Year 2: Holy Books (Torah, Bible, Qu ran) [Syllabus strands 1a, 1c, 1e, 1i, 1j, 1m]

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1 Year 2: Holy Books (Torah, Bible, Qu ran) [Syllabus strands 1a, 1c, 1e, 1i, 1j, 1m] In this unit the children will reflect on how certain books may have special personal value. They will gain awareness of the authority of holy books for those who practise Judaism, Christianity and Islam and of the links between the Torah, the Bible and the Qur an. Opportunities for spiritual development: reflecting on why certain books have special significance for us; understanding beliefs about the origins of holy books and their authority for believers. Opportunities for moral development: reflecting on the meaning and guidance contained in stories and rules for living contained in the holy books. Opportunities for social development: understanding that the meaning and authority of holy books is shared by large groups of people who follow the same faith. Opportunities for cultural development: understanding that familiarity with the stories from a particular religious tradition and with the manner in which the holy book is regarded and handled may be an important part of a person s background (culture). General concepts (relating to human experience and/or religious experience) Value and worth Meaning Belief Symbolism Authority Unity, difference, diversity Commitment Specific religious concepts Holy Books/Sacred texts (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) Prophets (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) Rules for living (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) Community Worship and meditation Origins Purpose

2 Y2 Holy Books; RE objectives Possible activities RE skills and attitudes Focus What makes certain books precious to us? Children learn to. identify books that have special value for themselves and others, giving reasons; reflect on the history of books and think about why there is still a place for books today; Show the children 2 or 3 books that are precious to you for different reasons (e.g favourite story, given by a particular person, a very old book, a personal record such as photo album) Make a classroom display of precious books and the reasons for different people. Talk about how, in this digital age, we still value books that we can hold, turn the pages of, refer to easily and repeatedly. Ask the children if they think that people have always had books. Explain that people have only had wide access to books since the invention of the printing press and that earlier, there were only handwritten manuscripts or orally transmitted stories. Enquiry, Reflection, Expression, Evaluation Appreciation and wonder What is the Torah and why is it a holy book in Judaism? describe what the Torah scroll is like and how it is kept and handled; explain how Moses is believed to have received the Torah; identify some stories or guidance contained in the Torah; make links between the Torah and the Christian Bible; Show the children a replica Torah scroll in its mantle. What do they think this object is? (Should be a reminder from Y1). Take the scroll out of the mantle, unroll it a little, and ask them again. The cover shows that it is precious and to be treated with care. Look at and talk about the Hebrew writing, written from right to left and by hand. Explain the use of the yad or pointer to prevent smudging or wearing of the ink by a finger. Explain that the Torah is a holy book in Judaism i.e. not just special, but believed to contain words from God that those who practise Judaism must follow as carefully as they can; Torah means teaching. Make the link between the Torah and the first five books of the Christian Bible the stories found in these books are familiar to Jews, Christians and also to another group known as Muslims. Show pictures of Torah scrolls in the ark in the synagogue, of people reading from the Torah using a yad and of a scribe (sofer) writing one. (See internet resources sheet for suitable sites and for a virtual synagogue tour.) Tell the children Enquiry

3 that although the Torah is also available in English, printed as a book, Jewish people like to have handwritten scrolls in the synagogue ask why they think this is. Reflection Look at examples of mantle designs for clues about the stories contained in the Torah (e.g. tablets of stone, flames of the burning bush, Noah s ark and rainbow.) (see for examples of mantles and silver ornaments placed over the mantle) Tell the story of Moses, a great leader of the Jewish people a long time ago, receiving the 2 tablets of stone containing the commandments from God on Mount Sinai (Exodus chap. 34) Children could make their own scrolls and add pictures and writing to show significant events in a story or stories contained in the Torah. Or discuss some of the rules for living contained in the Torah (e.g. Leviticus chap 19: Respect your mother and father do not lie do not steal show respect for the elderly..look after newcomers..) and ask the children to write their own rules for living on their scrolls. You could invite a Jewish visitor to read from the Torah in Hebrew and talk about what it means to him/her. Application Critical interest, openness, respect What is the Bible and why is it a holy book for Christians? make a link between the Torah and Jesus background; explain that the second part of the Bible relates to the life and teaching of Jesus and was written after his death; Show a number of different copies of the Bible (e.g. pocketsized, larger with gold leaf pages, paperback, children s Bible). Look at some of the pictures that will enable children to see the link with the Torah (e.g. Creation story, Noah, Moses, Joseph) Look at other pictures relating to the life of Jesus and tell the children that the second part of the Bible, called the New Testament, is all about the life, teaching and influence of Jesus. Show Torah and Bible side-by-side and ask the children which of these holy books Jesus himself read? He was Jewish, so he Enquiry

4 read the Torah and listened to it being read in the synagogue. The stories about Jesus in the Bible were written down after Jesus had died, so the whole Bible didn t exist at the time of Jesus. We know that Jesus knew and understood the Torah very well. You could tell the story of Jesus as a boy in the temple, teaching with authority (Luke chap 2 v.41-52). recognise some stories told by Jesus about the love of God and reflect on their meaning; Tell some of the stories of Jesus about God s love for everyone (e.g. The Lost Sheep, Luke 15, v1-7; The Lost Son, Luke 15, v11-32; [See Explain that Jesus believed and taught that it didn t matter if you were rich or poor, important or unimportant, young or old, sick or healthy, sensible or foolish - you were precious to God. Children could work in groups to create posters entitled Jesus said God cares like the shepherd (or father).., showing the characters in the story and words/phrases to describe them. You could invite a Christian visitor to talk about a favourite story and what the Bible means for him/her. Reflection, Expression Critical interest, openness, respect What is the Qur an and why is it a holy book for Muslims? describe what the Qur an is like and how it is kept and handled; explain how Muhammad is believed to have received the words of the Qur an; Show the children a closed Qur an stand and ask them if they can work out what this object is for. What is it made of and what patterns can you see in its design (e.g. floral designs indicating Allah the creator of the natural world)? Tell the children that this is a stand for the Holy Book of Muslims, those who follow the religion of Islam. Show pictures of people reading from the Qur an on a stand and discuss how the Qur an is treated with respect e.g. is not placed on the floor, is handled with clean hands. Look at the writing, noting that the Arabic script, like Hebrew, is written from right to left. Tell the children the story of the revelation of the Qur an to Muhammad, who passed on to others the words spoken to him by the angel, which Enquiry

5 identify some stories contained in the Qur an; make links between stories of the Prophets of Islam in the Qur an and stories in the Torah and Christian Bible; were later written down. (See Show pictures of children learning to read the Qur an and tell the children that many Muslim children in the UK go to a mosque class after school or on Saturdays in order to learn to read the Qur an in Arabic, as this is the language in which Muhammad first heard the words of the Qur an. Muslims believe that the Qur an is the word of Allah (God) and that it tells them how they should live. Look at some collections of stories from the Qur an for children (see Resources Database) to find out the names of some of the Prophets (great leaders) of Islam [e.g. Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Yaqub (Jacob), Yousef (Joseph), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus)] prior to Muhammad. Read and discus one or two of these stories. Look at the illustrations to see whether any people are depicted (N.B. The Prophets are rarely depicted in Islamic art). The children could design an illustration for a Muslim story including the name of the prophet, an Islamic border pattern and other relevant features. You could invite a Muslim visitor to read from the Qur an in Arabic and talk about what it means for him/her. Reflection, Expression, Application Critical interest, openness, respect

6 Plenary What could you write down that you think would still be true in hundreds of years time? reflect on the idea of general and long-standing truths and express their own ideas about this. Re-cap the fact that although the Torah, Bible and Qur an were all written down hundreds of years ago, people still find that these books help them to live their lives today. Are there any rules for living or truths about life that the children could write down today that they think would still be true for people a long time in the future? (e.g. how to be happy, how to get on with other people, how to create a peaceful class/school/community/world). Reflection, Expression, Application, Evaluation Possible assessment statements Some children talk about different ways in which books may have great value for us. They recognise and name the Torah scroll, Bible and Qur an as holy books for some people and can identify some of their external features. They talk about how they are kept and handled and can refer to some stories that one or more of them contain. (L1) Most children talk about different ways in which books may have great value for us and can explain what is meant by a holy book for those who follow a religion (e.g. people believe they contain messages from God). They can explain why the holy books are kept and handled in particular ways (e.g. the Torah scrolls are kept safe in the synagogue under decorated covers in a special place called the ark) and can retell stories found in the Torah, Bible and Qur an, making some links between them (e.g. Jesus read the Torah; there are stories about Jesus in the Qur an). (L2) Some children can talk about some of the different reasons why we might treasure special books and can explain what makes the Torah, Bible and Qur an holy books for those who follow Judaism, Christianity and Islam, recognising similarities and differences in their outward appearance and treatment as well as in their content (e.g. the Torah and Qur an both have a preferred language; only the Bible and Qur an contain stories about Jesus). They respond thoughtfully to stories/teachings contained in these holy books. They identify the commitment that might be required to follow a holy book (e.g. learning a language, regular reading/study, changing lifestyle and behaviour). (L3)

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