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KEY STAGE
2
UNIT TITLE:
WHAT HELPS HINDUS TO WORSHIP?
HINDUISM
6-8 HOURS
WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF THIS UNIT?
It is the intention of this unit to provide a broad understanding of how Hindus worship the supreme divine reality (Brahman) who is represented in
different forms, and what helps them to do this. Pupils will use images and stories to draw meaning to support this understanding. The most able
pupils could also be given opportunities to consider similarities and differences between Hindu and Christian understandings of God. This unit
could be linked with the OSU: ‘What does it mean to be a Hindu?’.
CORE KNOWLEDGE
LEARNING ABOUT RELIGION which includes:
LEARNING FROM RELIGION which includes:
knowing about and understanding beliefs, teachings & sources;
expressing ideas and insights into questions of identity, diversity &
Pupils should learn:
practices & ways of life; ways of expressing meaning
SUCCESS CRITERIA:
All pupils will be able to:
 make comparisons between their own experiences of
places of worship with the Hindu mandir (L3)
 reflect on good and evil as illustrated in Hindu stories and
make links with stories they know (L3)

that Hindus believe in a supreme
reality (Brahman) who is present in all
things and represented in many forms
All pupils will be able to:
 make links between objects, symbols and practices in
Hindu worship and the beliefs that underlie them (L3)
 draw meaning about good and evil from a Hindu story (L3)

the names/roles of some of the key
deities and avatars of Hinduism and
their place in Hindu worship
to draw meaning from Hindu images
to develop understanding of the Hindu
concept of the supreme reality
Most pupils should be able to:
 suggest meaning for the various Hindu deities as symbolic
representations of Brahman (L4)
 describe, using religious vocabulary, how religious beliefs
are expressed through features and practices of Hindu
worship (L4)
 interpret a story from the Hindu scriptures drawing out
and explaining key beliefs (L4)


the key rituals of Hindu worship in the
home and at the mandir
 that Hindus have their own sacred
writings which are made up of stories
with meanings
POSSIBLE LEARNING JOURNEY:
belonging; meaning, purpose & truth; values & commitments
SUCCESS CRITERIA:
Some pupils might be able to:
 evaluate the relative benefits of worship in the home or at
the mandir for a Hindu, explaining their reasons (L5)
 explain similarities and differences between Hindu and
Christian understandings of God (L5)
Most pupils should be able to:
 ask questions and suggest answers about aspects of
Hindu worship in the mandir or associated with a Hindu
home shrine (L4)
 identify the qualities needed for heroes and leaders in
both Hindu stories and their own lives (L4)
Some pupils might be able to:
 express clear views about how Hindu belief in Brahman,
who is present in all things, makes a difference to Hindus’
lives – and express their own thoughts or beliefs (L5)
 express a reasoned view about the value of using stories
to communicate religious ideas (L5)
Engage: How would you describe yourself?



Fold paper into four – or, for more sections, you could use the net of a cube. In each section, pupils draw or write about the different ways they might be described e.g. as a sister, friend,
daughter, Brownie, member of club etc. What is it that stays the same? Talk about what the different ‘aspects’ of their character / personality / roles mean to themselves and to others. If
someone needed help for something, which ‘part’ of you would be most useful and how?
Gather thoughts as a class that demonstrate what they know already about ‘God’ and ‘worship’ – from Christianity, or other religions they’ve studied.
Listen to the ‘aum’ sound and introduce it as the ‘sound of the universe’, and a special sound of Hindu worship, which focuses on Brahman, who is one – and many, in a way that’s similar
to how they showed they are one person, but perhaps ‘seem’ different to different people.
Enquire and Explore: Is Brahman one, or many? – and what does this mean for Hindu worship?


Set the context for this unit as an exploration of how Hindus perceive ‘God’, whom they call Brahman – and what helps them to worship.
Give each group a different Hindu murti (image) to investigate. Write as many questions as they can about it – encourage groups to also make their own suggestions about what different
GUILDFORD DIOCESAN GUIDELINES FOR R.E.
parts of the ‘image’ might mean.
To find out the answers to some of their questions, pupils could:
 Watch clips of Hindus worshipping in the home or at the mandir and use to answer any questions they had; investigate stories about Hindu deities to find out the meanings for any
symbolism – or to draw out what the story might reveal about Hindus’ understanding of God; watch a Hindu dance and find out how it conveys Hindu beliefs; look at words from Hindu
scriptures; find out which of the deities Hindus might have in a shrine at home, what different parts of it symbolise and whether any are especially significant at different times of the year;
invite a Hindu visitor to talk about what worship means for them; talk about the similarities / differences in worship in different religions or their own experience of worship;
In addition:
 Show pupils a puja tray and watch one in use as part of Hindu worship. How does Hindu worship engage all the senses? Why might this be important?
 Share Hindu stories and explore how Hindu beliefs / themes (e.g. light / dark; good / evil; Hindu qualities / values e.g. loyal husband; reincarnation etc.) are expressed in them
Evaluate: What helps Hindus to worship?


Review the questions that you wrote together: how many have been answered? Consider how Hindu belief (e.g. about Brahman, who is present in all things) might affect Hindus’ lives,
including their worship and also why it’s important for Hindus to use all their senses as a part of worship.
List all the different things that as a class, you’ve discovered help Hindus to worship. Use a ranking activity in groups to decide which you think are the most important and why. Is it ‘better’
to worship at home or in the mandir, and why?
Express: Pupils could...



Create their own version of an artefact that might help Hindus to worship e.g. puja items (or images) to engage all the senses or a murti that symbolises aspects of Brahman – adding labels
and captions that explain their symbolism.
Choreograph a piece of dance in response to a Hindu story that illustrates Hindu beliefs or values
Devise a presentation using ICT that evaluates the (tow / three / four) most important aids to worship for a Hindu, or is a response to the concept of ‘Worship’, comparing Hindu with
Christian beliefs about God & prepare your ‘script’ ready for presentation to the class.
SKILLS TO BE DEVELOPED BY THIS UNIT
Pupils should demonstrate progression by:
 Reflecting on the meaning of items in a
shrine or the meaning of a Hindu story
 Empathising by interviewing a Hindu who
can talk about their experience of worship;
considering how worship ‘feels’ for a Hindu
 Investigating by visiting a mandir or looking
at a Hindu shrine and finding meaning in the
items seen or stories heard.
 Interpreting a story from a Hindu tradition
 Evaluating the importance of different
expressions of worship for a Hindu
 Analysing the similarities and differences
between Hindu worship and another faith
worship
 Synthesising by comparing the Christian
view of God as Trinity with the Hindu view of
representations of Brahman.
 Applying by considering the impact of beliefs
about Brahman on Hindu worship & daily life
 Expressing by creating a dance / worship
artefact / presentation about Hindu worship
KEY VOCABULARY
EVIDENCE OF PUPIL PROGRESS
Murti (image)
Tri-murti: Brahma; Vishnu; Shiva
Arti (worship)
Puja (prayers)
Aum – the sound of the universe
avatar – ‘incarnation’ (as human & animals)
Krishna; Rama; Ganesh; Durga; Lakshmi
Vedas / Bhagavad Gita/Mahabharata / Upanishads / Ramayana
 Learning about religions: through investigation
tasks and evidence presented; drawing meaning
from artefacts and stories; preparing interview
questions;
 Learning from religion: preparing interview
questions; evaluating what most helps Hindus to
worship; expression tasks
LINKS WITH OTHER UNITS ACROSS KEY STAGES



Foundation Stage unit: ‘Why do we have celebrations?’
KS1 units – no Hinduism units at KS1
KS2 units – ‘OSU: What does it mean to be a Hindu?’
Surrey Agreed Syllabus KS3 units – ‘Do our actions influence our future?’

This unit could be used to complement a visit to a Hindu place of worship (Mandir) and would benefit from use of the artefacts of
a Hindu shrine.
It’s important to emphasise with pupils that Hindus do not believe in many gods, but in one supreme deity (Brahman),
who is worshipped in different forms (deities), and whose presence is found in everything. There are 3 main deities,
the Tri-murti (Brahma – creator; Vishnu – sustainer; Shiva – destroyer & re-creator). Hindu worship may be focussed
on different deities at different times and for different reasons.
The success criteria specified for this unit range from level 3-5. If you have pupils who are not yet working at level 3, then use
the success criteria specified on the alternative assessment grid.
BBC Learning Zone has a range of clips that would be suitable for this unit.

POINTS TO NOTE / BACKGROÚND KNOWLEDGE



GUILDFORD DIOCESAN GUIDELINES FOR R.E.
Assessment sheet for RE
Unit: What helps Hindus to worship?
LEARNING FROM RELIGION
‘expressing ideas and insights’
LEARNING ABOUT RELIGION
‘knowing about and understanding’
Some pupils will have not made
so much progress and will be
able to:

make links between objects, symbols
and practices in Hindu worship and the
beliefs that underlie them (L3)
and / or
 draw meaning about good and evil from a
Hindu story (L3)
Names:


Most pupils will be able to:

suggest meaning for the various Hindu
deities as symbolic representations of
Brahman (L4)
and / or
 describe, using religious vocabulary,
how religious beliefs are expressed
through features and practices of Hindu
worship (L4)
and / or
 interpret a story from the Hindu
scriptures drawing out and explaining
key beliefs (L4)
Names:
make comparisons between their own

experiences of places of worship with the
Hindu mandir (L3) and / or
reflect on good and evil as illustrated in
Hindu stories and make links with stories 
they know (L3)
Names:
ask questions and suggest answers
about aspects of Hindu worship in the
mandir or associated with a Hindu home
shrine (L4) and / or
identify the qualities needed for heroes
and leaders in both Hindu stories and
their own lives (L4)
Names:
GUILDFORD DIOCESAN GUIDELINES FOR R.E.
Year:
Some pupils may have
progressed further and will be
able to:


evaluate the relative benefits of worship
in the home or at the mandir for a Hindu,
explaining their reasons (L5)
and / or
explain similarities and differences
between Hindu and Christian
understandings of God (L5)
Names:

express clear views about how Hindu
belief in Brahman, who is present in all
things, makes a difference to Hindus’
lives – and express their own thoughts
or beliefs (L5) and / or
 express a reasoned view about the
value of using stories to communicate
religious ideas (L5)
Names:
Assessment sheet for RE
Unit: What helps Hindus to worship?
LEARNING FROM RELIGION
‘expressing ideas and insights’
LEARNING ABOUT RELIGION
‘knowing about and understanding’
Some pupils will have not made
so much progress and will be
able to:
Most pupils will be able to:
 retell a Hindu story (L2) and / or
 suggest meanings for Hindu symbolism
(L2)

Names:
Names:



show sensitivity to the beliefs of others
when talking about Hindu stories, beliefs
or artefacts (L2)
and / or
recognise that some questions about life
are difficult to answer (L2)
Names:
make links between objects, symbols
and practices in Hindu worship and the
beliefs that underlie them (L3)
and / or
 draw meaning about good and evil from a
Hindu story (L3)

Some pupils may have
progressed further and will be
able to:

suggest meaning for the various Hindu
deities as symbolic representations of
Brahman (L4)
and / or
 describe, using religious vocabulary,
how religious beliefs are expressed
through features and practices of Hindu
worship (L4)
and / or
 interpret a story from the Hindu
scriptures drawing out and explaining
key beliefs (L4)
Names:
make comparisons between their own

experiences of places of worship with the
Hindu mandir (L3) and / or
reflect on good and evil as illustrated in
Hindu stories and make links with stories 
they know (L3)
Names:
GUILDFORD DIOCESAN GUIDELINES FOR R.E.
Year:
ask questions and suggest answers
about aspects of Hindu worship in the
mandir or associated with a Hindu home
shrine (L4) and / or
identify the qualities needed for heroes
and leaders in both Hindu stories and
their own lives (L4)
Names: