Teacher: Ms. Chhuo Subject Area: esl/6th grade Ancient Civilizations Grade Level: 6 Unit Title: 6thGrade

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Teacher: Ms. Chhuo

Subject Area: ESL/6th grade Ancient Civilizations

Grade Level: 6

Unit Title:

Chapter 16: The Story of Buddhism

Chapter 17: Buddhism and the First Unification of India

Lesson Title: Understanding the spread of Buddhism

Objectives (Write 2-5 objectives stating expected learner outcomes.):

Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the early civilizations of India.

Students will know the life and moral teachings of Buddha and how Buddhism spread in India and other parts of Asia such as Korea and Japan.

Students will describe the diffusion of Buddhism.

Materials/Resources Needed:

Internet (http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/pbs_syll.htm), History Alive Text Book, Teacher taken pictures from various museums

Anticipatory Set

Show students picture of Prince Siddhartha. Show students pictures of various bodhisattvas from different South East Asian countries. Compare and Contrast these figures/statues/images. What do you see? What are the similarities and differences?


Students will understand the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia.

Direct Instruction ( 5 Days)

Day 1: Foundation of Buddhism

• What is Buddhism?

Who is Buddha?
Stories from the Life of the Buddha.
The Buddhist Idea about Life.

Day 2:  Key Ideas in Buddhism

  • The Eightfold Path

  • The Four Noble Truths

Day 3: Spread of Buddhism into China

  • Third century B.C., Emperor Ashoka, trade routes across Central Asia.

  • By the second century B.C., some Central Asian cities like Khotan, had already become important centres for Buddhism.

  • Han Dynasty of China extended its power to Central Asia in the first century B.C., trade and cultural ties between China and Central Asia also increased. 

  • The Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution initiated by Tang Emperor Wuzong 845 CE

  • China and Confucianism

Day 4: Spread of Buddhism into Korea

  • Fourth century C.E first introduced Buddhism to the northern kingdom of Koguryo. A Central Asian monk is said to have brought Buddhism to Packche sometime later.

  • Sixth and seventh century Korean monks study in China schools of Buddhism.

  • Buddhism reached its height of importance in Koryo dynasty.

  • Yi Dynasty from the end of the fourteenth century to the early twentieth century, Buddhism lost the support of the court when Confucianism became the sole official religion of the state. 

Day 5: Spread of Buddhism into Japan (links to 7th grade history)

7th Grade

20.5 Religion: Buddhism Comes to Japan by way of China and Korea

  • Sixth century, the king of Packche, anxious to establish peaceful relations with Japan, sent gifts of images of the Buddha and copies of Buddhist texts to the Japanese imperial court.

22.8 Training in Spiritual Strength

Guided Practice

Students will read the cartoon on the life of the Buddha and the spread of Buddhism. Students will also read the History Alive chapters. Students will compare and contrast the two reading materials. Students will also compare images of statues from different countries. Students will write a reflection of the Buddhism influence in various countries.


Watch a PBS documentary of the life of Buddha to review his life, and the foundations of Buddhism. Connect back to the textbook. Review the foundations of Buddhism and discuss the spread of Buddhism.

Independent Practice

Create a comic strip of the life of Buddha. Students must illustrate and describe the spread of Buddhism. Tell a story of how Buddhism spread from India to other South East Asian countries.

One comic strip per country. One for China. One for Korea. One for Japan.

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