Unit: What do Buddhists believe about the nature of suffering? In this unit children will have an opportunity to use words and phrases related to:-

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1 Unit: What do Buddhists believe about the nature of suffering? About this unit; This unit is intended to introduce students to Buddhism, and to help students explore the nature of suffering. It could be a stand alone half term unit of six weeks or so or could form part of a longer terms work on Buddhism Prior Learning Technical Vocabulary Resources It would be helpful if the students: had already studied aspects of other world religions, including ways in which believers put their beliefs into practice. Have had the experience of listening to and responding to stories with meanings In this unit children will have an opportunity to use words and phrases related to:- Siddhartha Gautama Karma Samsara Anicca Anatta Dukkha Moksha The Buddha Tripitaka Dhamma The Buddhist Way by Steve Clarke, especially chs. 1, 3 and 5; see also the accompanying work sheets, especially 2.1, 2.4, 5.5. Tibet Support Group set of large, coloured photographs on life in Tibet, A Journey Through a Changing Land. Living Buddhism series of videos. Animated World faiths video series Buddhism for Today by Chris Wright, especially pp The Buddhist Experience by Mel Thompson, especially pp Buddhism, A Pictorial Guide (C.E.M.), especially pp. 6-7, This is R.E. by Cath Large, especially pp Song The Living Years by Mike and the Mechanics

2 Expectations At the end of this unit Most children will: (Level 5 ) some children will not have made so much progress and will: (Level 3 ) Some children will have progressed further and will: (Level 6 ) be able to explain the main events in the life of Siddhartha Gautama, be able to explain some of the main features of the Dharma the Four Noble Truths and of the Noble Eightfold Path. Be able to ask and suggest answers to questions related to some aspects of their own lives, and in particular to the problem of suffering in today s world. Be able to express their own views and those of others Be able to describe and show understanding of the life of Siddhartha Gautama and of his teaching. Be able to show some understanding of the some of the key ideas of Buddhism. Be able to raise important questions related to some aspects of their own lives and in particular to the problem of suffering in the world today. Be able to give an informed account of the main events of the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the Dharma including the Four Noble Truths and of the Noble Eightfold Path. Be able to express an opinion using reasoning and examples to questions related to some aspects of their own lives, and in particular to the problem of suffering in today s world Be able to consider the challenges of following Buddhist teaching

3 Learning Objectives Possible Teaching Activities Learning Outcomes Contribution to other Curriculum Areas Students should: Why is their suffering in the world today? Students should be able to: Investigate and consider a number of situations of suffering in the news Understand the story of the 4 sights of suffering Look at a range of articles from the newspapers. Or a short news summary broadcast (Channel 5 is quite good as they do their news in about a minute!) For each item consider Who is suffering? Who is to blame for the suffering? What is the cause of the suffering? This could be done on a simple chart. Read the story the four sights of suffering. (This is done particularly well in Buddhism for Today by Chris Wright page 8/9) Raise and suggest answers/express opinions on a number of local, national and international situations of suffering. Describe/explain the story of the 4 sights of suffering Cultural development Moral development Literacy Citizenship Explain that Buddhism is founded on answering the question of Why is their Suffering? Possible H/W Imagine that you are advising Posh and Becks on how to protect their new baby from suffering. Show this on a mind map. Students should:- learn about some aspects of Buddhism Today including the Free Tibet Campaign and know who the Dalai Lama is What do we know about Buddhism? Use a picture of the Dalai Lama, or any other material from the Free Tibet Campaign, e.g. a photograph of a London demonstration about Tibet, or the set of large coloured photographs of aspects of Tibetan life and culture. Make a list of questions that you would want to ask about the pictures. Or, look at recent newspaper cuttings which include mention of Buddhism or Buddhists. Students should be able to Describe/explain some aspects of Buddhism Raise and suggest answers to questions Citizenship Opportunity for cultural development

4 Learning Objectives Possible Teaching Activities Learning Outcomes Contribution to other Curriculum Areas Students should: The life of Siddhartha Gautama. Students should be able to: Spiritual and cultural development Investigate/learn about the life of Siddhartha Gautama. Reflect on the relevance of his life to world problems today. Hand out the sheet with a summary of the life of Siddhartha Gautama, with a list of prompt questions to keep an eye on during the video. Watch the first twenty minutes or so of programme 1 of the series, Living Buddhism, on the life of the Buddha. The Animated World Faiths includes a 15 min cartoon on the life of the Buddha which may be more suitable for some classes. Check through the prompt questions, and sequence the life in, say, eight boxes of a story board or cartoon strip (e.g. a wealthy start, each of the four signs, starvation, enlightenment, death for the last time). Rewrite or draw the life set in today s world (e.g. rich Sid sets out to see the world and is horrified to discover that the real world (full of dukkha) is very different from what he had expected in view of his carefully controlled, sheltered upbringing, and so on). Describe/ explain/give an informed account of the main events in the life of Siddhartha Gautama. Make links between the main events of the Buddha s life to life in today s world. Describe/Explain/give an informed account of how Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, and why the problem of suffering is so important for Buddhists. Art Alternatively this could be done as a fortune line activity in groups and/or then individually. This would make the basis of a suitable display as reference could then be made as unit develops. A possible written task could then be to write a biography of the Buddha for inclusion in The Sun s guide to Religious leaders (set a maximum word limit) or 10 things you need to know about the Buddha for a teenage magazine. Thinking skills Literacy

5 Students should understand the Buddhist teaching on suffering reflect on their attitudes towards suffering and bereavement How do Buddhist s explain suffering? Briefly explain that the Buddha taught that there are three marks of life. Write these on the white board or whatever. Play the song The living Years by Mike and the Mechanics Discuss how this song might illustrate these three ideas. Anicca (everything changes use the life cycle of the Frog to illustrate), Anntta (there is no such thing as a permanent self look at pictures of the same person at different stages of life) and Dukkha (Life is unsatisfactory) Focus on Dukkha or the 4 noble truths. Use the story of Kisa Gotami and the Mustard seed to explore this. This is a powerful story and it can be explored in any way you are comfortable with. A literacy based approach would be to write a review of the story and it would lend itself to drama. Personally I would use it as a focus for reflection. Students should be able to Describe/explain/give an informed account of Buddhist teaching on the suffering Raise and suggest answers to questions of suffering Express their own and others views on suffering using reasoning and examples. PSHE Opportunity for spiritual development Learning Objectives Possible Teaching Activities Learning Outcomes Contribution to other Curriculum Areas Students should: Investigate/learn about the stages of the Noble Eightfold path. Reflect on the value of the noble 8 fold path The Noble Eightfold Path. Instant list of things you would do before setting out on a big journey, e.g. destination, how to get there, what to take with you. Draw (individually, or as a pair or group exercise on a large sheet, for display?) a diagram to show the eight stages of the Path, grouped under introductory (stages 1-2), practical (3-5), thought control (6-8), and illustrate, either with examples of right use of speech, action and so on, or with examples of wrong use of speech etc. Students should be able to: Describe/explain/give an informed account of the Noble Eightfold Path. Consider the challenges of following Buddhism Apply their own ideas Spiritual, moral and cultural development. Personal and social education.

6 Choose any four stages, and note down ways in which you yourself could begin to put them into practice. Note down a particular ambition of your own (a career aim, perhaps?), and set out eight steps which would help you achieve it. to at least some of the stages the noble eightfold path to their own lives and ambitions. Suggested Assessment Task: Return to the issues of suffering you looked at in the first lesson. Add an extra box to the chart What would Buddha say Ask students to take one or more of the issues and write an editorial for The Buddhist Times on this issue. The editorial should contain an outline of the cause of the suffering and the actions Buddhist s could take to ease the problem. They should have the opportunity to look at the editorial page of a range of newspapers. It should be pointed out that editors have to work to word limits and deadlines. Differentiation can be achieved by newspaper! E.G More able The Buddhist Times, less able The Buddhist Sun Says

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