Postcards Of Honour Teaching Resources

Postcards of Honour is a creative ANZAC Day learning and commemoration activity for primary school students. 

Throughout Australia’s military history, postcards and letters have offered vital support to those on active duty. 

The activity allows your students to learn the importance of ANZAC Day and write and decorate a postcard acknowledging a local veteran for their service. 

For privacy reasons: 

  • No recipient address is provided, but each postcard will be given by RSL Queensland to a veteran in the community. 
  • Sender details can be limited to first name and age. 

By taking part in Postcards of Honour this ANZAC Day, your students can show a past/present service person that they support them and appreciate their service. 

School student holding up Postcard of Honour for veterans

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Participating schools will receive the following to help students create their own postcard: 

A visit from a veteran – your local RSL Sub Branch representative – who will speak to students (from 13-31 March) about ANZAC Day. Once the postcards are completed, your veteran will return for a postcard show-and-tell (from 17-21 April).  

A Postcards of Honour pack containing: 

  • Information/instruction booklets (each with sketchpad section)  
  • Postcards (with space to draw on the front and write on the back) 
  • Example postcards   

We recommend giving students one postcard and booklet each.

HOW TO PREPARE

This activity is designed to be flexible and encourage children’s artistic and writing skills.  You’re free to adapt the activity for your students’ age/s and required learning outcomes. 

PART 1: ART  

Encourage your students to get creative! Use whatever style or materials you prefer – paint, coloured pencils, collage… 

Students can draw/create whatever they like, but we’ve included some idea prompts in the activity booklets provided. 

PART 2: WRITING  

This part of the activity allows students to practise their handwriting or compose a letter. 

Suggestions for students: 

  • Write a short note such as ‘I honour the service that you have given’. 
  • Tell the veteran about themselves. 
  • Share personal or family stories about ANZAC Day or military service. 
  • Reflect on what ANZAC Day means to them. 

Two hands holding up a colourful Postcards of Honour submission

 

SHARE YOUR PHOTOS

We'd love to see photos of your school taking part in Postcards of Honour.  

With parents’ permission, we encourage you to send photos of your class/es and their postcards (completed or in progress) to marketing@rslqld.org

(Please note, submitted photos may be used for marketing purposes.) 

Postcard of Honour

School students holding up their Postcards of Honour submissions

DIGITAL RESOURCES

To complete this activity printed copies of the materials will be supplied by your local Sub Branch, however, if you wish to print additional copies, you can access them through the links below.   

Download Postcard

Download Student Booklet
 

EXTRA TEACHING RESOURCES

ANZAC DAY

ANZAC Day (25 April) marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces (ANZACs) during World War I. It’s a time for us to honour the legacy of the ANZACs and all who have served or sacrificed for our nation.

 

Find out more 

Understand why we commemorate video thumbnail

Understand why we commemorate

In this activity series, students will learn how our commemorative days came into being including activities that are conducted on these days.

LEARN MORE


100+ years On video tile

100+ years on

In this activity, students will learn about ANZAC and Remembrance Day and why we commemorate these days and traditions which have lasted 100+ years.

LEARN MORE


World war 1 and Australian Society video thumbnail

World war I and australian society

In this activity, students will learn how World War I shaped Australia. Including the changing roles of men and women, the conscription debate and veteran support. 

LEARN MORE


Taking part in Anzac Day video thumbnail

World war I and australian society

In this activity, students will learn how World War I shaped Australia. Including the changing roles of men and women, the conscription debate and veteran support. 

LEARN MORE

Anzac Day Service

THE ANZAC SPIRIT

‘ANZAC’ stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – a group of soldiers who fought in World War I.  

People say the ANZACs showed many great qualities:

  • Endurance – Not giving up, even in bad times 
  • Courage – Bravery  
  • Ingenuity – Cleverness at solving problems 
  • Good humour – Cheerfulness 
  • Mateship – Fairness, loyalty and friendship 

Together, these make up the ANZAC spirit. They set an example that many Australians, especially service people, try to follow. 

THE MEANING OF SERVICE

AUSTRALIA’S DEFENCE FORCE 

Australia’s Defence Force (Army, Navy and Air Force) are made up of many different people with many different jobs. 

They help each other to keep Australia, and other countries, safe. 

Along with soldiers and pilots, there are doctors, mechanics, builders and many more. 

Someone who works (‘serves’) in the Defence Force is called a ‘service person’. 

A ‘veteran’ is someone who is, or used to be, a service person. 

Two ADF members standing with an RSL Queensland representative

Stories of Service

Black and White image of  Royal Australian Navy personnel

John Harrison Wheat

Royal Australian Navy

John Harrison Wheat joined the Navy when he was 16. He served in World War I as an Able Seaman on one of Australia’s first submarines. The submarine was sunk by enemy forces in 1915. John was taken prisoner for three years and forced to build a train track.  

LEARN MORE

 

Black and white photo of Claude Malone from 1971

Claude Malone

Australian Army

Claude Malone joined the Army when he left school. He served as a combat engineer (‘sapper’) in the Vietnam War in 1971. Claude had to do dangerous work like clearing landmines and defusing bombs. He was exposed to chemicals that still give him health problems today.   

LEARN MORE

 

Samantha Freebairn in uniform in front of Airforce Aircraft

Samantha Freebairn

Royal Australian Air Force

Wing Commander Samantha Freebairn began learning to fly aged 15. She served as a pilot in the Air Force, flying combat missions into war zones, taking aid into disaster-affected areas, and rescuing people from dangerous places. Samantha now helps supervise Air Force Cadets.

LEARN MORE

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF POSTCARDS

Letters and postcards have been important to service people throughout history.  

Why? 

The only way to communicate 

  • For much of history, letters and postcards were the only way for people on military duty to stay in touch with family and friends. 
  • Many service people served a long way from home, often a long way from big cities.  
  • This meant it took a long time for mail to be delivered. It sometimes took weeks, months or longer to hear from a loved one or find out if they were still alive. 
  • Today’s service people can usually access their mobile phone and/or internet when not on duty. But they may spend long periods without a signal. 

Messages of support 

  • For service people far from home, often facing the fear and danger of war, a letter or postcard from home could provide much needed comfort and support.  
  • Letters were so important that if paper wasn’t available, soldiers would build postcards out of things they could find – even bullets and biscuits!  
  • Even today, Australia Post delivers care packages from the public to our military overseas. 

 

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