This page outlines how the material on Anzac Day and the Gallipoli campaign can be used by teachers and students of social studies and history. Teachers and students will find this material authoritative and accessible. It is written and organised so that you can quickly find the material most relevant to your needs.

It is not our intention to provide an exhaustive list of teaching activities but rather to provide some ideas to help busy teachers get started.

We welcome feedback. Please use the comments box at the bottom of this page.

Anzac Day

Anzac Day in New Zealand is held on 25 April each year to commemorate New Zealanders killed in war and to honour returned servicemen and women. The day has similar importance in Australia, New Zealand's partner in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli.

Anzac Day commemorates an event that has made an indelible mark on our national history. It offers teachers and students an opportunity to consider New Zealand's participation in war in general and the consequences of this for many New Zealanders, their families and communities. It must be remembered that the day itself was part of a wider campaign.

Additional material is available on the First World War in general, and, a guide to Anzac Day for New Zealanders, is an essential site for teachers and students. 

Social studies

Anzac Day is an integral part of the social studies programme in many schools. It can be explored as a significant current and historical event for New Zealand. 

Some students will have participated in activities on Anzac Day, so it is a good way of incorporating their experiences into the classroom. 

In a Level 4 social studies programme, a study of Anzac Day could be incorporated into 'Time, continuity and change', which examines how the causes and effects of the Gallipoli campaign, or war in general, have shaped the lives of New Zealanders. In 'Culture and heritage' students could use New Zealand's participation in the Gallipoli campaign, or war in general, to explore why and how individuals and groups pass on and maintain their culture and heritage.

In a Level 5 social studies programme Anzac Day could be incorporated into coverage of 'Culture and heritage' by exploring how participation in the Gallipoli campaign, or war in general, developed and maintained a sense of cultural and national identity. In 'Place and environment' students could consider why particular places or surroundings such as Gallipoli or other major locations where New Zealanders have fought are significant to people. Closer to home, a local war memorial could also be used to focus the study.

For more detail on specific activities relating to this topic go to social studies Anzac Day activities and War and Rembrance activities in The Classroom. 

NCEA history

Anzac Day and its associated themes could be the basis of numerous research topics in NCEA history, for instance:

  • a study of Anzac Day and Gallipoli's place in the emergence of a national identity (remember also that this event was of huge importance to the emergence of modern Turkey)
  • a wider examination of New Zealand's experiences in war
  • a local study looking at the impact of Gallipoli and of war in general on local communities in New Zealand
  • family histories associated with the impact of Gallipoli and of war in general
  • an extension to or part of an existing history topic, for example, in year 12 'The origins of World War I' or 'The growth of New Zealand identity 1830–1980'.


How to cite this page

'Classroom ideas - Anzac Day', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 13-Jan-2016

Community contributions

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Posted: 29 Apr 2009

The Activity Anzac Quiz Is Very Cool But I Only Got A Bronze Medal Otaki College Girl, 11