This Saturday is Armistice Day, also known as Remembrance Day. While few children’s services will be open, many children will have seen poppy badges being sold on street corners, or be aware of older siblings participating in commemoration ceremonies at school on Friday. They may wonder, on the weekend, why adults around them suddenly go quiet at 11am.
While observing the traditional minutes of silence might be a pipe-dream in an early childhood setting, resources are available for early and middle years educators who would like to share the stories of Flanders Fields and other Australian sacrifices abroad with children in a sensitive and developmentally appropriate way.
We went to the extremely helpful Education Unit at the Australian War Memorial to seek advice, after watching this powerful video designed to explain the significance of poppies and Remembrance Day to children and, indeed, adults.
Most of the War Memorial’s education resources are aimed at primary and secondary aged students, but the Education team suggest that early childhood educators look at A very special day, which can be found here: https://www.awm.gov.au/learn/schools/resources/a-very-special-day. This resource has been designed for primary students, but could be adapted to suit younger children.
They also encourage EC educators to have a look at the book M is for Mates, which is now available online https://www.awm.gov.au/sites/default/files/m_is_for_mates.pdf.
“There are lots of stories about service and sacrifice of our animal friends, that are appropriate for early learners,” they say.
Will you be doing something with the children around poppies and Remembrance Day? Let us know in the comments below or by sharing your story with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LInkedIn.
Community Early Learning Australia is a not for profit organisation with a focus on amplifying the value of early learning for every child across Australia - representing our members and uniting our sector as a force for quality education and care.