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Contents. Christianity. Judaism. Islam. Hinduism


Academic year: 2021

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Introduction . . . .4

Special Items and Symbols - Creating Crosses . . . .5

Advent - Round in a Ring . . . .6

Christmas - 3D Nativity Figures . . . .7

Christmas - 3D Christmas Puddings . . . .8

Christmas - Saint Nicholas (Father Christmas) . . . .9

The Epiphany - Special Stars . . . .10

Lent - Pancakes and Processions . . . .11

Easter - Eggs and Gardens . . . .12

Pentecost - Fantastic Flames . . . .13

Harvest Festival - Fabulous Fruit and Veg. . . . .14

Saint George’s Day - Off to a T . . . .15

Saint Andrew’s Day - Scottish Scenes . . . .16

Saint Patrick’s Day - In the Green . . . .17

Saint David’s Day - Dozens of Daffodils . . . .18


Introduction . . . .19

Special Items and Symbols - Stars, Skull Caps and Shawls . . . .20

Purim - Shake, Rattle and Roll . . . .21

Pesach - Memorable Meals . . . .22

Sukkot - Snug Shelters . . . .23

Hanukkah - Counted Candles . . . .24

Rosh Hashanah - Happy New Year . . . .25


Introduction . . . .26

Special Items and Symbols - Remarkable Rugs . . . .27

Where to Worship - Mosques and Minarets . . . .28

The Qur’an - Careful Calligraphy . . . .29

Ramadan - Sunrise and Sunset . . . .30

Eid ul-Fitr: Celebratory Cards . . . .31

Dhu Al-Hijjah: Time to Travel . . . .32


Introduction . . . .33

Special Items and Symbols - Shrines, Swastikas and the Aum . . . .34

Diwali - Lots of Lights . . . .35

Holi - Festive Fun . . . .36

Raksha Bandhan - Bracelets and Bangles . . . .37

Hindu Deities - Gods Galore . . . .38

The Ramayana - Fierce Faces . . . .39



Introduction . . . 40

Special Items and Symbols - Monks, Mantras and Meditation . . . 41

The Noble Eight - Fold Path: Round and Round . . . .42

Images of Buddha - Special Statues . . . .43

Places for Prayer - Fluttering Flags . . . .44

Wesak - Lighted Lanterns . . . .45

Loy Krathong - Lovely Lotus Flowers . . . .46

The Festival of the Tooth - Interesting Elephants . . . .47


Introduction . . . .48

Special Items and Symbols - Shapes, Swatches and Scriptures . . . .49

The 5K’s - Kesh, Kanga, Kachera, Kara and Kirpan . . . .50

Where to Worship - Going to the Gurdwara . . . .51

Baisakhi and Bhangra Dancing - Musical Marks . . . .52

Further Festivities - Special Sweets . . . .53

Turbans - Tidy Topknots . . . .54

Customs and Ceremonies - New Beginnings . . . .55

Additional Occasions for giving, sharing,

remembering and celebrating

Birthdays . . . .56

Chinese New Year . . . .57

Thanksgiving - USA . . . .58

Valentine’s Day . . . .59

Remembrance Day . . . .60

Mothering Sunday . . . .61




Saint David’s Day - Dozens of


Saint David’s day is celebrated in Wales on 1st March, in honour of St David the patron saint of Wales. He was born near the present day city of Saint David in south-west Wales and educated in a monastery before becoming a monk, then an abbot and finally a bishop. He travelled far on missionary journeys throughout Wales, south and west England and Cornwall as well as to Brittany in France, founding churches and spreading the

word of Christianity. One story tells that when he was preaching to a large crowd the ground rose up so that he was standing on a hill and everyone had a better chance of hearing him. It is claimed that he lived for over one hundred years and when he died was buried in the grounds of his own monastery, where the cathedral of Saint David now stands. Saint David’s day is commemorated by the wearing of daffodils or leeks, both of which are regarded as national emblems. Some girls dress in their national costume of a tall black hat, white frilled cap and long

dress. The national flag of Wales showing a fiery red dragon on a green and white background, is also flown.

Equipment Needed

Grey sugar paper A4 size and A1 size, chalks or chalk pastels, viewfinders, yellow, orange, white and black paint, brushes, card palettes and actual daffodils as a stimulus.

Talk About

• Where Wales is on a map of the British Isles. • The shape and colour of the daffodil flowers, looking

closely at the different parts of them using a viewfinder. • Drawing with chalk and oil


• Mixing paint to make different shades of yellow and green.


• Children who are going to draw close up views of individual daffodil flowers need to get a

piece of A4 paper, chalks or chalk pastels and look carefully at the shape and colour of the flowers using a viewfinder before sketching their outline shape and then colouring them in, blending the colours together. Outlines can be redrawn if needed when the colouring is complete.

• If it is going to be a large scale collaborative picture of lots of daffodils large sheets of paper will need fastening together and the floor will make the best

working surface. Children will need to take turns to draw the outline of individual flowers in chalk on the paper before mixing paint and filling them in. Gaps around and between the flowers could finally be filled using different shades of green.


The large scale work will fill a board and will only need a strip of paper added to the edge to look like a border. The individual drawings will need fixing with hair spray before being individually mounted and displayed around the edge of the board surrounding written work about Saint David and Wales.



Hanukkah - Counted Candles

Hanukkah, sometimes spelt Chanukah is the festival of lights in December. It is when Jews remember the time in Ancient Israel when they were not allowed to practise their faith. A heroic group of Jews called the Maccabees gathered an army and bravely fought against the Greeks and restored and rededicated the Holy Temple. After the temple had been cleaned, the priests were ready to light the temple Menorah - an eight branched candlestick but they could only find one jug of oil to use, enough for one day, however this oil miraculously lasted for eight days until more supplies arrived. Hence the festival of Hanukkah is eight days long. Eight or nine branched candlesticks are still used to celebrate the festival. If there is a ninth branch on the candlestick this holds the ‘servant’ candle from which the others candles are lit. The candle on the furthest right hand side is lit first and by the end of the week all eight candles are lit to commemorate the miracle of the holy oil. Each night families gather to light the candles, sing songs and recite blessings and special foods such as doughnuts and latkes (potato cakes) are enjoyed. Games are played with a special four sided spinning top called a Driedel with Hebrew letters on it.

Equipment Needed

Squares, circles, triangles and strips of gold and silver paper in different sizes, widths and lengths. Rulers, pencils, scrap paper, scissors, glue, pieces of white and yellow paper, small circles of orange paper and pieces of black A4 paper as a background. Pictures of Menorahs in books and from the Internet plus a display of actual candlesticks.

Talk About

• What a Menorah is and when it is used and the shapes of the different candlesticks on display.

• Sketching a design for a Menorah in pencil on scrap paper based on the shapes of paper available to use i.e. squares, triangles etc.

• Cutting circles in half to make semi-circles and tearing paper into strips.

• Arranging the strips and shapes on a black background before sticking them down.


• Once the children have sketched their design, they need to select the paper in the colours and shapes they want for a collage of their Menorah. They may need to cut and alter some of them before arranging them on a piece of black paper. Remind them to leave room for the candles themselves.

• Once they are happy with their arrangement it needs to be stuck down. They now need to tear some white

paper into strips as candles, one for each of the sockets plus a yellow flame for each one. Stick a flame on an orange circle at the top of each candle and draw in the wick.


Arrange the Menorahs as a border around the edge of a board filled with writing about the festival of Hanukkah.




Where to Worship - Mosques

and Minarets

Mosques are buildings where Muslims gather together to learn about their religion and worship. They often have a domed roof and a tall tower called a minaret. Muslims are called to prayer from the minaret. The man who calls them to prayer is called a muezzin. There are no pictures or statues in a mosque, instead they are decorated with patterns and words from the Qur’an. Mosques have very little furniture in them as Muslims use prayer mats when they pray. Most Muslims go to the mosque on Friday as this is a special day for prayer. When people go to a mosque they take off their shoes to keep it clean for prayer and there is usually an area where they can wash. Muslims wash their hands, mouth, throat, nose, ears and arms up to the elbow and this wash symbolizes spiritual cleansing and purity in readiness for coming to God. Women do not pray in the same place as men, there is usually a screened off area for them. There is always a quibla wall which is the one facing Makkah (Mecca). This has an empty arch to signify the direction.

Equipment Needed

Scissors, glue, pieces of black and white paper and pieces of coloured paper A4 size plus pictures of mosques in books and from the Internet.

Talk About

• The shapes that make up the different parts of the mosques in the picture e.g. the roofs, towers, doorways etc.

• Folding paper in half and cutting half a dome shape from it whilst it is folded before opening it to reveal a complete dome. Folding paper in half and cutting half an arch shape from it whilst it is still folded before opening it to reveal a complete arch.

• Using shapes cut from black paper to make the silhouette of a mosque and what a silhouette is. • Adding further decoration to the shapes by cutting and

adding other shapes from white paper on top of the silhouette.


• First the children need to get some black paper and cut from it the arches, towers and domes that they want to use for their design.

• Next they need to arrange and fit these together on a coloured background to make the shape of a mosque before sticking it down.

• To add detail and decoration and outline to some of these black shapes they need to cut further curves and shapes out of white paper and to arrange and stick these on top of the original ones.

• Alternatively they could draw and print similar shapes using a graphics package on the computer. Dazzle has been used here.


Mount the work individually on black and arrange it in rows around, above and below pictures of actual mosques.


Diwali - Lots

of Lights

Diwali - sometimes spelt Divali - is the Hindu festival of lights which celebrates the New Year. It is a five day festival held in honour of Lakshmi the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity. Hindus pray to her for good luck in the coming year. The word Diwali means ‘rows of lighted lamps’. People light hundreds of small oil lamps - nowadays these are often nightlight candles - and place them around the home and in gardens outside. They believe that the more lamps they light the more likely it is that the goddess Lakshmi will be

tempted to visit them. During Diwali gifts are exchanged - often sweets or candles - homes are cleaned to let go of the past and bonfires and firework displays are enjoyed. Beautiful patterns called Rangoli patterns are drawn on the ground outside homes and temples using rice flour and water or coloured sand. Hindus hope that when Lakshmi sees these patterns she will be

encouraged to visit their homes bringing wealth and good fortune. Lights are left burning all night so that she will feel welcomed and enter. Diwali also commemorates the homecoming to Ayodhya of Rama and Sita in the story from the Ramayana in which good wins over evil and divas (oil lamps) are lit to guide them on their way.

Equipment Needed

Semi-circles of coloured and white paper made from circles 18cm in diameter approx., wax crayons, scissors, glue, circles of white paper approx 6cm in diameter, red, yellow and orange paint, pieces of gold foil and black and white paper. Pictures of Diwali lights in books and from the Internet.

Talk About

• Why and how Diwali is celebrated and occasions when we use

decorative lights e.g. Christmas and firework displays.

• Drawing patterns with wax crayons, pressing on firmly for a rich covering of colour and tearing a small candle shape from white paper. Cutting a flame shape from gold foil and making paint patterns on circles by dragging, drawing and dabbing paint across the surface.


• The children need first to get a semi-circle of paper and with wax crayons draw a pattern on all or part of it. • They then need a circle of white

paper, and to put blobs of paint on it and, using their fingers, spread the paint over it to create a pattern. • Next they need to tear a small white

candle shape and to cut a gold flame shape before assembling and sticking all the parts on to black paper to make the shape of a lighted lamp.

• Cotton buds can be used to dot white paint around the red area of the flame.

• Lamps could also be drawn using a graphics package on the computer e.g. Dazzle or made in the form of thumb pots from clay.


Cut round the shape of each lamp keeping a small black border. Use them around the edge of a board with written work on it about Diwali.




Loy Krathong - Lovely Lotus


For Buddhists the lotus flower symbolises purity and divine birth. It grows in mud at the bottom of the pool but rises to the surface to become a beautiful flower and Buddhists say that this is how people should act to rise above emotions such as anger, greed and ignorance and become a thing of beauty. This festival celebrates the life of Buddha and is usually held in November. The word loy means ‘to float’ and krathong means ‘lotus shaped’. It is a time when Buddhists take real or imitation lotus flowers into which candles and incense sticks are stuck to float on rivers and lakes as a mark of respect to the Buddha. These floating rafts are believed to carry along with them all the sins and grievances of the person floating them thereby offering an opportunity to begin a new life in a much better manner.

Equipment Needed

Circles of grey sugar paper approx. 20 cm diameter, coloured chalks or chalk pastels, stiff white and pink paper, pencils, scissors, glue, small white circles approx. 10 cm diameter plus pictures of lotus flowers and water lilies floating on water in books and from the Internet.

Talk About

• The names of the flowers in the pictures and the shape and colour of their petals. The colour of the water in which they float and any patterns or movements they can see in it.

• Drawing and smudging with chalks or chalk pastels using colours that match the colours of water. • Drawing and cutting out individual petal shapes from

the stiff paper.

• Curling each petal shape over slightly using a pencil. • Sticking these shapes in rows around and on a circle.


• The children need first to get a circle of grey sugar paper and the colours of chalks or chalk pastels that they need. They then need to colour the circle with blends of the colours creating wavy lines and swirls like water. When completed this will need spraying with hair spray to stop it smudging.

• Using the pink and white paper the children now need to draw in pencil lots of individual petal shapes, cut them out and using a pencil curl them slightly.

• They next need to get a small white circle and on it, beginning at the centre, arrange and stick rows of the curled petals close together to make a flower head.

• When the flowers are complete the circles on which they have been made need to be

glued in the middle of each coloured pastel circle.


The circles need arranging diagonally across the board to make the shape of a flowing river. Above and below the river written work could be added.



Baisakhi and

Bhangra Dancing

-Musical Marks

Baisakhi, also called Vaisakhi, is the Sikh New Year festival held in April. It reminds Sikhs of the founding of the Khalsa (the Sikh Community) by Guru Gobind Singh. New flags are hung outside the Gurdwara and the flag pole is washed with water and yoghurt. There are processions with the holy book being carried for all to see, prayers are said, hymns are sung and the congregation is served with kada prasad (sweetened semolina) before enjoying the special free vegetarian meal - often curry and chappatis (bready pancakes) in the langar. Anyone is welcome at this meal as Sikhs believe that everyone is equal and must share what they have. In the Punjab (Northern India )

Baisakhi is celebrated as a harvest festival and a symbol of the wealth and prosperity enjoyed by farmers after reaping their crops. Bhangra dancing - folk dancing which depicts the life of a farmer - is often performed as part of the celebrations. Men dress in traditional costumes of silk shirts, loincloths, waistcoats, turbans (tied in a special way with a fan shape in them) and scarves worn on the fingers for the dancing which is very energetic and is accompanied by a solo singer and music on a large barrel shaped double ended drum known as a dhol.

Equipment Needed

Red, yellow, blue, black and white paint, paintbrushes, cotton buds, pieces of card to use as mixing palettes, pencils and pieces of scrap paper, white paper A3 or A4 size plus examples of Bhangra music for the children to listen to.

Talk About

• What Bhangra dancing is and where and why it is performed. • The sounds, patterns and rhythms

the children hear whilst they listen to the music. The colours, shapes and movements that the music suggests.

• How to mix and make different colours by combining the colours of paint in different ways on a card palette using a brush. Making colours lighter by adding them to a lot of white paint and making colours darker by adding a little black paint to them.

• Using a paintbrush in different ways to make a variety of marks e.g. dabbing, swirling, flicking etc.


• Whilst listening to the music, the children need to write on scrap paper the names of the colours the music suggests to them and also to draw marks that suggest movements to the music e.g. circles, spirals, dotted lines, zig -zags etc.

• The children now need to explore making the colours on their list by mixing paint in a variety of ways on their card palette and then to use them plus copies of their sketched marks to cover and fill a piece of white paper.


Arrange the paintings, unmounted as a block, each one touching its neighbour, in the middle of a board surrounded by a thin strip of black paper and written work about the festival and Bhangra dancing.



Additional Occasions

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year, Yuan Tan, is celebrated at the end of January or in mid -February and lasts for many days. It is a time when Chinese people everywhere come together and families are re-united. Homes are cleaned to rid them of bad luck and decorated with special pictures of a fat baby and a carp which signify wealth and abundance. Written red scrolls are hung on doors expressing hope for the year to come. In the week before New Year the kitchen god, usually a painted image in a small shrine in the home who watches over the family, is offered sweets so that he will say sweet things about the family when he visits

heaven. The day before New Year is spent cooking for a celebratory meal. No sharp instruments can be used on Yuan Tan as it is believed they might cut out good luck. On the day itself everyone is on their best behaviour as they believe that any bad manners will continue

throughout the year. Children and unmarried relations are given red packets containing money which have their family name or a good luck message written on them in gold. Dragon processions are a popular part of the celebrations as the dragon signifies good fortune. The colourful dragons are usually made from cane and paper and may be so long that 50 people can dance underneath twisting and turning the dragon’s body.

Equipment Needed

Paper plates, scissors, glue, black felt tip pens, art straws and pieces of coloured paper, tissue paper, plus pictures of dragons and dragon processions in books and from the Internet.

Talk About

• When and how we celebrate New Year.

• The shapes and colours found on the dragons’ heads in the pictures.

• Cutting shapes out of coloured paper and drawing with felt tip pens.

• Folding tissue paper into pleats.


• The children need to get a paper plate, pieces of coloured paper, art straws and scissors and look closely at the shapes that make up the faces of the dragons used in the processions in the pictures. Cut out a range of similar shapes from the coloured paper.

• These shapes now need arranging with cut up art straws, on a paper plate to make a dragon’s face. Next glue down and finally draw lines in black felt pen on top of some of the shapes to emphasize them. Finish

with a strip of pleated tissue paper added to the back of the plate at the top. • Dragons’ faces could also be drawn using a graphics package on the computer -Dazzle has been used here.


Arrange the dragons’ faces as a border around

written work about Chinese New Year. Hang thin tissue paper streamers from each one for added impact.


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