As Australian and New Zealanders we are born and bred to understand the significance of ANZAC Day to our two nations. A day to stop and remember all the soldiers fallen and returned that have fought battles in all too many wars for our great nations and kept our shores safe. We live in peace and harmony because of these great men and women that sacrificed themselves for us. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts and we remember them with gratitdue and fondness.
There are however members of a younger generation still to learn and develop a respect and understanding that comes with knowledge. I wanted to provide a list of reading material suitable for kids of varying ages and abilities, but decided it was better if they were read with a parent anyway, so ability level doesn't quite come into it as much as I originally pondered. I found this great site linked below titled "kid size living" which not only lists some brilliant ANZAC Day books, but gives a brief synopsis of each book as well. Among them are "A Day to Remember - the Story of ANZAC Day" by Jackie French ,(one of my favourite authors), and "Why Are They Marching Daddy?" by Di Burke. A great book that not only discusses war and its consequences both good and bad but also our reasons for commemorating on April 25th. The list is definately worth a look at and consider worth buying one or two books to read to/with your children.
Another site that lists a number of different books of varying levels including chapter books for older children to read and discuss the deeper issues of war is linked below.
After that to lighten things up a little, curious little minds might be interested in finding out about their ancestry. Do they have a grandparent, Uncle or Aunt that has been an ANZAC? Why not help them
draw up a family tree? How far back in the generations can you go? My grandfather was involved in WW11 and ao was my husbands father. I also have very dear friends whose son has completed two tours of Afghanistan. It doesn't take very long to think of people we know who have experienced war. It touches our lives in so many ways.
Another great family activity that also includes reading is making traditional ANZAC bisuits. Following a procedure (or recipe) is loads of fun and yummy too! ANZAC biscuits were sent to our troops in WW1 due to the fact that they had excellent keeping properties.
1 cup plain flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup desicated coconut
125g soft butter or margarine
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1. Sift the flour into a bowl. Add sugar, oats and coconut.
2. Melt butter in saucepan, add the golden syrup and water.
3. Stir the bicarb into the liquid mixture.
4, Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
5. Using a teaspoon drop small balls of mixture on a greased oven tray and bake at 175C for 15-20 minutes.
6. Biscuits will harden when cool.
Note: If you like your ANZACs a little crunchier, add a little more golden syrup.
I use to cook these when we lived in Thailand for our International school's Harmony Day. They were always a great treat, but for some reason my oven always made them spread so that they appeared lace-like around the edges. I could never work out why? They looked great though. :)
The very first writing competition I ever won was for a poem I wrote about ANZAC Day when I was sixteen years old. I would have loved to share it here but I was young and foolish back then and didn't realise the significance of it at the time. Over the years I let it get lost. I've tried to write to the NSW RSL to see if they have a copy in their archives but have never had any response. The lesson here is never throw away any of your writing, keep it safe!
Hope you found something of interest here.
Have an ANZAC story or poem you would like to share?
Maybe write one about this years commemorations.
I'd love to read it. Add it below.
Remember...have fun reading. :)