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Posts Tagged ‘ANZAC’

Like a lot of things, ANZAC Day has taken on a different shape and form this year.

As Week 3 looms, you might be feeling a distinct lack of energy for planning this long weekend. Below are some ideas for remote teaching and learning about ANZAC Day – relevant, timely and ready to go.

My short film viewing lessons are for junior secondary/Year 11. The links at the end take you to sites with a compilation of ideas/resources which also feature ideas for younger learners.

The short film Falling Sparrows (directed by Murray Keane) is available on the NZ On Screen website. You might need to supply students with a resource around film terms first. They could make a Kahoot, Quizlet or cross word to share with you. Students then watch the film, answer the following focus questions, then discuss in a group meet. Open with the question from the film’s synopsis: What do you think about the statement that for the boys, “war’s a game and nobody dies”? That’s a week’s worth right there.

  1. What does the monument symbolise (represent, make you think of)?
  2. How does the director tie together the beginning and the end?
  3. What (or who) do the dead sparrows represent (think of the title)?
  4. What do you notice about the boys’ dialogue (What they say to each other and how they say it)?
  5. Give one example of diegetic sound (sound you’d hear if you were there)
  6. Give one example of non-diegetic sound (added in editing process)
  7. Name 2 film techniques used (e.g pan, slow motion, dissolve) and describe their effect.
  8. “Blue Dragon” has trouble telling the difference between reality and fantasy. How is this shown?
  9. How is humour used?
  10. How is tension created?
  11. What is important about the shot of the two sparrows flying in the sky after the accidents?
  12. How does the mood change at the end?
  13. What do you think the message (theme) is?

Tama Tü directed by Taika Waititi is another short film featured on NZ On Screen. Students can watch the film, answer the questions below and complete the reflective writing. This could be a springboard for creative or formal writing at Level 1 or the close viewing assessment. The film also has links to Maori Battalion.

  1. The crow is a tohu (sign). What does it represent?
  2. What is the name of the jerky camera movement used at the start? Why is it used?
  3. Name 2 things you hear or see that tell us this is a war zone.
  4. Name 2 different signals the men use to communicate to each other.
  5. The director says “even at war… boys will be boys”. How does he show us that?
  6. What is the significance of placing the manaia (a mythical creature that wards off danger) next to the toy soldier?

Journal writing: Imagine that you are a soldier in a ruined city in World War I. Describe what you can see, the thoughts running through your head and your feelings.

Other ANZAC sites for remote learning:

If you need resources around film terms for pre-teaching/revision, feel free to message me.

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With ANZAC Day looming and (sorry it has to be said) media over-saturation threatening to drown us in stories of the sacrifices made for us 100 years ago, I set my self a challenge to find a suitable activity for each of my classes next week.

In one of those weird moments of serendipity, a member of my always helpful twitter PLN shared a link to a collaborative powerpoint with a wealth of activities and tasks for a range of ages, although the focus is mainly primary. You’ll need a google account to sign in and view this. You should also feel free to add ideas – but be quick! I’m also happy to share any of the resources that I developed, just contact me via this site.

Year 9 – Watch the short New Zealand film Falling Sparrows by Murray Keane. One class will answer focus questions with an emphasis on symbolism, the other will write a personal response. Both classes will also watch Sons of Gallipoli by Chris Skinner and then use that as a springboard for reflective writing in their journals. One class is using Personal Best as their linking theme this term, the other Justice and Injustice so there are some clear links to be made.

Year 10Watch the clip by 15 year old Australian Faith Howells about the ANZACs. Use as a close listening activity where students will listen out for a series of facts and end with a more open ended reflective question. I’ve got a flat screen TV now in my room so can play the clip on the TV while the questions are projected on the Whiteboard nearby – helps to keep them focussed while listening. I’ll also pause the clip a few times so they don’t get too anxious!

Year 11 – Watch Tama Tu directed by Taika Waiti and answer a series of focus questions. Our connecting theme for the term is Courage so they can use this text if they like it for their AS1.8 Making Connections report. This class is also doing AS1.11 Close Viewing next term so the questions I developed attempt to revise some basic film techniques and help them think about how those techniques are used to express an idea.

Year 12 – Watch ANZAC Letters. Note down interesting words/phrases, discuss personal connections in groups. Then either write a letter to one of the soldiers give a 21st Century perspective on their sacrifice OR write narrative base don the day in a life of one of the soldiers featured. The following week, we’ll watch Field Punishment No 1. directed by Peter Burger and available via Lippy Pictures. Either write a letter home from one of the characters OT write a letter to the editor in support of or protesting against the treatment of conscientious objectors in WW1.

Most of these planned activities use a visual text as a starter. I find with less able students, this works best to get them thinking. Close listening is also a focus for me this year with my Year 10s  – not easy for some of them.

I’ve used falling Sparrows and Tama Tu previously and found they both work well. These arepart of the Ten and Elven short film compilations produced by Vislearn – highly recommend those plus if you’re feeling fliush, the supporting study guides.

So hopefully that’s something for everyone. Will let you know how that goes down too.

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