Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.
Rather than read all of today’s story (it’s very long) consider just the top illustration.
- What can you learn about the fighting in Turkey in WWI? You might notice something about the uniforms, the age of the soldiers, their weapons, the place they are fighting in, or the landscape.
- Why do you think these things were so challenging for the soldiers as they coped with life in the trenches: dysentery, thirst, flies and lice? The Turkish mountains were a hot, dry location to be in. How might this have been challenging in itself? In places where it rained a lot, mud became another enemy. Can you think why a lot of mud would be so horrible?
- In the pictures of soldiers together, you can see that men serving in divisions together often became very close. Can you imagine why friendship might have been so important to them?
- Does it surprise you that for a lot of young men, the idea of going to fight overseas was really exciting? Why do you think they might have felt so enthusiastic about it? Would it be different today, if we were to face war? Why or why not?
- Visiting the battle sites of Gallipoli at Anzac Day has become very popular – so much so that the crowds there can be noisy and excitable, even during the times when there is supposed to be respectful silence. What are some good ways of paying our respects to those who endured the horrors of war, or died in war? How does your family take part in ANZAC commemorations?
Task—Poppy rock painting
Make your own special ANZAC memorial with a painted, or crayoned rock. You could use the red poppy or a white cross as a symbol.
- Hopefully you can find a smooth rock somewhere. A seashell would also work.
- As you paint or crayon, think about those who gave their lives for us.
- Place the rock somewhere special.
In the Kitchen
Is there a recipe that was special to a great-grandparent, or those of the wartime generations in your family?
You might like to cook it today and learn a little about that person. Here is our family recipe for Jack’s Tomato Soup: Jack was a cook in WWII.
- Saute half a chopped onion in a small saucepan.
- Add a tin of chopped tomatoes.
- Heat through, stirring regularly. This takes about 5 minutes.
- Add a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of sugar (optional.)
- Serve with toast and butter.
This poem by Isaac Rosenberg expresses the pain of the sacrifices endured by the war generations. Read it aloud together and listen out for the angry words Rosenberg uses. Can you figure out what Rosenberg means by the “broken tooth” in a fair mouth, or the “burnt space” through ripe fields? What is the honey and gold of a person’s life—and why has it gone?
by Isaac Rosenberg
What in our lives is burnt
In the fire of this?
The heart’s dear granary?
The much we shall miss?
Three lives hath one life—
Iron, honey, gold.
The gold, the honey gone—
Left is the hard and cold.
Iron are our lives
Molten right through our youth.
A burnt space through ripe fields
A fair mouth’s broken tooth