Teaching Resources

War Memorials


New Zealanders' War Involvement

The First World War had a significant impact on New Zealand society. Many traditions were altered and abandoned to fit changing times of the 1920s and nowhere is this more evident than in our cemeteries. A visit to any heritage cemetery, whether a large city cemetery, or a small rural community cemetery, is to come face to face with the terrible loss that was experienced by families between 1914 and 1918. From 1939 to 1945 further loss was experienced by many families.

There are many forms of memorialisation of the war evident in our communities that can be used to great effect by teachers to deepen student's understandings of the complex events of these times. The following units and resources provide ideas for connecting students today with New Zealand's war heritage in meaningful ways.

A good introduction to the following resources and units is Introducing Memorials (PDF file. Download size is 1.8Mb). This is a slideshow to be used by teachers with their classes.

Resource Set 1(Primary): (Levels 3 and 4)

Teaching Unit: Using School and Community War Memorials (pdf file size 4Mb)
This teaching unit contains a feast of ideas and suggestions for using your local cemetery, roll of honour boards, the local war memorial and local soldiers cemetery for an indepth study that would be an ideal ANZAC day study for any school with access to any of these community memorials. This English unit contains ideas and suggestions for teaching activities as well as internet links for students to investigate information about local men who served and died in the two World Wars.

Students are encouraged to contribute local information to online history resources, and establish a neighbourhood ANZAC trail for their school linking previous pupils of the school killed in action and buried overseas with local memorials. Students can visit each ANZAC day with poppies and tidy the graves of those involved.

Using School and Community War Memorials: The Anderson's Bay Community (pdf file size 5.5Mb)
This is essentially the same unit as the more generic unit above. The unit is set in the context of Anderson's Bay and incorporates activities for the school memorials, the beautiful Arthur's Seat community memorial on Otago Peninsula, and the memorials and graves at the local cemetery.

Resource Set 2 (Secondary): (Levels 4 and 5)
Otago Boys' High School Memorial Archway and Cemetery Trails (PDF File Download size 7Mb)

This resource links the Otago Boys' High School Memorial Archway with two of Dunedin's heritage cemeteries. Several trails have been developed linking some of the men listed on the archway plaques to actual family headstones in the Northern and Southern Cemeteries.

Photo-story: Otago Boys' High School ANZAC Memorial Service (PDF File Download size 1.7Mb).
This resource is also available in Powerpoint presentations. Click on OBHS ANZAC Service.ppt (Compatible for Microsoft Powerpoint 2004 - PDF File Download size 4.1Mb) and OBHS ANZAC Service.pptx (Compatible for Microsoft Powerpoint 2007- PDF File Download size 3Mb).

This is a photostory that supports the OBHS cemetery and archway trails activities and feaures the 2008 Memorial ANZAC service held for the senior boys of the school to commemorate those killed in action or those who died from wounds in both wars.

Tell us about how you investigated your war memorial!

If your class investigates your school war memorial and local cemetery let us know about it. Email your story or article along with your own photographs or send as a Word file to Stewart Harvey and we will share your project with others on this website!