book cover Scarecrow Army: The Anzacs at Gallipoli
by Leon Davidson

Novel | 192 pp | Years 58

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[ Doing Your Best | Respect | Responding to Text ]

Doing Your Best

Read aloud the paragraph that begins on the bottom of page 1. What different explanations does the author suggest to help explain why soldiers "charged to certain death rather than disobey orders"? In what ways did the Anzacs demonstrate that they tried to do their best in the Gallipoli campaign? Using the extract as a starting point, brainstorm examples from the book that help explain the soldiers' behaviour. For example: the lack of arms and ammunition (p 60, 64); basic necessities such as clothing (p 93, 98), food and water (p 98, 99), hygiene (pp 62-63, 72, 90-91), home comforts (p 61, pp 69-70) and medical care (p 22, 51, 104); and difficulties with the terrain (p 64, 81), communications (p 43, 77-78), leadership (p 43, 49, 54, 80) and pride (p 9, 26).

Use the class brainstorm as a starting point to organise a mind map that sorts the examples under headings that demonstrate different aspects of doing your best. From your group's mind map, discuss the different challenges that the Anzacs faced that pushed them to do their best under difficult circumstances. Record these challenges in Cause and Effect chart.

Using the group's cause and effect chart as a focus, plan a series of newspaper articles that emphasise the ingenuity and strength of character of the Anzacs, and a will to do their best. Assign one newspaper article to each group member.

Conduct research on your assigned topic. Use the KWL chart to record the relevant information you know from the book in the 'K' column. Identify what you need to find out in terms of further details required to write the news article in the 'W' column. Record what you have learnt as notes in the 'L' column. Consider your findings and develop an article that focuses on the soldiers doing their best to overcome problems in difficult circumstances. Using the computer, write up your findings. Include a drawing or image to support your writing.

Share your individual reports and then plan a layout for your newspaper. Consider the title of the newspaper, article headings, layout and use of images. Follow the plan to individually add your article to the newspaper layout. Proofread the work of others in your group. Publish and make your newspaper available for others to read.

Read each of the newspapers produced by the groups. How important was it for the Anzacs to do their best? What could have happened if they had not been as resilient as they were?

Can you think of situations that require us to do our best by being creative in the way we solve problems? As a class, brainstorm situations that you may find yourself in where basic necessities are not available. Some examples to consider include having to leave a message with no pen or paper available, being lost without shelter, being without power for an extended period of time, or having no running water.

Choose one of the situations from the brainstorm and plan how you would do your best to overcome the problem. Explain the problem, the materials that you would need and the actions you would take using the Flow Chart worksheet. Write a set of survival instructions based on the ideas recorded in your flow chart.


How does Leon Davidson explore the types of respect that people have, or do not have, for others? Consider respect for family, friends, community members, comrades, leaders and enemies as exemplified in the text.

Organise your ideas about respect using the Fishbone chart. Write some of the topics from the class discussion in the main boxes and then, as a small group, find examples from the text of characters showing respect, or a lack of respect, and write these along the spines of the chart.

Select one of the topics from the group fishbone chart. Plan a short drama presentation, or skit, that demonstrates a situation and alternative behaviours that show both respect and a lack of respect. Your skit should also include people's reactions to the different behaviours. Rehearse your presentation in preparation to present to the class.

Watch the drama presentations and consider the different behaviours shown in the group performances. How has each group demonstrated their understanding of respect in relation to the behaviour of the Anzacs? Record the responses on a large Y Chart to capture how respect 'looks', 'sounds', and 'feels' as observed in the performances.

How do individual class members demonstrate that they respect, or do not respect, individuals or groups? Using the class Y Chart as a starting point, add other examples that reflect students' everyday lives and interactions with others.

Under what circumstances can respect develop? Consider the changing feelings between groups in Scarecrow Army and why more respectful feelings between some groups developed. Brainstorm examples from the book that showed a change in feeling between different groups.

Select two groups that had a change in the respect they held for each other over the course of the Gallipoli campaign. Consider, for example:

  • the Australian and New Zealand troops (pp 2732, p 41, 49, 84)
  • the Anzacs and the Turks (p 58, pp 8891, p 151)
  • the British and the Anzacs (p 34, 54, 79, 142)
  • the British and Australia and New Zealand (p 4, 8, pp 160161, p 173).

Use the Cause and Effect chart to identify the different reasons for their original opinions and the effects of these. Add further examples that identify changes in those opinions.

From the information identified in the cause and effect chart, make a list of the types of behaviour and attitudes that help develop respect and a list of keywords or phrases that represent the ideas. Keep a record for individual reference.

Select one of the examples and consider a situation in everyday life where respect could develop. Design and publish a poster that promotes your selected behaviour or attitude, considering how to use the keyword or phrase in a caption and suitable graphics to support your message. Display the poster in the classroom or around the school.

Share the class work and understanding about the value of respect with a wider audience. You might choose to invite another class to view the group performances, make a report at assembly, publish some examples of work in the school newsletter, or place posters on public display around the school.

Responding to Text

What would it have been like to be at Gallipoli with the Anzacs? Complete an X Chart to record what you think it would have looked, felt, smelt and sounded like. Use the ideas you have recorded to write a letter home to a friend or family member informing them of your experiences.

At the end of the book the author has included timelines of significant stages in World War 1 and the Gallipoli campaign. Complete a more detailed timeline of one of the significant battles the Anzacs were involved in based on the information provided in the text. Possible examples include the battles of Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair, and Hill 971.

Select one of characters that presents their personal story in the book. Write a biographical poem based on the information provided in the book. Add further details as required that you believe reflect the personality and interests of the character.

© Curriculum Corporation 2006