The Bible is the sacred text of Christianity and it is known around the world. It is estimated that the Bible has sold over five billion copies! Many people believe it to be the best-selling book ever. As with most books, the Bible begins at the beginning...
The Bible is a collection of stories/books. The first book of the Bible is called Genesis which means the start of something. It's opening line is "In the beginning..." and it describes the story of Creation.
The Creation Story explains how God created the Earth, animals, sea, sky, plants, stars and all manner of other things in a very short amount of time (do you know how long?).
The Creation Story is an important one for Christians. It shows the power of God. It also shows the link between God, people and nature.
TASK: To begin with, it would be useful to remind yourself of the events in the Creation story. As the Bible is world-famous there are many ways to do this online (or with the book of the Bible itself). One way is with this YouTube video (remember: always ask an adult before you access YouTube). When reading/watching the story think about how Adam and Eve must feel about God. What might happen next?
Adam and Eve are living in paradise; what could possibly go wrong...? You can find the answer to that question in this YouTube video. Why do you think Adam and Eve behave in the way that they do? Were they right? Think about what the Bible is telling Christians about human nature and how people should behave.
Create a comic strip or model explaining the Creation Story (including Adam and Eve). Be sure to mention how Christians respect both God's word and his world.
Hinduism is over 4,000 years old! This makes it one of the world's oldest religions. Hinduism began in India close to the Indus River ("Hindu" comes from the word "Indus"). You can see where India and the Indus River are on the maps below.
Hindus believe in one God (Brahman) who is present in all living things, but they also have many gods and goddesses that help them to understand God in different ways. Here are three of them: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Take a look at this BBC video. There are some key things to think about: How do Hindus show their faith within their families? What items do they have in their home as part of this worship? (Watch/listen out for the word "Shrine")
There is also a quick quiz to try...
The video contains quite a lot of information. This is because Hinduism is diverse (has many different aspects) as a whole way of life and we will be looking at some of these aspects this half term.
One famous aspect of Hindu culture which originates from India is Mehndi. This is a type of body art worn by men and women, often seen at Hindu weddings. As you see, Mehndi is very elaborate!
TASK: Create your own detailed Mehndi designs using this Purplemash art tool.
Look at the photographs below. What do you think is happening here? Is there one word which best sums up the pictures? Bright? Fun? Colourful...?
You may think that the people on these pictures are throwing paint. There is a good reason for that: they are! It is part of the Hindu festival Holi which was celebrated last month. Holi is also known as the Festival of Colours - can you guess why?
Holi celebrates spring, love, and new life. Some families hold religious ceremonies, but for many Holi is more a time for fun. It's a colourful festival, with dancing, singing and throwing of powder paint and coloured water.
Part of the festival involves the story of Prince Prahlad. Prahlad was a boy who decided to worship the God Vishnu instead of his father (the king). The king was angry and hatched a plan with Prahlad’s aunt, Holika. Using magic Holika tried to kill the boy on a bonfire, but things did not quite go to plan...
Today Hindus mark the Holi festival by building bonfires which they believe purify the air of anything evil. You can find out more about the Holi festival and the story of Prince Prahlad (what did happen to Holika?) with this BBC Bitesize page. From 30th April BBC iPlayer will also have a programme which includes the festival of Holi.
TASK 1: Use the BBC Bitesize page above to help you choose three key points which would best tell the story of Prince Prahlad. Draw three illustrations and add a sentence(s) explaining the main events.
TASK 2: Log into your Purplemash account --> Topics --> Celebrations and Faith --> Hindu --> Holi --> Paint Projects: Festival of Holi to create your own colourful version of the famous paint throwing!
Find out about the objects involved in puja at home and the mandir
Puja means reverence, honour and worship. Hindu puja can take place anywhere, in the home or the temple (mandir). Most Hindu homes have a shrine which is an important part of puja. A shrine can be anything from a room, a small altar, pictures or statues. Family members often worship together at the shrine. Here are some examples of shrines:
As you can see, these shrines are very different but they all contain an image of a god or gods. These images (called murti) help people to focus on different aspects of God. Look at the shrines again: not all of the gods are the same. This is because puja is very individual (individual means you make your own choices - this is why the shrines are different). Worshippers repeat the names of their favourite gods and make personal offerings (you can see an offering to the god in the photograph to the right). A puja tray is a key part of this worship:
Take a look at this BBC video to observe puja in the home. Look out for the shrine, offerings to the gods (called prashad) and the Aum symbol. You may even spot the puja tray.
The puja tray contains items which help people to use all of their senses when they worship. This means that they are fully involved in puja.
TASK: Draw and label a puja tray and its contents. The document below will help. You can either write in your book or print the document if you prefer. This webpage on religious artefacts will help you to identify the different items found on a puja tray.
Explore the Hindu idea of Karma - how actions bring good or bad karma
Actions have consequences - the things that you do can have an effect on you and/or somebody else. For example, if you're a man who chooses to go running down a corridor while playing games on a mobile phone and that corridor has just been cleaned then...
The consequences of this selfish action are likely to be embarrassment, ruined clothes and possibly even a trip in an ambulance...
However, not all actions are selfish. Have a look at the photograph on the right. This shows a very different action. If one person chose not to help the other what might the consequences be (what might happen)? How do you think the two people would feel after they got to the top of the hill? How would they feel about each other?
How do you feel when you help someone? Is being kind better than being selfish? Does it create a different feeling?
Thoughts about kindness and selfishness are important parts of the Hindu faith. Hindus believe that their actions have consequences not just now but in the future. They believe that misfortunes in their present life are the result of acts that they have committed in the past. This is linked to the idea of karma.
Kindness creates good karma, whilst selfishness leads to bad karma.
People who are Hindu believe that life is a cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Like this:
Hindus believe that actions in this life (their karma) have an effect on their future lives (incarnations). If they have been selfish and collected a lot of bad karma then when they are reborn (reincarnated) in their next life it may be as something less pleasant (like an insect perhaps). Hindus aim to live in a way that will make each of their lives better than the life before. For this they need good karma.
It can be a long process - the soul may be reincarnated thousands of times! However, Hindus believe that they can be released from the cycle of birth --> death --> rebirth (reincarnation). The end of the cycle is called Moksha and it can be reached if they live the best life they possibly can. Hindus believe that this makes them at one with God and sets them free from having to be reborn on this Earth again.
You can find out more about karma and the cycle of birth/death/rebirth with this BBC video.
TASK: Karma has an effect on the way people behave (remember: actions have consequences). People who are Hindu wish to create good karma by their actions. In your book draw four actions that would create good karma and explain why karma is an important part of Hinduism.
Find out about deities and how they help Hindus achieve moral aims
Lakshmi is the goddess of good fortune. She is the wife of the Hindu god Vishnu. Most Hindus pray to her on Diwali, which is an important festival. Diwali involves the idea of new beginnings (it marks the start of the Hindu New Year). You can find out more about Diwali with this BBC video.
Take a look at these illustrations of the deity Lakshmi (deity is another word for god). What do you notice about her?
Lakshmi has four arms, fair skin and normally sits on a lotus flower surrounded by elephants. She is covered in jewellery. Why do you think Lakshmi has four arms?
The reason for Lakshmi's multiple arms is an idea called omnipresence - this means that Lakshmi can be in different places doing different things all at the same time (think about the four compass points which face in different directions).
People who are Hindu hope that Lakshmi will bring them good fortune. At Diwali they light the way for Lakshmi so that she may find them. You can learn more about the story behind Lakshmi's visits with this BBC Video. You might also notice a large amount of coins on the picture above. This is because good fortune can be associated with money. The second part of the BBC video explains more about this.
Think about the story of Lakshmi:
What is the message of this story?
What does the story tell you about honesty and good deeds?
Why do you think the old woman refused the Queen's money? Could this be linked to the idea of Karma where kind acts create a better life in the future (if you need a reminder of Karma look further up this page)?
TASK: Either draw a picture of Lakshmi explaining the key points of the story (including the old woman's real reward) or create a REWARD poster for the missing necklace (make sure your poster includes a description of the missing item (similes are useful here), where it was lost, who it belongs to, where to return it, what the reward will be and - most importantly - what the actual reward in the story was (a visit from Lakshmi)). You can write/draw your work or use the templates below if you prefer.
Describe how Christians show their beliefs about Jesus in their everyday lives
We have looked a great deal at Bible texts and the stories they tell. We have also discussed the messages they contain, from the Good Samaritan to the Easter Story itself. The events described in these texts are thousands of years old so a useful question is to ask ourselves is: How do people who are Christian demonstrate their beliefs today?
Faith is an important part of people's lives. Things that are important to you affect the way you live your life; your family… your friends… your favourite football team…
Think about the Bible texts. What do the stories suggest about the way people could live their lives?
Some people choose to become a Christian later in their lives. The Archbishop of York, Rt. Rev. John Sentamu explains his own path to the Christian faith here.
How do you think people who are Christian show their beliefs in their everyday lives? There might be a clue here...
As a starting point you could think about the events which take place in and around a church. These BBC Bitesize videos might also help::
TASK: Open the document below and draw the outline (or print if you prefer). Use it to write and illustrate your ideas about how Christians show their beliefs by their actions.
Making links between Gospel texts and how Christians remember, celebrate and serve on Maundy Thursday, including Holy Communion
Recently we have looked at Bible stories which we know are part of The Easter Story. This is an important event for people who are Christians. In a short while (9th April) Christians will celebrate Maundy Thursday. Why is this a particularly special day and what might these coins have to do with the story? Another thing to think about: why would the head of Queen Elizabeth II be on the coins?
Thanks to CBBC's Newsround you could discover the answer here.
Later, the Last Supper took place. As we know, these items were important to the event:
Can you remember why? This action is known as Holy Communion. You can find out about how people who are Christian will celebrate the event by going here.
Draw the cross below (or print out a copy using the link) and explain why the four events are important to Christians today.