Unit : Hinduism – Sacred Literature
About this unit: This unit is intended for year 8 or 9.
It will probably be the second unit on Hinduism for those students following Hinduism as a minor focus, for those following Hinduism as a major focus it may be the third unit of study
In this unit children will have an opportunity to use words and phrases related to: -
This is Hinduism: Dave Symmons Nelson Thornes or similar text book
Indiana Jones video clips
Indiana Jones teacher information and worksheet (see resources pack)
Odd One Out picture sheet (see resources pack)
Quick on the Draw instructions and question pack (see resources pack)
Pictures of fairy-story characters or ‘heroes’
Statues/Pictures of Hindu gods
Animated World Faiths video
Themes in the Ramayana worksheet (see resources pack)
Blank pyramid grid (see resources pack)
Hot seating instructions (see resource pack)
Moral Dilemmas and the Ramayana chart (see resources pack)
Human Bar Chart instructions (see resources pack)
A Circus instructions (see resources pack)
Pyramid – why is the Bhagavad Gita important? (see resources pack)
Hindu scriptures essay sheet (see resources pack)
Respect for all
At the end of this unit
Be able to explain the impact of Hindu teachings on individuals and communities.
Learners can express the values and commitments of themselves and others.
Be able to evaluate the importance of the teachings in Hindu sacred literature.
Learners can evaluate the impact of their own values and commitments and those of others.
Reinforcement Level 4:
Be able to describe in some detail the meanings of the Hindu writings.
Learners can ask and answer relevant questions on the value of Hindu teachings.
Enrichment Level 7:
Be able to analyse the impact and value of teachings within Hindu scriptures.
Learners can offer critical analysis of issues arising from Hindu sacred writings.
To understand why people look for authority figures.
To evaluate the effectiveness of different sources of authority.
What is authority?
Brainstorm the different sources of authority we use. Ask learners to choose at least 5 that they refer to most, rank them in order of importance in their lives.
Watch clip of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade to explore the different sources of authority we use and complete the worksheet (see attached resources)
Agree/disagree game – Read out statements encouraging learners to consider why we need authority and evaluate the different types of authority they adhere to (e.g. People should always respect their elders and do what they say). Learners will stand by agree or disagree sign. Ask why they have chosen to stand by that sign.
On a post it note all learners write down a type of authority that influences them. Most learners write down why we have this type of authority and some can write down one good and bad point. Learners stick these to the board. Have a class discussion on the responses.
Complete an ‘Odd One Out’ activity, with a range of sources of authority on OHT/Data Projector, learners offering reasons for choosing one to be the odd one out.
Reinforcement – Learners can explain why people need authority.
Core – Learners can evaluate the effectiveness of different sources of authority.
Enrichment – Learners can analyse the impact and value of different sources of authority.
To know what Shruti and Smriti are.
To understand the different status of shruti and smriti.
To evaluate the significance of shruti and smriti literature.
What status do shruti and smriti literature have?
Show a holy book (or picture of one). Learners can brainstorm various reasons why this might be important to a believer.
Complete a Quick on the Draw exercise to investigate shruti and smriti literature using text book or information sheet – e.g. This is Hinduism pp.86-87 and p.94 (see resources pack for instructions and sample pack).
Enrichment: Use the question
‘You learn much more from one good story than from a hundred books’ Do you agree?’
You must be able to support your answer by using examples from Hinduism and elsewhere.
You may need to provide a suitable writing frame to support students in this task. A possible example is included in the resources pack.
Reinforcement – Learners can explain what shruti and smriti literature are.
Core – Learners can explain the different status of shruti and smriti literature.
Enrichment – Learners can evaluate the significance of shruti and smriti literature.
To know the main themes in the Ramayana.
To understand the impact of the Ramayana’s teachings on the life of a Hindu.
To evaluate the significance of the teachings of the Ramayana on the life of a Hindu.
What are the main teachings in the Ramayana?
Show pictures of fairy stories (Google search images will help here.) (Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin, Snow White etc.) or ‘heroes’ (Superman, Spiderman, The Incredibles, Lara Croft) – what themes can learners draw from these stories/characters? Try to draw out the triumph of good over evil.
If learners have studied previous units on Hinduism show statues of Hindu gods particularly the Trimurti – learners can brainstorm the stories/roles of these gods.
Watch the Ramayana story from Animated World Faiths (20 minutes approx)
Reinforcement learners could complete a cut and paste activity to retell the story (Hinduism For Specials by Folens has a cut and paste task on the Ramayana), and then explain two themes from the story from a selection (see resources pack).
Core learners could write a brief synopsis of the story, and explain what some key parts of the story teach Hindus – e.g. This is Hinduism p.93 task 3
Enrichment learners could design their own pyramid activity giving reasons for the importance of the Ramayana’s teachings, and then prioritising them. (Blank grid and triangles are in the resources pack)
Reinforcement – Learners can explain the main themes in the Ramayana
Core – Learners can explain the impact of the teachings of the Ramayana on the life of a Hindu
Enrichment – Learners can evaluate the significance of the teachings of the Ramayana for the life of a Hindu
To know how a Hindu would use the teachings of the Ramayana.
To understand the effectiveness of Hindu teachings when faced with moral dilemmas.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the Ramayana as a source of moral guidance.
How do the teachings in the Ramayana affect the life of a Hindu?
Hot seat a character from the Ramayana (see resources pack for instructions)
Complete a ‘moral dilemmas and the Ramayana’ chart, where learners have to consider the aid the teachings of the Ramayana may give when a Hindu is faced with different moral dilemmas (see resources pack for core and extension versions of the chart)
Carry out a human bar chart exercise (see resources pack for instructions) on the effectiveness of the Ramayana as a source of moral guidance. Ask learners to provide an argument to justify the position they hold in the bar chart.
Reinforcement – Learners can explain how a Hindu would use the teachings of the Ramayana.
Core – Learners can explain how effective the teachings of the Ramayana are in providing moral guidance for Hindus.
Enrichment – Learners can evaluate the effectiveness of the Ramayana as a source of moral guidance.
To know the main themes of the Bhagavad Gita.
To understand the impact of the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita on the life of a Hindu.
To evaluate the significance of the Bhagavad Gita for Hindus.
What does the Bhagavad Gita teach Hindus?
Organise a ‘circus’ activity, with a range of different activities for learners to complete on a rotation system (see resources pack for instructions and pyramid grid).
The suggestions here may be adjusted to suit your resources and the needs of your learners for example including the use of video/audio resources, posters, artefacts or worksheets you may already have on this topic.
(1) Read an account of the Bhagavad Gita (for example in Hinduism for Today pp.50-51 or This is Hinduism pp.90-91) and complete a mind map to show the main themes
(2) With the main themes from the BG listed take a moral issue and explain how reading the BG might help a Hindu decide what to do
(3) Read an account of the BG an write a diary entry for Arjuna showing why he was struggling to know what to do, and how Krishna’s advice helped
(4) Design a ‘Poster with a Purpose’ using no more than 10 words and as many pictures as you want to show how the teachings in the BG might help a Hindu know how to behave
(5) Cut and Paste account of the story in the right order – particularly Reinforcement
(6) Use a pyramid grid to show why the BG is important to Hindus
(7) For a moral decision explain whether the BG or Ramayana would be more helpful for a Hindu in deciding what to do, and why – particularly enrichment. As an additional enrichment activity learners could be asked to research Gandhi’s interpretation of the Bhagavad Gita and his views on ahimsa. They could then be asked to evaluate whether his views on ahimsa were compatible with the teachings of the Gita, or how valid his interpretation of the Gita was.
Reinforcement – Learners can explain the main themes of the Bhagavad Gita.
Core – Learners can explain the impact the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita might have on a Hindu.
Enrichment – Learners can evaluate the significance of the Bhagavad Gita for Hindus.
To demonstrate learners understanding of this topic.
Why are scriptures important to Hindus?
Learners could write an essay exploring Hindu scriptures (see resources pack for an example)
Learners could write a leaflet for year 6 explaining why Hindu scriptures are important
Reinforcement – learners can describe in some detail the main teachings of the Hindu writings they have studied, and the importance of them.
Core – learners can explain the impact of Hindu teachings on individuals and communities, and evaluate their importance.
Enrichment - learners can analyse the impact and value of the teachings within Hindu scriptures and offer critical analysis of issues arising from Hindu sacred writings