Stories, parables, and literature allow students to visualize different people, holidays, customs, and traditions within a particular religion in a more concrete way. There are many books related to Hinduism that teachers can use to help students form a deeper understanding of the religion and the people who practice it. In this activity, students will illustrate the plot of a Hindu story.
The tale of Rama and Sita is an Indian love story, and is the story of Diwali. Their story began in a time of many gods and magic. Rama was the son of King Ayodya, and next in line for the throne. However, one day his evil stepmother banished him into exile with Sita, his new wife. She did this so her son may take the throne.
While in the forest, the beautiful Sita came across a white deer and asked Rama to catch it for her. While Rama was chasing it, a demon god appeared and kidnapped Sita and flew her back to his island, Lanka. For many months, her husband searched frantically for her and then finally asked the king of the monkey army to help him because the king of the monkeys could fly and would be able to go rescue her.
He found Sita, who was imprisoned, and helped her escape. Knowing it would bring a great battle upon them, they prepared for war. It was one of the greatest battles ever, lasting 10 long days. Just when they thought the demon king was going to win, Rama borrowed a bow and arrow from a god and shot the demon, winning the battle. After winning, Rama and Sita traveled back to their kingdom. On the way, the local villagers lit clay oil lamps, known as diyas, in their windows to guide the lover’s home where Rama and Sita ruled.
It is custom now that every year, Hindus celebrate this story on Diwali, the Festival of Lights, by lighting diyas inside their homes and setting off fireworks.
There are many other engaging books that introduce students to the traditional folktales and stories from Hinduism. Here are some suggestions:
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: After listening to the story of Rama and SIta, create a narrative storyboard that includes important details from the beginning, middle and end of the story.
Requirements: Beginning, Middle and End of the story Rama and Sita.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards