this
learning look like?
What learning do we want?
Developing historical empathy
Understanding “historical significance”
Developing Sources Analysis skills
By the end of Year 10, students refer to key events, the actions
of individuals and groups, and beliefs and values to explain
patterns of change and continuity over time. They analyse the
causes and effects of events and developments and explain
their relative importance. They explain the context for people’s
actions in the past. Students explain the significance of events
and developments from a range of perspectives. They explain
different interpretations of the past and recognise the evidence
used to support these interpretations.
Year 10 Sources Analysis
Content link - An examination of significant events of
World War II, including the Holocaust and use of the atom
Intended to assess the following elements of the
Students explain the significance of events and development
from a range of perspectives.
Students analyse sources to identify motivations, values and
attitudes. When evaluating these sources, they analyse and
draw conclusions about their usefulness, taking into account
their origin, purpose and context.
Designed for trial – not yet fully polished!
Year 11 Documentaries
Chose any person or
explain how this
event or person was
Year 12 Creative Works
Key Area of Inquiry 2
War memorials, commemorative
ceremonies, and creative works (e.g.
art, literature, songs, photographs,
and film) as ways of remembering
Australians involved in war or
Choice of topic eg: Art, Music,
Film, specific events like the
sinking of HMAS Sydney, specific
groups like nurses or POWs
Australian Prisoners of War
Published in March 2009
Includes a collection of
Australians at War series
Australian War Memorial You Tube Channel
‘Gallipoli: The Frontline Experience’ (BBC)
ABC Kokoda (two part series)
The Fog of War You Tube Channel
Films – Beneath Hill 60, Gallipoli, The Lighthorsemen
Some other online resources
Department of Veterans Affairs resources and website list
Students take the role of a WW1 general, trying to minimise casualties and
still achieve their objectives
A interactive Canadian game that puts students in the position of an
Anzac Spirit and Simpson Prize
Year 9&10 students
Essay response – set question
Closes 17th October
Year 9&10 students
Multiple formats – research a person
Closes 26th September