AMV 2011 Unit 10 – What’s it mean to belong to a religion? Hinduism
(RE Focus Areas B – practices & ways of life, D – identity, diversity & belonging & E – meaning, purpose and truth)
Unit of approximately 20 lessons across the Literacy and RE timetable
Written by Annie Fisher, Literacy Consultant, and Dave Francis, RE Adviser The unit is in four phases: Phase 1: Hindu Stories Phase 2: Hindu Festivals Phase 3: Writing a story Phase 4: Celebration
Although narrative writing is the main focus, opportunities for further writing (letter, report, prayer/poem are included).
Hindu artefacts will need to be gathered and displayed in readiness for the unit as well as topic books to support research.
This unit combines objectives for Literacy and RE and is intended to be taught across both timetables.
The unit should be used flexibly and adapted according to the time available and the extent of coverage you want.
Links to other curriculum areas such as Geography and Art would clearly be possible. If a visit to a Hindu temple is planned, then the NF unit 1, on newspaper / magazine Recounts could be merged in, thus running the unit across a half term.
A Note about Grammar: The grammar objective for this unit (Strand 11) is: Use commas to mark clauses and the apostrophe for possession. Teachers will need to decide how much time to allocate to grammar skills within this unit and whether commas and apostrophes are a priority, since you may have taught these aspects in other units. Three days are suggested (Lessons 13, 14, 15) for explicit teaching and some suggestions included, but teachers will need to decide, based on on-going assessment of children’s writing, whether to devote more or less time to this aspect. In all shared reading, teachers are advised to encourage children to notice relevant examples of grammar and punctuation, since learning of these aspects begins with noticing. It is also important to build into your modelled writing, the aspects of grammar e.g., apostrophes, which you want your children to learn. Well-planned teacher modelling of grammar in context is likely to be more effective than grammar exercises.
Useful website to support this unit: www.REonline.org.uk The unit also references a number of Espresso links, available in many schools.
See the Supplementary Resources that go with this unit for SMART materials etc. RE ‘Can-do’ statements B1 can use the right names for things that are special to Hindus.
D1 can talk about things that happen to them.
E1 can talk about what they find interesting or puzzling.
B2 talk about some of the things that are the same for different religious people.
D2 can ask about what happens to Hindus with respect for their feelings.
E2 can talk about some things in stories that make people ask questions.
B3 can describe some of the things that are the same and different for religious people.
D3 can compare some of the things that influence me with those that influence other people.
E3 can ask important questions about life and compare my ideas with those of other people.
I can talk about the ‘big questions’ that stories make us think about.
Use and reflect on some ground rules for sustaining talk and interactions.
Child-speak Literacy Objective:
We can work co-operatively in a group to discuss questions.
Begin with the PowerPoint of Hindu images (See Supplementary Resources). Play some Indian music to go with it, e.g., ‘Usha Bala Elo’ or ‘My Morning Begins’ from: www.radiosrichinmoy.org/radio/46/ or Indian Flute Music from: http://www.writespirit.net/resources/download_free_indian_music/index.html
Explain: “We will be looking at some stories from the Hindu tradition which help people think about the ‘big questions’ of life’. We will begin with a story which is well known to both Hindus and Buddhists in India – before we read it, see if you can guess what the story might be about…..?”
Show picture of elephant on IWB: Elephant SMART page 1 – using rubber tool, reveal a bit at a time – children describe what they see to their partner as the image is slowly revealed.
“Was it immediately obvious what the animal was? Could it have been anything else?”
Share read the Story of the Blind Men and the Elephant from, e.g., http://www.spiritual-education.org/stories.html or use Espresso: http://sp.espresso.co.uk/espresso/modules/t2_faiths/buddhism/story_blind.html
Ask children to form small groups of three or four and to briefly discuss what they think this story is trying to ‘say’ about life. Take feedback, accepting the varied and different ‘takes’ children might have on the story.
Explain that we are going to explore the ideas behind the story more deeply through a game.
See Elephant SMART page 2 on which you have written clues about an elephant. Reveal one at a time. Ask whether any of the clues would be sufficient, on its own, to describe an elephant. Explain that some are likely to be more helpful, but the more clues we have the easier it is.
“Share-write” with the children 10 clues for a lion on the 3rd page of Elephant SMART. Order clues from hardest to easiest, so that it is not too easy to begin with.
Ask the children to work in pairs and to choose one or more animals from 4th page of Elephant SMART to write clues about. (Use books or Internet search if wished to help find clues.)
More able children could be set a more demanding riddle challenge see Super Riddle document.
Each pair of children finds another pair. Play the guessing game of seeing how many clues it takes to get the answer.
Discuss how we often only have part of the story – the more information we have and the better we join up the information the closer we come to the truth.
Discuss with partner:
How could the blindness of the men in the story be a way of describing how we can sometimes be in life?
Take feedback and log the children’s responses on the whiteboard in the thought bubbles on page 5 of Elephant SMART.
I can talk about some of the stories about gods from the Hindu tradition.
1.Create roles showing how behaviour can be interpreted from different viewpoints.
2.Interrogate texts to deepen and clarify understanding and response.
Child-speak Literacy Objective: We can take on roles from a story to help us understand it.
Recap briefly on the story from yesterday which told us that there are many ways to look at something. Relate this to idea that no one way can tell us everything about God.
Explain that many Hindus believe in a great spirit or God called Brahmanwho is beyond all description, but that they worship many different gods and goddesses who show us different aspects of Brahman.
Introduce Hindu artefacts from your collected resources representing e.g. Ganesha, Krishna, Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi.
Explain that Hindus will often have a favourite god or goddess who is special to them.
Explain: Today we are going to learn about the birth of one of the most important figures from Hinduism, Krishna (reference artefact of Krishna). To help us understand the story we are going to use stick puppets to act out the story as we read it.
Introduce each of the characters from the story and read the story through – explain that you are modelling clear, expressive reading aloud and that they will need to do this shortly.
See Birth Krishna SMART or story of Krishna’s Birth & Janmashtami.
Group dramatisation of story using puppets:
Children make simple stick puppets, see Krishna characters resource:
Krishna Characters 1
Krishna Characters 2
Krishna Characters 3
Children cut out the shapes and stick them to canes or lollipop sticks.
There are 9 characters but groups need to be smaller than this in order to work together cooperatively and effectively e.g. 5 or 6 with some children responsible for more than one puppet.
One child narrates the story while the group act out the story with puppets.
Discuss and log the features of the story that are typical of religious myths ( e.g. set a long time in the past; conflict between good and evil; hero figure; miraculous, supernatural events; note similarities to Christian nativity story)
I can use the right names for things that are special to Hindus.
1.Create roles showing how behaviour can be interpreted from different viewpoints
2.Interrogate texts to deepen and clarify understanding and response.
Child-speak Literacy Objective We can take on roles from a story to help us understand it.
Share read the story of Krishna’s childhood, or see Krishna's Childhood SMART, highlighting and discussing any unfamiliar vocabulary and particularly looking at the use of simile (e.g., soft as a monsoon cloud) and figurative language (e.g., laughter bubbled out of him.)
Reading Comprehension/Still pictures:
Working in groups of three or four children read the stories of Krishna’s childhood. The task is to create three still pictures from the story.
When children have had chance to practise these, watch each other’s still pictures, half the class at a time.
Thought tracking: Choose some of the still pictures in turn and invite other children to stand behind the ‘statues’ and speak the thoughts of the characters.
e.g. scene where Yashoda looks into Krishna’s mouth – what might Yashoda think at this moment? What might Krishna be thinking?
Encourage children to speak the thoughts in the first person.
e.g., ”Whatever can this be? Is this a dream? How can it be that the whole universe is here in the mouth of my child?”
Teacher or TA scribes these ‘thoughts’ – then return to and discuss any that are of particular interest.
I can ask about what happened to Yashoda with respect for her feelings and talk about some things in stories that make people ask questions.
Organise texts into paragraphs to distinguish between different information, events or processes.
Literacy Objective in child-speak
I can organise my writing into paragraphs.
Remind children of yesterday’s story of ‘Krishna’s childhood’. Skim read to remind ourselves.
Discuss the function of the paragraphs in the story – what is the function of each paragraph (e.g. descriptive, new event, very short paragraph to create sense of action etc)?
Hot seat two or three children as Yasoda –ask open ended questions to find out how she felt about Krishna, e.g., what was Krishna like? What did you enjoy about looking after Krishna? What was special about him? Etc
It is useful to prepare these questions before putting a child in the hot seat and to discuss the value of open questions, which allow the character to talk rather than closed questions which only result in yes or no answers.
Ask children to imagine that Yasoda has a sister or brother and she is writing a letter to her about her son Krishna whom the sister/brother has never met.
Show plan for letter or on Letter Smart and how the letter needs to be organised into paragraphs.
Model write a paragraph – could be opening, middle or end paragraph according to what you think will best support your children’s writing.
Children write letters – stop for mid point reminders according to the writing needs of the class e.g., to keep re-reading for sense; to include some interesting adjectives/similes; to check punctuation.
In partners swap letters and read as if you are the sister or brother of Yashoda – give feed-back about how you imagine Krishna from the letter you have received.
Share one or two of the most effective paragraphs.
(may well need two days)
I can talk about things that happen to them and can use the right names for things that are special to Hindus.
Literacy Objective Interrogate texts to deepen and clarify understanding and response.
Literacy Objective in child-speak I can relate a story to other stories I have read and discuss the main themes.
Reading comprehension/speaking and listening lesson – it could be useful to clear a working floor space for this lesson e.g., moving tables and chairs to edges of the room.
Explain that there is a long poem, written long ago, which tells a story called the Ramayana. It is very exciting much loved by many Hindus. Storytellers used to learn the whole of it by heart and travel from village to village telling the stories. The hero and heroine of the story are a prince called Rama and his wife, Sita.
Ask if children can name any other heroes or heroines from stories.
Explain that as we read the story you want them to think particularly about the characters of Rama and Sita and what qualities these characters exemplify.
Share read the 5 part version of the Ramayana (on the Smart boards if available), stopping after each chapter for group discussion of the questions at the end of each section and for each group to create a still picture of a moment from each section.
Ramayana Part 1 SMART / Ramayana Part 1
Ramayana Part 2 SMART / Ramayana Part 2
Ramayana Part 3 SMART / Ramayana Part 3
Ramayana Part 4 SMART / Ramayana Part 4
Ramayana Part 5 SMART / Ramayana Part 5
Depending on time available, a further session could be included where the children dramatise story through drama or using simple stick puppets made by the children similar to those used for session 2.
Divide class into 5 groups: each group is responsible for dramatising one section of the story.
Sessions 6 and 7
I can compare some of the things that influence me with those that influence other people. I can describe some of the things that are the same and different for religious people.
Literacy Objective Organise texts into paragraphs.
Explain that Ganesha is a very popular God within the Hindu tradition.
Share read the story of Ganesha.
What qualities does Ganesha seem to have in this story? What qualities would they like to have?
Discuss, select and grade appropriate adjectives using zone of relevance on slide 5
How might an elephant be a symbol of positive qualities? e.g., big ears for listening, strong, helpful, remembering.
What does it mean to respect someone? How might we show that respect? e.g., words and gestures, bowing, applauding, putting up posters, flowers.
Which of the words we have looked at make Ganesha worthy of respect? Which of these words might be used for other people they have looked at in RE? Which words apply just to Ganesha?
Show the children a short paragraph you have written about someone you respect.
Ask children to discuss briefly with a partner and then to write a short paragraph about someone they respect – e.g. grandparent, parent, older sibling, sporting hero.
Guidance for writing paragraph.
First sentence says who you respect and makes overall statement of why you respect them.
Two or three further sentences expand on why you respect them, giving examples of things they do.
Final sentence rounds off and restates their importance to you.
Share some written outcomes.
Collect words that describe the qualities of Ganesha – write on pieces of card and display these around a picture or statue of Ganesha.
Phase 1 outcome:
Children can talk about a number of stories from the Hindu tradition and discuss how these stories can help us think about important questions in life and important human qualities. They can describe how these qualities might be applied to different people they have looked at in RE.
Children can share and discuss responses to stories in small or large group situations, they can explain the main themes of a story in their own words and recognise some of the conventions of mythological stories.
They understand the importance of paragraphing in structuring narrative and begin to use this to structure their own writing.
Sessions 8, 9, 10 approximately
The story of Prahlad and Holika. Explain that we are going to learn a new story and that the story of Prahlad and Holika is associated with a popular Hindu festival called the festival of Holi.
To further consolidate the understanding of paragraphs within a story structure, ask the children to work in groups with the story of Prahlad and Holika chopped into paragraphs with the task of sequencing the story correctly.
Look at SMART version of the story and discuss how the children decided on the correct sequence.
Ask also about any features of this story that are typical of the religious myths we have been exploring e.g., Good and Evil; God helping the good; miraculous/supernatural events).
Ask what the story is saying about good and evil and whether they have similar or different ideas.
Over the next three sessions (approximately) find out about Holi and other Hindu festivals using the excellent resources on Espresso (see links in the row below) or using other books Children should make notes from the Espresso clips and books and then be shown how to group their notes into paragraphs and structure into a report.
Children can say what happens at a number of Hindu festivals and explain how believers take part. They can talk about some of their own ideas about good and evil that may be reflected in the festivals and stories.
Children can present their own research from books or ICT sources, organising their material into paragraphs.
I can compare some of the qualities that Hindus associate with animals with my own character.
I can recognise some of the features of myths and fables.
Writing a story set in India
Explain that the story we will be looking at now is not a traditional Hindu story. It is a simple folk tale that has a message.
Read Grisha’s story – see SMART and word document.
Through discussion draw out the features of myth / fable / folk tales that this story exemplifies e.g. Things happening in threes, talking animals, learning lesson from the nature, stereotyped characters e.g., wise old woman.
Animals as symbols
Discuss the different animals that have appeared in the stories and how animals are often used in myths and legends to symbolise particular qualities. See SMART animal pictures or jpg, and ask children to think-pair-share any positive qualities that these animals might exemplify, e.g., dog=loyal. Do they think they have any of these qualities themselves?
Working individually or in pairs:
Choose one or more animals and write a paragraph explaining what their animal symbolises and why.
Model first example for children, e.g., ‘I think that the frog can be a symbol of patience. It knows how to sit still and be watchful and wait for a very long time. It needs to stay alert and not fall asleep. If it waits long enough, its patience is rewarded when it manages to capture a juicy fly on its long sticky tongue.’
Invite children to imagine themselves as an animal – which animal do they think they are like and why?
Are there any other qualities they see represented in animals that they would like to have?
I can plan a story including some of features of myth and fable.
A story set in India:
Our version of Grisha’s story
Look at the structure of Grisha’s story – see Grisha and the Special Gift Plan.
Discuss and model planning a similar story where a character learns something from animals. Children’s plans could stick fairly closely to Grisha’s story, e.g., changing character’s name and the animals.
Less confident writers could confine themselves to one animal.
More confident writers might want to deviate more from the original but the task is to write a story, set in India, where the main character learns about some important human quality or qualities from the animals.
At the end of the story they say what qualities they themselves most admire in the animals.
Children discuss and plan their story.-notes or simple picture plans.
Stop for regular mid-point plenaries to share ideas in progress.
Sessions 13 ,14, 15, (depending on the amount of grammatical skills practice the class needs to support their narrative writing).
I can apply correct the use of apostrophes (or speech marks) to my writing.
Work on aspects of Grammar that will best support the children’s writing
work on apostrophes – see SMART Apostrophes or Word version for one example of the type of teaching activity that could be included at this stage. Refer also to Grammar for Writing Unit 27.
and/or work on speech punctuation if this is something the class have not yet covered – see SMART punctuation or Word version for one example of a text-linked activity . Refer also to Grammar for Writing Units 4, 16.
Sessions 16 and 17
I can write a story.
Writing Own stories
Practice orally rehearsing stories from the picture plans.
Teacher model beginning a story from your own picture plan.
Give success criteria for story to groups according to ability, e.g.,
Include adjectives to describe the setting and the main character;
Include some punctuated dialogue between the main character and an animal.
Allow sufficient writing time with mid point plenaries to share work in progress and give reminders, e.g., around paragraphing, use of apostrophes or the punctuation of dialogue.
Feedback on stories, further teacher modelling. editing and improving.
Phase 3 Outcome
Children compare aspects of their own character with those of others, including the animals in the story, and compare their own ideas about people’s qualities with those that Hindus respect through their stories and festivals.
Children can use a story frame and ideas from known stories as the basis for planning and writing their own narratives
I can use the right names for the prayers and practices that are special to Hindus.
I can write a simple poem / prayer based on a model.
As we draw to the end of our work on Hinduism, we are going to look at a special Hindu prayer or mantra called the Gayatri mantra – read this together – see SMART Prayers and Mantras / Word version – ask children to Think-pair-share their reactions to the prayer. What questions does it raise in their minds?
You may like also to look at the Peace Prayers on the subsequent slides / pages or See Espresso link for Peace Prayer: