Awareness Mystery Value (amv)

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Awareness Mystery Value (AMV)


Key Stage 2 Unit 8: What do people believe about life? [A&E]

This unit explores ideas about the natural world and our place in it and relates them to religious and other beliefs

About this example

This series of approximately 12 lessons is intended to provide a set of learning activities making use of ICT in RE for a Year 5/6 class.

Original material was written by Dave Francis (NATRE) and Claire Nolan (Locking Primary School, North Somerset) for the Better RE website and is used with permission. This has been developed further for AMV.

The focus here is on the feelings people experience under the pressure of change, including birth, death, moving home, natural disasters, making and breaking friendships.



Where the example fits into the curriculum

This example connects with AMV Areas of Enquiry A (Beliefs, teachings and sources) and E (Questions of meaning, purpose and truth).

The lessons could be used in discrete RE time or as part of a ‘creative curriculum’ approach where RE links with other curriculum subjects such as ICT and Literacy, around a key question or theme, such as ‘The Circle of Life’, ‘Change’ or ‘Friends’.

Prior Learning

Pupils will have explored ideas of what is important to them and of some of the big questions of life arising from the life and teaching of Jesus. They will have heard some of Jesus’ parables, explored questions around his miracles and what happened at Christmas and Easter. Most of the pupils will have considered question about belonging to the Jewish religion, but Buddhism will be new to most of them.


Featured Religions / Beliefs

Areas of Enquiry

Christianity

AT 1: Learning ABOUT religion and belief

AT 2: Learning FROM religion and belief

Buddhism

A. Beliefs, teachings and sources



D. Identity and belonging







B. Practices and ways of life




E. Meaning, purpose and truth






C. Forms of expression




F. Values and commitments







Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Questions for Unit 8

  1. What feelings do people experience in relation to change and death?

  2. What answers might be given by ourselves and by religions and beliefs to questions about:

    1. the origin and meaning of life?

    2. our place in society and the natural world?


    3. the existence of God?

    4. the experience of suffering?

    5. life after death?

Resources

The following texts and e-resources have been used for the sample learning activities below. Teachers are, of course, free to vary the resources suggested here to suit their pupils.



  • All Change Story – Cracking RE, found at: www.crackingre.co.uk/htdocs/crackingre/secure/1.3Junior/allchange.html

  • Register for the free ‘Life of the Buddha’ interactive resource at www.cvinteractive.org/lob/

  • Digital presentation of pictures of some of the suffering in Britain and the rest of the world. This could include (not too graphic!) pictures of child labour exploitation, animal cruelty, war, greed, natural disasters. Appropriate pictures can be put into a PowerPoint presentation or made into a film using a programme such as Movie Maker or iMovie.

  • Blaylock, L., 2009, Picturing Jesus: Fresh Ideas, RE Today Services.

  • Life of the Buddha Interactive: £49 from www.clear-vision.org/Schools/Teachers/KS3/LOB-interactive-KS3.aspx

  • Buddhism for Key Stage 2: DVD 8-11 years, Clear Vision Trust.

  • The story of Kisa Gotami, e.g. from http://path.homestead.com/kisagotami.html

  • Mackley, J. (ed.) 2006, Exploring the Journey of Life and Death, RE Today Services, for a full description of the Venn Diagram activity.
  • Biblos Primary Curriculum Project, University of Exeter, RMEP.


  • Anita Ganeri. A., 2001 Buddhist Stories, Evans Brothers.

  • The interactive Wheel of Life diagram: www.buddhanet.net/wheel2.htm; http://www.buddhanet.net/wheel2.htm


  • Buddhist society homepage - http://www.thebuddhistsociety.org/page/about-buddhism-2




Learning Outside the Classroom

No specific out of school activities are included in this unit, though there are opportunities to consider life in other countries and to use ICT to explore children’s opinions from different religious and on-religious perspectives from across the country.



Expectations: A & E refer here to the focus areas of enquiry identified on the previous page.

By the end of this sequence of learning:

All pupils can:

Most pupils (majority class expectation) can:

Some pupils can:

Some pupils can go even further and can:

A2 tell a Christian or Buddhist story and say some things that people believe.

E2 talk about some things in stories that make people ask questions.



A3 describe what a believer might learn from a religious story.

E3 ask important questions about life and compare their ideas with those of other people.


A4 make links between the beliefs (teachings, sources, etc.) of different religious groups and show how they are connected to believers’ lives.

E4 ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life, and suggest a range of answers which might be given by them as well as members of different religious groups or individuals.


A5 suggest reasons for the variety of beliefs which people hold, and explain how religious sources are used to provide answers to important questions.

E5 ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life and suggest answers which relate to the search for truth and their own and others’ lives.


These statements are taken from the old ‘Can-do’ levels. The new ‘Learning Outcomes’ can be found in the ‘Standards’ section of the new AMV website: http://awarenessmysteryvalue.org


This unit is for a Year 5/6 class in need of some RE learning that pupils would find motivating and engaging. Many of the pupils enjoyed using ICT in their lessons but some were not making such good progress in RE.
The school has links with a school in Sri Lanka and some thought was given as to how ICT might enable pupils to exchange ideas on religion and belief. Although it could not be assumed that pupils in either school were necessarily Christians or Buddhists, we decided that these might be two good religions to focus pupils’ attention on, so they could develop some understanding of how religion features in some people’s lives.



Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Question (a): What feelings do people experience in relation to change and death?

Learning objectives

Suggested activities for teaching and learning

Outcomes


References and notes

Lesson 1

Pupils will:



  • learn some basic facts about Christians and Buddhists;

  • reflect on feelings associated with changes in life;

  • build their vocabulary of ‘feelings’ words.

1. Introduce pupils to the key question: What do people believe about life? and explain that part of life is change and we all know that life ends in death. But these big ideas contain many mysteries. Tell pupils that they are going to investigate these questions in relation to two great leaders of religion: Jesus and the Buddha.

Explain that Jesus lived about 2,000 years ago and his followers called him ‘the Christ’. So Christianity began. The Buddha lived around 2,500 years ago, and started the religion called Buddhism. So the people who follow Jesus are called Christians and those who follow the Buddha are Buddhists.

Both these men, who lived in different parts of the world [Palestine & Northern India/Nepal] taught important things about life, change and death.

Show the ‘All Change’ story on the interactive whiteboard (IWB). Read about Darren moving home and ask pupils to identify feelings on this sort of change. When did they feel like this? What other occasions in life involve change? If needed, provide ideas such as: moving to a new school, starting at a new club, trying a new game or toy. What feelings are involved? Are these the same feelings as when parents separate? Or when someone dies? What about when a pet dies?

Collect ‘feelings’ words to help pupils think about these changes and ask them to do a mind or thought-map to plot different feelings around ‘experiences of change’. Pupils can choose which sort of change they want to put at the heart of their maps.

When pupils have finished their maps these can be printed and displayed – or uploaded to the school website.


Pupils:

  • talk about some things in stories that make people ask questions;

  • describe what a believer might learn from a story.

Key vocabulary:

Christ, Buddha, Enlightened, change.

---

‘Christ’ (Hebrew ‘Messiah’) means ‘The Anointed One’ or ‘Expected Saviour’.



Jesus lived and taught in Palestine (modern Palestine / Israel).

‘Buddha’ means ‘The Enlightened One’. The Buddha lived and taught in Northern India (Modern Nepal).

---

All Change’ Story - Cracking RE website.

Mind-mapping or ‘FreeMind’ software is widely available for this ICT activity. Pupils can make written posters, but these are not so easy to alter or show on a website.



Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Question (a): What feelings do people experience in relation to change and death?

Learning objectives

Suggested activities for teaching and learning

Outcomes

References and notes

Lesson 2

Pupils will:



  • learn how Prince Siddhartha became ‘the Buddha’;

  • explore the idea

of ‘happiness’;

  • reflect on the limitation of life.

2. Explain that they are now going to investigate why people are not always happy as part of their work on what people believe about life.

Show story of Prince Siddhartha from the Clear Vision Trust Interactive resource or DVD.

Ask pupils to retell key features of the story as a class.

Then ask them to comment on the story: why was Prince Siddhartha not happy? What made him realise that great wealth and privilege was not all there was to a good life? Why did he leave his life in the palace?

Set up a discussion around the question, ‘Why are we not always happy?’ on the school intranet or VLE if possible; or a large poster if not and invite them to add their comments and to reply to individual contributions, building different ‘threads’ of conversation.

Explain that the limits of human life – around change and death – can stand in the way of our happiness. Can they give examples to illustrate why this might be?

Some pupils can answer a supplementary question to extend their thinking: ‘What kind of things do people cling to that they think will keep them happy?’ They should then compare their ideas with those of one or two others in the class.


Pupils:

  • tell a Buddhist story and say some things that people believe;

  • talk about some things in stories that make people ask questions;

  • describe what a believer might learn from a religious story;

  • ask important questions about life and compare their ideas with those of other people.

Key vocabulary:

happiness, Prince Siddhartha, privilege, change, death, clinging.

---

Clear Vision Trust DVD ‘What is Buddhism?’, or register for the interactive ‘Life of the Buddha’ resource. The DVD goes quite quickly for younger pupils, so may need to be stopped and replayed at key points in the story.







Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Question (a): What feelings do people experience in relation to change and death?

Learning objectives

Suggested activities for teaching and learning

Outcomes

References and notes

Lesson 3

Pupils will:



  • learn about the story of Zacchaeus and Jesus;

  • reflect on how people may change;

  • consider what people might learn from the story.

3. Explain to pupils that they are going to investigate how Jesus changed someone’s life for the better as part of their work on what people believe about life.

Put the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus, e.g. from at http://www.essex1.com/people/paul/bible58.html or from http://www.dltk-bible.com/cv/zacchaeus.htm up on the IWB and read the story. Or use the slides at http://www.sermons4kids.com/hmartin.htm

Ask pupils to recall the key points of the story and to say how Zacchaeus changed. What was it that Jesus said that changed him? What big questions would they like to ask about this story?

Ask them to compare a short list of their own questions with the person next to them and then more widely in the class.

Engage pupils in activities that explore the different roles played by people in the story, e.g., from ‘Exploring Beliefs in Action in the World’, pp. 12-13.

Ask pupils to break into small groups and to re-enact the Zacchaeus story. Ask them to ‘freeze-frame’ what they consider to be the most important part of the story and to say what they think Christians might learn from the part they have selected. Use a digital camera to record these moments. Upload these to the VLE and in the next ICT lesson ask pupils to /provide a suitable caption for their picture.


Pupils:

  • tell a Christian story and say some things that people believe;

  • talk about some things in stories that make people ask questions;

  • describe what a believer might learn from a religious story;

  • ask important questions about life and compare their ideas with those of other people.

Key vocabulary:

happiness, forgiveness, change, repentance.

---

Mackley., J. (ed.) 2007, ‘Exploring Beliefs in Action in the World’, REtoday Services, pp. 12-13






Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Question (b): What answers might be given by ourselves and by religions and beliefs to questions about:

(i) the origin and meaning of life, and (iv) the experience of suffering?

Learning objectives

Suggested activities for teaching and learning

Outcomes

References and notes

Lessons 4 & 5

Pupils will:



  • learn about some Buddhist beliefs;

  • learn about the law of cause and effect;

  • consider what may be learnt from a study of the Buddhist Wheel of Life;

  • use ICT to express their ideas about Buddhist beliefs about how to stop suffering.

Additional question:

What do Buddhists believe about how the Buddha helps all living beings?

4 & 5. Explain that they are going to investigate how the Buddha is believed to change the lives of people, animals and spirit beings, wherever they find themselves. This will continue to help their investigation of what people believe about life.

Remind them that the Buddha was a great teacher who lived around 2,500 years ago, and that his followers are called Buddhists. They believe that The Buddha, through his own great efforts, found out the best way to live. Explain that Buddhists believe that every action has a consequence for good or ill and that in the diagram you are going to show them this is symbolised in different ways. Every form of being, wherever it is, is subject to this law of cause and effect, known as karma. So – human beings and animals cannot avoid cause and effect, and even if you think there are worlds beyond this one – like heaven and hell – karma still works.

Show pupils the interactive Buddhist Wheel of Life (the Bhavachakra) at http://www.buddhanet.net/wheel2.htm and take them round the six worlds of existence, showing how there is suffering everywhere, but that in each world the Buddha is there to help.

Provide them with a printed version of the Wheel of Life, (see resources). Tell them to act as detectives looking for clues about how the Buddha is helping the creatures in each world.

Ask: How can they tell which figure is the Buddha? [He has a halo] Are there other religions that picture special people in this way? Can they see what kind of beings are living in each of the six parts of the main picture? Use the information in the Buddhanet interactive guide to remind them. Ask pupils to note what the Buddha is carrying in each world according to the Buddhanet interactive wheel. How do you think that might help the beings in that world?

Suggested answers are contained in the 2081 supplementary resources folder.

Point out the monster (Yama) holding the whole wheel and ask: Why does a monster hold the wheel of life? [Because all of life is in the grip of suffering.]

Use the ‘Post-It’ tool found in www.classtools.net. Paste the Wheel of Life (see Resources) into a new template and add three labels for each of the six worlds (use three different colours). Use a yellow label for each of the six worlds. Use a red label for each of the sinful attitudes. Use a green label for each of the Buddha’s gifts that he carries to each world. See 2081 supplementary resources for labels. Upload the template to your school network.

Provide access for pupils to computers. Direct them to your preloaded Post-It tool on the school network and invite pupils to drag the black dots to label the Diagram correctly.

Ask pupils to add their own labels saying what they think is good about each of the Buddha’s gifts, e.g. ‘The lute plays music’, ‘The flaming sword is powerful’, ‘The alms bowl provides food’, ‘The book is for wisdom’, ‘The jar of nectar brings sweetness’, ‘The flaming torch brings light and hope’. Provide pupils with some of these words to help them. Of course the symbolism goes deeper than this; the idea is to start pupils thinking about how the Buddha helps people who are suffering in a variety of ways.

Explain that Buddhists believe that the Buddha’s teaching can help everyone to stop suffering, wherever they are [by stopping self-centred desires].


Pupils:

  • talk about some things in stories that make people ask questions;

  • describe what a believer might learn from a religious story;

  • ask important questions about life and compare their ideas with those of other people.

Key vocabulary:

happiness, the Buddha, karma, Wheel of Life (Bhavachakra),

---

Buddhist Wheel of Life Symbolism Resource (See 2081 supplementary resources)



Guide to the Buddhist Way of Life





Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Question (b): What answers might be given by ourselves and by religions and beliefs to questions about:

(ii) our place in society and the natural world, and (iv) the experience of suffering?

Learning objectives

Suggested activities for teaching and learning

Outcomes

References and notes

Lesson 6

Pupils will:



  • learn about the story of how Jesus healed people;

  • consider what may be learnt from the story about the treatments of social outcasts;

  • reflect on the nature of healing ‘miracles’;

  • reflect on how the experience of healing may change people.

Additional question:

What do Christians believe about how Jesus changed people’s lives through healing?


6. Remind pupils about the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus and how Jesus changed Zacchaeus’ life. Explain that today they will be learning more about what people believe about change by investigating the idea that Jesus healed people.

Show pupils a picture on the screen of one of Jesus’ healing miracles, e.g. ‘Cleansing of the Leper’ by Frank Wesley from the CD included in Picturing Jesus. Tell the story behind the picture (from Matthew 8:1-4) and discuss the picture, including ideas about what the artist may have been wanting people to think about. Explain the place of lepers as outcasts of society in 1st century Palestine. Explain that leprosy is not highly infectious but people with the disease are often stigmatised and feared.

Ask pupils what they think Christians might learn from the story about Jesus, and what we might all learn from the way Jesus approached the lepers about how to treat people that others reject.

Ask pupils to think about how the healing would have changed people’s lives. Ask: why did Jesus often say that faith was needed for the healing to take place?

Do they think the miracle ‘really happened’? Why / Why not? Ask pupils to give reasons for their views.

Ask pupils to work in pairs and (a) exchange ideas about the most important parts of the picture, (b) agree one question they would ask the person who has been healed if they could, and (c) agree one question they would ask the artist if they could.

Share ideas across the class and ask pupils for suggestions on how (a) the healed person might answer some of the questions and (b) the artist might answer some of the questions.

Ask pupils to use these ideas to create a new picture of their own that shows what they think the healed person did next.

Pupils:


  • describe what a believer might learn from a religious story;

  • ask important questions about life and compare their ideas with those of other people;

  • ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life, and suggest a range of answers which might be given by them as well as members of different religious groups or individuals.

Key vocabulary:

happiness, leper, leprosy, miracle, society, healing, faith, trust, true.

---

CD - Picturing Jesus: Fresh Ideas by Lat Blaylock (RE Today Services)






Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Question (b): What answers might be given by ourselves and by religions and beliefs to questions about:

(iii) the existence of God, and (iv) the experience of suffering?

Learning objectives

Suggested activities for teaching and learning

Outcomes

References and notes

Lesson 7

Pupils will:



  • reflect on images of suffering in the world;

  • consider what Jesus and the Buddha might have to say about suffering in the world today;

  • learn about Buddhist ideas on God, truth and the escape from suffering;

  • reflect on how charitable work aims to help those who are suffering.

Additional question:

What can people do today to help people who are suffering?


7. Remind pupils of how the Buddha and Jesus tried to help people who were suffering, even when they had been rejected by others.

Show a short sequence of pictures of some of the suffering in Britain and the rest of the world. This could include (not too graphic!) pictures of child labour exploitation, animal cruelty, war, greed, natural disasters. Use some appropriate music to accompany the sequence, e.g. ‘Mad World’.

Ask pupils to reflect on the pictures and say which ones had the most impact on them, and why. If they could ask Jesus or the Buddha a question about this picture, what would it be? What answer do they think might be given?

Explain that for Christians, Jesus is God and he showed in his life and teaching what God is like. Ask pupils what this tells Christians about God, for example, what God does about suffering in the world.

Explain that for Buddhists, the Buddha was not ‘God’ but a very special man who discovered the ‘Truth‘ about life without anyone else’s help. He taught that life is full of suffering but there was a way to get free from suffering. The Buddha said it was not necessary to worry about God, only to escape from suffering by giving up selfish desires. Ask pupils if they can think of examples of selfishness leading to other people’s suffering.

Show another short sequence of pictures of how a charity is helping victims of recent natural disasters across the world – see references and notes.

Ask pupils to say what they find interesting or puzzling about the charity project. Do they think that followers of Jesus or the Buddha would take part in such a project? Why or why not?


Pupils:
  • ask important questions about life and compare their ideas with those of other people;


  • make links between the beliefs of different religious groups and show how they are connected to believers’ lives;

  • ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life, and suggest a range of answers which might be given by them as well as Buddhists and Christians.

Key vocabulary:

happiness, suffering, God, Buddha, natural disaster, exploitation, cruelty, selfishness, desires, love, truth, charity.

---

Music, e.g., ‘Mad World’ by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules (from the Donnie Darko Movie Soundtrack).



A good example of how people in Britain are working with the people of Sri Lanka to help victims of the Tsunami of 2004 can be found at

http://www.bridge2.gg/

Photos of different projects, such as the one to build the Frangipani Pre-School at

http://www.bridge2.gg/#!The-Frangipani-Pre-School/ckmy/BasicPostsItem0_ht97ll713_0can be made into a film by copying the photos into Movie Maker or iMovie, subject to permission being granted for the educational use of the photos. If your school has a link with a school in a developing country, are there photos / movies of projects to improve life / education available to use for this purpose?






Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Question (b): What answers might be given by ourselves and by religions and beliefs to questions about:

(iv) the experience of suffering, and (v) life after death?

Learning objectives


Suggested activities for teaching and learning

Outcomes

References and notes

Lesson 8

Pupils will:



  • learn about Christian and Buddhist beliefs about the afterlife;

  • investigate and reflect on other children’s views about the afterlife;

  • express their own ideas about the afterlife.

8. Explain that for Buddhists and Christians, this life is not the only life. Most Christians believe in life after death and they call this resurrection. The Bible says that when Jesus was resurrected after his crucifixion it was a sign that his followers too will live again, with God.

Buddhists generally believe in ‘rebirth’ [NB not ‘reincarnation’], i.e. that when a person dies the energy of their life (not their body) will be reborn in a new life just as the flame of a candle can be used to light another one.

Ask pupils to find out what Christian and Buddhist children of their age say about life after death by investigating the NATRE’s ‘Children Talking’ website: http://old.natre.org.uk/db/profile2a.php

If this is not possible prepare some statements from the site in advance and present them to pupils. Provide copies of a two circle Venn diagram with ‘Buddhism Only’ in one circle and ‘Christianity Only’ in the other, with ‘Shared Beliefs’ in the overlapping section.

Ask pupils to use the Buddhist and Christian children’s statements and to work in small groups to write or place pre-written cards in the sections of the diagram they think they best fit. Get feedback from the class on the reasons for putting statements where they did. Why do they think people hold such different views?

Encourage pupils to write their own statement of thoughts about life and death. Some should go on to contribute their ideas to the ‘Children Talking’ website.


Pupils:

  • suggest reasons for the variety of beliefs which people hold, and explain how religious sources are used to provide answers to important questions.

  • ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life and suggest answers which relate to the search for truth and their own and others’ lives.

Key vocabulary:

happiness, resurrection, rebirth, suffering, impermanence,

---

See Mackley, J. (ed.) 2006, Exploring the Journey of Life and Death, REtoday, for a full description of the Venn Diagram activity.






Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Question (b): What answers might be given by ourselves and by religions and beliefs to questions about:

(iv) the experience of suffering, and (v) life after death?

Learning objectives

Suggested activities for teaching and learning

Outcomes

References and notes

Lesson 9

Pupils will:



  • learn about the story of Kisa Gotami and the Buddha;

  • create their own questions and answers in a ‘hot-seat’ activity;

  • reflect on some of the big questions of life and death.

9. Use e.g. www.clear-vision.org/Schools/Teachers/teacher-info/Buddhist-stories/Kisa-Gotami.aspx to tell the story of Kisa Gotami and the Buddha.

Prepare for a hot-seat activity where a disciple of the Buddha and Kisa Gotami will be questioned. Assign half the class with the task of preparing to answer questions as the Buddha’s disciple and half as Kisa Gotami.

Ask pupils to get together in small groups of the same character and to think of questions that the rest of the class may ask them. They should also discuss possible answers, based on what the Buddha says and how Kisa Gotami acts in the story.

Ask the pupils to then generate three questions for the other character. Explain that the best questions cannot be answered with "yes" or "no" or with simple facts from the story. Show pupils how to begin questions so that the characters must think of the reasons why they are answering as they do.

Next, ask for pupils to volunteer for the role of Kisa Gotami and hot-seat different pupils (individually, or set up a panel) until a good range of answers has been provided. Bring out points about what she realises about life and death. Then hot seat different pupils in the Buddha’s disciple’s role and bring out points about his teaching on suffering, impermanence and how impossible desires can never be fulfilled.

After the activity, ask pupils to write responses to the following questions: What did I learn from formulating questions to ask the Buddhist / Kisa Gotami? What did I learn from listening to the questions and answers of my classmates? Would someone who was not a Buddhist give the same answers as Kisa Gotami? Why / Why not? How do stories like this one help people answer big questions of life and death?

Ask pupils share some of their answers with the class.


Pupils:

  • describe what a believer might learn from a religious story;

  • ask important questions about life and compare their ideas with those of other people;

  • make links between the beliefs of different religious groups and show how they are connected to believers’ lives;

  • ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life, and suggest a range of answers which might be given by them as well as Buddhists.

Key vocabulary:

happiness, suffering, desire, impermanence, disciple.

---

The story of Kisa Gotami and the Buddha is also included in the Clear Vision Trust’s Buddhism for KS2 DVD.







Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Question (b): What answers might be given by ourselves and by religions and beliefs to questions about:

(iv) the experience of suffering, and (v) life after death?

Learning objectives

Suggested activities for teaching and learning

Outcomes

References and notes

Lesson 10

Pupils will:



  • use ICT to express some of their own ideas on Christian and Buddhist teaching about suffering.

10. Remind pupils of the six worlds in the Buddhist Wheel of Life and the six items brought by the Buddha to help beings who live there (as lessons 4/5 above).

Ask them as a class to recall what believers may learn from the stories they have been exploring in this enquiry: how Jesus helped Zacchaeus to change; how he healed the Leper; and the story of the Buddha and Kisa Gotami.

Remind them also of the key question: What do people believe about life?

Explain that they are going to use computers to help them answer this question and they will be making a comic page, using a programme such as http://comiclife.com/ or Comic Master.

Insert six pictures into the Comic template, taken from the last few lessons, e.g., the Wheel of Life, the picture of Jesus’ healing miracle, a poster showing Child Labour exploitation, animal cruelty, a picture showing selfishness or greed and one illustrating Kisa Gotami trying to find a house where there had been no death.

Ask pupils to work in twos or threes to focus on the idea of change, and to produce (a) a good question to ask Jesus or the Buddha about each picture and (b) an answer to the question that might be given by Jesus or the Buddha.

Compare ideas across the class.


Pupils:

  • describe what a believer might learn from a religious story;

  • ask important questions about life and compare their ideas with those of other people.

Key vocabulary:

happiness, miracle, exploitation, selfishness, change.

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Note – pupils will need some ICT time to learn how to use the Comic programme, e.g. how to add ‘call-out’ captions to the pictures.



The activity can work without computers but you will need to provide picture sheets for all pupils.





Key Question: What do people believe about life?

Supplementary Question (b): What answers might be given by ourselves and by religions and beliefs to questions about:

(i) the origin and meaning of life (ii) our place in society and the natural world (iii) the existence of God (iv) the experience of suffering, and (v) life after death?

Learning objectives

Suggested activities for teaching and learning

Outcomes

References and notes

Lessons 11 & 12

Pupils will:



  • express their own carefully considered views on the stories, questions and possible answers investigated in this term’s enquiry.


11 & 12. Follow up the previous lesson, allowing some pupils to complete or improve their work in the light of comparisons made across the class.

Explain that they are now going to finish the enquiry with their own answers to the big question: What do people believe about life?

Remind them of all the stories and investigation they have done and ask them to write answers to the following questions:


  1. Retell ONE of these stories in your own words:

    1. Jesus and Zacchaeus;

    2. Jesus heals a Leper;

    3. the Buddha and Kisa Gotami.

  2. What is the main message of this story for believers?

  3. What puzzled you most about this story?

  4. What do Christians learn from Jesus about how to treat other people?

  5. What do Buddhists learn from the Buddha about how to cope with suffering?

  6. a) Write down ONE question you would like to ask Jesus and the Buddha.
    b) How do you think they would answer?
    c) What is your own answer to the question?

Extension activities:

  • Ask pupils who compete the questions to read some more stories about the life and teaching of Jesus from, e.g. the RE:Quest website, or stories from the Biblos Primary Curriculum Project, University of Exeter, RMEP

  • Read some more stories about the Buddha from, e.g., the Clear Vision website or Anita Ganeri’s Buddhist Stories.

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In the follow-up lesson, provide pupils with feedback on their work and give them some time to make corrections and improvements to their work so that all have a good record of the key points of the investigation.

Read some stories from the extension activities above to complete the unit.

Use the record sheet below to record pupils’ names according to how well they have done the task in this unit of work, especially as exemplified in the final task.


Enable pupils to access the RE:Quest and Clear Vision websites.

Books from the Biblos Primary Curriculum Project.

Anita Ganeri’s Buddhist Stories.




RECORD OF ATTAINMENT

KS2 Unit 8: What do people believe about life? (A & E) Year 5/6

All pupils (Level 2):

Most pupils (Level 3):

Some pupils (Level 4):

Some pupils (Level 5):

A2 tell a Christian or Buddhist story and say some things that people believe.

E2 talk about some things in stories that make people ask questions.



A3 describe what a believer might learn from a religious story.

E3 ask important questions about life and compare their ideas with those of other people.



A4 make links between the beliefs (teachings, sources, etc.) of different religious groups and show how they are connected to believers’ lives.

E4 ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life, and suggest a range of answers which might be given by them as well as members of different religious groups or individuals.


A5 suggest reasons for the variety of beliefs which people hold, and explain how religious sources are used to provide answers to important questions.

E5 ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life and suggest answers which relate to the search for truth and their own and others’ lives.



















© 2011 REonline / Culham Institute – used with permission Additional material © 2012 Dave Francis




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