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Investigating the Victorian Experience of World War 1 - An Inquiry Resource for Secondary Schools

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    If you were to ask a student today about World War One, you might get this comment: ‘The war was 100 years ago. All involved are dead. I have no relatives who were involved in it. My family was not even in Australia then. What’s it got to do with me today?’

    It’s a fair comment, but not an accurate one. The war is still relevant to that student today, and the answer is there in that student’s community.

    The key to realising this is the local war memorial. It provides a direct link between the people of that community and those of today.

    The war memorial stands there, usually in a prominent position, nearly always in stone meant to last an eternity. It contains information, ideas, attitudes and values that tell us about the people who created it and what they wanted to tell their community.

    It raises questions about those people, and links us with them today.

    That’s what this resource is about – helping Victorian students identify and understand how and why people from their community 100 years ago were involved in the war, what impacts the war had on the people and the community then, and what it means for young people today.

    The resource has been created for the compulsory AusVELS curriculum for History at Year 9. Various units and activities will also be appropriate for teachers in other curriculum areas – including English, Civics and Citizenship, and Media Arts – but the resource has been specifically created for use in History classes.

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