This resource for teachers of Lower Primary will help you explore how we remember and understand the past through the objects, stories, and ceremonies at the Australian War Memorial.

Bob Marchant, 60th anniversary of opening of the Australian War Memorial, Remembrance Day, 2001. Oil on canvas 150 x 250cm.



Using this resource with your class, students will develop their understanding of symbols and ceremonies connected with remembrance; the function of memorials and the story behind the Australian War Memorial; the role of objects in storytelling and remembrance, including how they convey information about the past; and how stories can help us connect with people from the past.


Teachers can use the four themed modules below to find inspiration for discussions and activities, as well as supporting media which can be displayed on an interactive whiteboard or large display. While the four modules are interrelated and built sequentially, you can start with the one that is most relevant to your class.

Start here

  1. Why do we use symbols and ceremonies?

    Why do people wear a red poppy on Remembrance Day? Find out the story behind one symbol of remembrance, and how it's used in ceremonies.

  2. What is a memorial?

    What is special about this building, and how did it come to be? Find out the story of the Australian War Memorial and the role of its founder, Charles Bean.

  3. Why do we collect things?

    The Memorial has a huge collection. Discover how objects can reveal things about the past, and how they can be compared to show change over time.

  4. Why do we tell stories?

    The Memorial is a vast library of stories. Follow the story of one Australian family's experience of war, and see how it is preserved at the Memorial.


We hope you find this resource useful. If you have any questions or comments, do get in touch via email.