Ted's teaching tips

25th September 1998 at 01:00
The sheer difference between the small and the large in this picture raises enduring questions about religious worship and awe, as well as about the place of statues in human society.

Religious worship

What are the differences and similarities between the major religions? (Belief in a god and one or more significant prophets; philosophy, faith, way of life; authoritative book or collection of writings? House of worship, like a church, temple, mosque, synagogue?) Why is the god or figurehead usually portrayed as being large? (To inspire awe? To suggest power? To frighten?) How do religions show respect, strengthen beliefs (assembly, worship, song, prayer, readings, chants, movement, dance)?

Sculpture and statues

Look for examples, modern and classical, of significant statues. Who is commemorated? (Buddha in this picture, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, political leaders, kings and queens, famous figures. Two of the seven wonders of the ancient world were statues - Zeus at Olympia and the Colossus of Rhodes). Why do people erect statues of themselves or others? (Vanity? Immortality? Respect?) Art

Paint a picture where scale is important (such as a small and large creature, a baby and adult, yourself and a pet mouse). How can you achieve a sense of scale in a picture?


lmagine you are a visitor to the statue of Buddha. Write how you felt: "As I looked up at the colossal figureI" Ted Wragg is professor of education at Exeter University

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