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Topic: Diwali

Learning Outcomes

The child will be enabled to:

  • understand what Diwali is and when it is celebrated;
  • understand the meaning of the lamp;
  • recall the story of Rama and Sita;
  • recall how the festival is celebrated.



Introduce the class to the word Diwali and what it means;

Complete a KWL chart in groups, establishing the prior knowledge of the class.


Using a powerpoint presentation, explain to the class the origins of Diwali. Help the class to understand how Diwali is celebrated and how people prepare for the festival. Understand and identify the different symbols associated with Diwali.

Listen to and recall the story of Rama and Sita. Work in pairs to retell this story.

Introduce the class to Rangoli patterns and the significance of these patterns to the festival Diwali.


Complete the KWL chart in groups from the beginning of the lesson.

Take part in an art lesson creating a Rangoli pattern and display these in the classroom.

Listen to or read the ebook “Dipal’s Diwali ebook”


Other Resources for teaching this topic

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LT focus:

  • examine the foods associated with some belief systems.
  • understand the purpose and joy of celebration
  • explore special celebrations that we share with others such as birthdays and special days
  • begin to explore festivals such as Diwali

Background for teacher: Diwali is a 5 day celebration known as the Festival of Lights. It occurs either in October or November and is primarily associated with the Hindu religion, although it is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains. There are many mythological explanations for the story but it’s underlying meaning is fairly consistent across all interpretations. It is generally accepted as being a celebration of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. This is signified by the lighting of ‘diya’ lamps. For many Hindus these clay lamps are also used so that Lakshmi the goddess of wealth can find her way into individual homes. For the same reason windows and doors are often left open.


Write “Diwali” on the board. Explain it comes from a festival called Diwali where Hindus light “diya” lamps. They light lamps to show the defeat of light over darkness. It is a 5 day festival of lights. Explain that people from the Hindu faith also clean their house, have firework displays, wear new clothes and make food for celebrations during Diwali.


Read the story of Rama and Sita at

Have children retell story using a simple 3-act story of start, middle and end. Children can respond through drama or drawing/painting or mixed media.


Can children think of other times that we use lights to celebrate throughout the year? Christmas, Hannukah, Halloween etc

Other teacher resources for teaching this topic:

In addition to these rituals some other common activities during Diwali include:

  • Wearing new clothes
  • Cleaning the home
  • Firework displays
  • Preparing festive meals
  • Giving sweets as gifts to friends and family
  • Decorating buildings with lights