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Vesak

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Topic:

Vesak

LT focus:

  • Explore the common links in any of a range of religious codes of conduct
  • Attempt to locate the common values across the traditions

Introduction

Ask the children to reflect and remind you on what they can remember about the religion of Buddhism.

What does it mean to be a Buddhist?

What are the special festivals celebrated by Buddhists?

What are the 5 Precepts followed by Buddhists?

Development

Today we are going to talk about one of the Buddhism’s most important festivals.

What is Vesak? 

Vesak day is the most important day for Buddhists all around the world. It is the day that commemorates the birth, the enlightenment, and the passing of Lord Buddha. Widely celebrated in many parts of Asia, Vesak day is an official public holiday for Buddhists to celebrate as a festival. Vesak falls on the first full moon in the month of May, every single year.

On this day, celebrants will go to the temple with their family to pay their respects to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha (Triple Gem). The temple will be beautifully decorated with bright cloths, lights and lanterns. Once there, people will offer candles, incense and flowers as gifts to Lord Buddha to show their respects and gratitude for his teachings.

As a class (or in groups), the children will watch a short 3min documentary on Wesak

https://youtu.be/R7SgvR1BXkw

Plenary

The children can reflect and discuss what they have learned from the short video and share their views on what they have learned today.

As a link to art, the children can create lotus flowers

https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/lotus-flower-paper-cup-lantern

The children can place these along others onto a table covered in blue paper and green leafy foliage.

Other teacher resources for teaching this topic:

Alternatively,  https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/lotus-flower-bowl

This is a clay activity in the same vein as the above.

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Buddhism

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Topic:

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LT focus:

  • Explore the common inks in any of a range of religious codes of conduct
  • Attempt to locate the common values across the traditions
  • Explore at class level how these values can benefit society

Introduction

Ask the children if they have ever heard of the word ‘karma’.

Can the explain the term? Do they know where the phrase originated?

What is Karma?

Karma is the law that every cause has an effect, i.e., our actions have results. This simple law explains a number of things: inequality in the world, why some are born handicapped and some gifted, why some live only a short life. Buddhists believe that our past actions have an effect on who or what we are in our next life.

Karma is a belief held by Buddhists. Buddhism began in northeastern India and is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. The religion is 2,500 years old and is followed by 350 million Buddhists worldwide.

Buddhism is the main religion in many Asian countries. It is a religion about suffering and the need to get rid of it. A key concept of Buddhism is Nirvana, the most enlightened, and blissful state that one can achieve. A state without suffering.

Development

Ask the children to access http://www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/religion/buddhism.htm by linking it to their Google Classroom assignment page.

The children should work in 2s or 3s and discuss their findings.

As a group or individually they should create a Google Pages document to compare and contrast this religion to another religion that they have studied in the recent past.

Under the headings:

Place of Origin

Founder

Sacred Texts

Sacred Building

Major Festivals

Main Branches

Major Beliefs

Then they can share this document to the rest of their group to complete at home if unfinished.

Plenary

The children could share their findings to the class or present these at an assembly.

As below, the children could create of complete a Mandala

The children could also, engage in meditations throughout the week.

Other teacher resources for teaching this topic:

With a link to art the children could listen to buddhist chants and music whilst colouring a Mandala and/or create their own Mandala using the Sketch app.

Link to Geography, the children could locate the origin of Buddhism on the world globe.

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Belief Systems – Buddhism

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Topic:

Belief Systems – Buddhism

LT focus:

  • Understand and appreciate the origin of Buddhism.
  • Understand where Buddhism originated from, and locate it on a world map.
  • Begin to understand the 4 Noble Truths and Eightfold path.

Introduction

To begin the lesson I will ask to children to remind me of the various world religions we have discussed already this year. I will then ask the children to write down  a list of the main world religions. We will then list the major world religions until Buddhism is elicited.

I will then display a world map on the interactive whiteboard and will question the class on where they think Buddhism is most prevalent, South East Asia.

Development

We will have a short discussion on Buddhism and discuss what aspects of the children are  already familiar with. Next we will work on a KWL chart where students will work in pairs and write what they already know, followed by what they would like to discover about the religion. We will engage again with the KWL charts again at the end of our lesson.


The story of the origins of Buddhism will be read to the children, as well as the life of Siddhartha Gautama. After the first section of the story, I will ask the children to reflect on the life of the Buddha and to imagine being in his situation and what thoughts the story provokes with questions such as “would you have done anything differently/ how do you think you would have reacted?”
Continuing the story, questions will be posed about the 4 Noble Truths and Eightfold path.

Plenary

Upon completion of the story / PowerPoint, the children will be asked to discuss in pairs, the new knowledge they have obtained on Buddhism. They will then be given a chance to add this new information to their KWL charts.

Other teacher resources for teaching this topic:

This lesson plan is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation  which can be referred to throughout the story. KWL charts must also be distributed to the class at the beginning of the lesson.

Also required: PowerPoint, world map, KWL chart, various coloured whiteboard markers.