Saturday, November 6, 2010

Field Trip to Auckland War Memorial Museum 5 November 2010

 Our essential questions for our history inquiry:
How do we preserve memories of those who have served in war for their country?  
Why is it so important to preserve these memories?
We found out that there are many ways to preserve memories of those New Zealanders who have served their country in global conflicts (and as peacekeepers for the United Nations).

1. Public buildings such as the Auckland War Memorial Museum
This building is built on consecrated (specially blessed ground) to commemorate or remember those who have fallen in war.

2. Cenotaphs such as this one outside the Auckland War Memorial Museum
3. Inscribing the battles that New Zealanders have fought in over the years on buildings

4. Preserving photos of special places such as this photo of a cemetary overseas where New Zealand soldiers lie buried

5. Using famous poetry in special commemorative sculptures such as this water sculpture oustide the Auckland War Memorial Museum

6. Preserving and displaying artefacts in museums 
(See our entry on the blog about going to MOTAT to see a very big artefact...the amazing Lancaster bomber)

7. Recreating what life was like in the battle fields such as this scene showing the harsh life in the trenches in World War 1

9. Making rolls of honour like this one at Auckland Museum showing soldiers from Grafton District School who died in World War 1, and the memorial gates at Mt Eden School.

10. Creating special halls in museums like the Hall of Memories at the Auckland War Memorial Museum which have a list of all the soldiers in the Auckland district who died in the second world war.

11. Creating special artworks that preserve important memories

12. Creating public computer databases of individual soldiers like this one at Auckland War Memorial Museum

13. Electronic Books of Condolence where we can sign our name and make a personal comment such as this one at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

To answer our second question we think this picture says it all...

We preserve memories so we honour the sacrifices made by people who died for their country, but above all to learn to solve conflicts in new, peaceful ways. Mr Green, the veteran of WW2 we interviewed, told us to remember that "...war is not a big adventure."

The Lancaster at MOTAT

Yesterday the Yr 4 Enrichment group went to the Museum of Transport and Technology to see the Lancaster bomber that they have on display. We wanted to see this aircraft from the second World War after our interview with veteran Mr John Green. It was wonderful to really see the size of the aeroplane and see all its parts from the outside. We couldn't go inside because it is an artefact which is very precious; very few working Lancaster bomber planes exist today.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Welcome to Our Blog

Kia orana. Kia ora. Hello and welcome to our blog. 
Note-taking while listening to a personal history of a soldier at Gallipoli

We are part of the Year 4 Enrichment group and we have been meeting together since Term 2 in April for an hour a week.  At the beginning of our time together we wanted to learn more about the ANZACS. We spent quite a bit of time on the history of the battle in Gallipoli. 

We got interested in World War 2 as well and looked at video clips online to learn about the changes to children's lives. 

We also are thinking about our big theme of sustainability in our classrooms. We decided to look at how we preserve the memories of those who serve in armed conflict and why this might be important.

In Term 3 three more people joined our group which was great.

Why We Chose our Topic: 
We chose our topic because we were interested in history. We chose History on the topic areas and then thought it would be nice to do something about New Zealand's history. We thought about ANZAC Day and then thought how sad it would be if we got taken away from our families. We also chose this topic because it also relates to bullying. Countries can bully other countries and war starts. We thought this topic was fantastic for us. (H-MS & HG)

Designing our EPS History Survey

We are all interested in history and the topic we chose to study was first, the ANZACS and, second, all the ways New Zealanders have served their country in wars.

Our main focus is preserving history and memories. We got interested in finding out how many of our school families have been personally touched by war through relatives serving their country. So we made a survey so people can go on the survey at home and fill in the blank spaces for each question. This is our way to sustain and preserve memories. (Thank you to Ms J our ICT whiz who helped us.)

You can follow this link and go on our survey:
The Survey is on our School webpage called Preserving History:How Kiwis have served our country since World War 1. 

We invite you to add your relatives stories so we can get a better understanding of how memories of such important sacrifices are preserved and why this might be important. We need lots more stories on the survey so we can look at the data and make some conclusions.

Some of the things we wanted to find out were:
  • if relatives survived the war
  • how families remember their relatives and preserve their memories
  • how to use the graphs the computer automatically makes for us and draw conclusions
Thank you for helping us if you can.
(TW & AB with editing by SH)

Learning about Gallipoli and the ANZACS

Australia and New Zealand Army Corps

Original sewn poppies designed by a French woman
Lots of research and note-taking, talking and thinking
Listening to a personal story about serving in Gallipoli
Using a question generator to improve our questioning skills and dig deeper

Friday, September 24, 2010

Our Interview with Mr Green, WW2 Veteran

In Term 3 we were lucky enough to have a guest speaker to our session. It was Mr Green who told us about his wartime experiences. He showed us artifacts from his time as a gunner in a Lancaster bomber during World War 2. One of our students videotaped the session -  a remarkable story of courage and comradeship. We are very grateful to Mr Green for sharing his experiences and we treasure this wonderful oral history record. 

Talking about war experiences is hard we suspected but we learnt that Mr Green had never shared his stories to a group of people before. So we are very privileged to hear his experiences and his thoughts about finding other ways to solve conflict in the world. 

We would like to publicly thank Mr Green for sharing his time, memories and for allowing us to copy the story that was written by a teenage member of his family. Each member of the group has a copy to keep.

The following pictures show some of the session. (SH)

Mr Green reading from his flying log ... 1943

Lots of photos brought Mr Green's story alive for us
Listening and thinking about the information shared-forming personal insights

Lots of questions were asked

It took 60 years to acknowledge the effort and sacrifice of the pilots and crew...

Mr Green mainly was in the top gun turret of the Lancaster

The crew: Mr Green is second from right

We interviewed Mr Green. He was in a bomber in WW2. He showed us lots of pictures. He had an old book. His story was really interesting. (AM & AC)
 One of the highlights towards the end of the war was when Mr Green's plane flew very low over a part of Holland that was suffering and they dropped food instead of bombs to all the adults. They also made little parachutes with chocolates tied to them for the children. (LH)

Our insights:
  • war is a very difficult and dangerous business
  • it is not an adventure
  • it is very difficult to deal with after the experience
  • people sometimes do not recognise personal sacrifice (it took 60 years for a newspaper article about the Lancaster pilots and their sacrifices)
  • preserving memories is really important
  • we need to find other ways to solve problems in the world