ANZAC Day – Teaching History Through Images

April 22, 2016

History can be complex and hard to grasp. In school, all of us got bored at some point – maybe because there were too many dates, maybe because it happened too far away. But still, our history has an impact on our present and on our future, and it’s important to remember.

This Monday, we’re celebrating ANZAC day to remember the people of New Zealand and Australia who served and died during the First World War. So today, we want to share with you an infographic that explores this historical topic: the impact of the First World War on New Zealand as a nation.

How much do we know about what happened a hundred years ago at the distant shores of Turkey?

In 2014, Statistics New Zealand, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the New Zealand Defence Force created this infographic to commemorate the First World War centenary. As Statistics NZ point out on their website, given the limited space it can be difficult “depicting all factual information relevant to this significant historical event”. They had to choose certain key information and events to be able to tell a coherent story that does not overwhelm us with data.

And what they have come up with perfectly illustrates what infographics can do so well: with timelines, simple charts and clear visuals they present a chronological story and interesting facts. The information is easily accessible for the audience and even dry facts can be related in an engaging manner.

This makes the infographic a perfect tool for educational purposes, be it in history classes in school or in museums. Next time you’re in a museum have a look around – you might find an infographic or even an animated graphic that teaches you a thing or two.

If you want to learn more about New Zealand’s history and our role in the Great War, there are lots of things happening in Wellington right now. There is a great Light and Sound Show at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, the ANZAC Commemorations at Te Papa, and other events throughout the city. And if you can’t make it this weekend, there are also the more permanent exhibitions: Gallipoli: The scale of our war at Te Papa, and The Great War Exhibition at the Old Dominion Museum. And for some more quick facts about ANZAC day check out this infographic by designstreet.