Curriculum RE - Lesson plan - Symbols of faith

26th March 2010 at 00:00
Primary Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world. Believers worship in front of a shrine at home and in a temple. Pupils can compare and discuss rituals and symbols with their own religion

What the lesson is about

How do Hindus worship at home and in the temple? This lesson, aimed at primary children aged six and seven, asks them to explore worship and rituals in Hinduism.


- Pupils can identify some features of Hindu worship and its importance for some people.

- They can suggest meanings for religious actions and symbols.

- Pupils can identify how worship is carried out at home and in the mandir, or temple.

- Pupils can recognise their own values and those of others.

- Some pupils will recognise similarities between Hindu and Christian worship.

Getting started

Talk about how some things are more important to us than others and how some, such as a favourite toy or a relationship with a grandparent, have a special value. Discuss how to show that these things are important and ask pupils to draw or write about what is special to them.

Move on to discuss how Christians worship and explain that Hindus also worship, performing a daily puja (a gratitude ceremony) at home or in the temple.

Show them a picture of a Hindu shrine and ask them what they think it is. Ask if shrines are only found in Hinduism, and show a picture of another shrine, such as a Roman Catholic one.

Produce items from a puja set and show a film of a Hindu performing puja.

Explain that Hindu worship is not only carried out in the home but also in the mandir. Explain the process of worship and ask pupils what they think are the reasons behind each activity, such as worshippers ashing themselves or taking off their shoes.

Look at what happens in the aarti ritual (where a plate is circulated around a person or deity) and how the offerings are shared.

Taking it further

Ask the pupils to design their own shrine to display things that are important to them. Show them pictures of symbols they will recognise, such as road signs. Ask them what they mean. Show them familiar Christian symbols and discuss each one, then show them the aum and swastika and explain what they mean to Hindus. Ask them to make their own artistic versions of these symbols.

Use a puppet to demonstrate puja in the home and ask the children to say what the puppet is doing at each stage and why. Show a film of worship at the mandir and ask pupils to freeze frame at each point and ask what is happening and why.

Where to find it

A copy of the lesson plan, uploaded by margaretmjj, can be found at

Further reading

More details on the puja ceremony are available from

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