Anzac Art- Antique Letters and World War One Medals

This year, my class did a lot of study around Anzac Day and World War One. They learnt the history of the war, researched their family involvement, and wrote and presented speeches about what Anzac Day means to them. We finished off our unit with this Writing/Art project. The students really drew on everything they had learnt throughout the unit, and the finished result looks awesome.

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You will need:
Black paper (A3)
Lined refill paper
Pens
Pencils
Tea
Tinfoil
Ribbon
Coloured paper

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The students began by imagining what it would have been like to be in World War One. They created characters for themselves, and wrote letters home to their families. Given all the research they had done, the students came up with some great ideas and details. A group of 5 or so kids actually included each other in their letters, telling the tales of what was happening to the other ‘boys from home’.

Once draft letters were finished, they were rewritten on refill paper (in pencil), and stained with tea. The letter in the image has had the edges burnt as well, but we decided that looked too ‘piratey’ and just stained the others.

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Next, the students used iPads and computers to find out what the medals awarded during and after World War One looked like. We used these as inspiration to make our own.

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To make our medals, we cut out circles from tinfoil. We lay these shiny side down, and used a ballpoint pen to softly push the words and designs we wanted into the foil, to make an engraved effect. This etching had to be done in the reverse to what it would eventually appear as, so I wrote most of the words the students needed on the board in mirror writing. After this, we used ribbon or coloured paper to make the strip of fabric for the medal to hang on, and mounted everything together on black paper.

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