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Religions of the World

Religions of the World is a collection of animated films exploring the origins and stories of a variety of religions.

Alongside each, there is more information about the content of the film, and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom.

These resources are suitable for use with pupils aged 3-7.

The films are hosted on an external, non-BBC platform. The BBC cannot take any responsibility for recommendations or content promoted by third party sites.

1. The Christian story of the First Christmas

1. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Christianity, and narrates the story of the First Christmas. The story follows Mary and Joseph from being told they will have a baby by the angel Gabriel, through to the birth of Jesus, and the visits from the shepherds and wise men. The animation is bright and colourful and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

Pupils could consider what questions they could ask Mary and Joseph about their thoughts and feelings at different times of the story. They could take turns sitting in the 'hot seat' as either Mary or Joseph, while the rest of the class ask their questions.

2. The Christian story of the First Christmas (for 3-5s)

2. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Christianity and narrates the story of the First Christmas. The story follows Mary and Joseph from being told they will have a baby by the angel Gabriel, through to the birth of Jesus, and the visits from the shepherds and wise men. The animation is bright and colourful and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

Children could be given costumes to role-play the story in their independent learning time. You could provide a small nativity scene in the sand tray or small world area for children to re-tell the story.

3. The Christian stories of The Good Samaritan and The Lost Sheep

3. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Christianity, and narrates the well-known Christian stories of The Good Samaritan and The Lost Sheep. The first tells the story of how a man who has been robbed and left by the road is helped by a kind Samaritan. The second story is about how a lost sheep is found and recovered to the flock. The animation is bright and colourful, and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

This could be used to discuss how it feels when you lose something special. How long would you spend looking for a lost toy? You could create puppets for the characters in the stories and ask the pupils to re-tell them in groups. They could also discuss the idea of loving our neighbours.

4. The Christian stories of The Good Samaritan and The Lost Sheep (for 3-5s)

4. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Christianity, and narrates the well-known Christian stories of The Good Samaritan and The Lost Sheep. The first tells the story of how a man who has been robbed and left by the road is helped by a kind Samaritan. The second story is about how a lost sheep is found and recovered to the flock. The animation is bright and colourful, and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

You could provide puppets or dolls for the children to retell the stories during their independent play. They could make sheep using a collage for a whole class display.

5. The Christian story of Easter

5. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Christianity and narrates the story of Easter. It tells the story of Jesus's crucifixion, his rising from the tomb three days later to the delight of his followers and his ascension to heaven. The animation is bright and colourful and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

This could be used to discuss whether Easter is a happy time, a sad time, or both. In groups pupils could create freeze frames of different parts of the story; showing clearly how the different characters (Jesus, Mary, the disciples) would have been feeling at that part of the story.

6. The Buddhist stories of Siddhartha and the Swan and The Monkey King

6. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Buddhism and narrates two well-known Buddhist stories - the story of Siddhartha rescuing the hurt swan, and of the Monkey King showing the greedy human King the importance of caring for his people. The animation is bright and colourful and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

This could be used to re-tell the story of the Monkey King in groups, using mime or dance. Pupils could talk about times when they have shown kindness to other living things, and create a collage of pictures of living things cut from magazines with the title "be kind to living things". They could make bird feeders to put out in the playground.

7. The Hindu story of Rama and Sita

7. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Hinduism and narrates the story of Rama and Sita. It's one of the main stories of Diwali and tells of Rama rescuing Sita from a demon King Ravana, with the help of Hanuman and his monkey army. The animation is bright and colourful and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

Pupils could make a Diva lamp using clay. They could discuss how Hanuman and Rama were able to defeat Ravana by working as a team. How does working as a team help us? Pupils could also try out some activities as a team and alone; comparing both to see when are they able to achieve more.

8. The Islamic stories of The Prophet and the Ants and The Crying Camel

8. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Islam and narrates the well-known stories of 'The Prophet and the Ants' and the 'The Crying Camel', which show that no matter how small or large animals are, they are all important to God and need to be cared for. The animation is bright and colourful and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

Before watching the film, you could ask the children "who is most important to God?" Asking again after they have watched the film. They could discuss ways that we care for all creatures; from the smallest to the largest, for example feeding our pets. Pupils could create a class bug hotel; demonstrating a practical way to care for even the smallest creatures.

9. The Five Pillars of Islam

9. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Islam and follows a young girl called Amina, as she explains the Five Pillars of Islam (Shahadah, Salat, Zakāt, Sawm and Hajj)) to her little brother Rahib. The animation is bright and colourful, and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

You could show pupils a picture of a pillar and discuss how it makes a building strong. Then talk about how the 5 pillars of Islam are 5 things Muslims do to keep their faith strong. You could also talk about the things we have in our lives that keep us strong, or teach us the right thing to do. Pupils could design and write a postcard from Mecca, and make or draw a prayer mat.

10. The Jewish story of Moses

10. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Judaism and narrates the story of Moses, as he grows up watching the Jewish people enslaved. It follows him as he leads his people to freedom through the red sea, to their promised land. The animation is bright and colourful, and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

Pupils could make unleavened bread to highlight how the Jewish people didn't have time to wait for their bread to rise, as they were leaving in a hurry. They could discuss how it would have felt to leave in a hurry. What are the most important things you would take with you if you had to leave your home? What makes a good leader? Was Moses a good leader?

11. The Jewish story of Hanukkah

11. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Judaism and narrates the story of Hanukkah. Rabbi Sidney tells the story of the Maccabees fighting the invading Greek Army, and the miracle of the sacred lamp that burned for 8 days with just 1 bottle of oil. The animation is bright and colourful, and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

This could be used to ask pupils to think of a place that is really special to them. How would they feel if that place was spoiled or ruined? They could draw or make a Menorah. Pupils could make a picture of a menorah using their hand prints.

12. The Sikh stories of The Milk and the Jasmine Flower and Duni Chand and the Silver Needle

12. Teacher resources

This animation focuses on Sikhism, and narrates the well-known stories of The Milk and The Jasmine Flower and the story of Duni Chand and the Silver Needle. Guru Nanak shows the townspeople there is always room in the world for more holiness, and that only good deeds go with us to the next world, not money and gold. The animation is bright and colourful and immerses pupils in the story through a clear, friendly narrative.

Teaching Religious Studies?

You could ask your class to discuss what they think would have happened to the people of the city, if Guru Nanak had not gone to visit them? What would the story be like without the character of Guru Nanak? Ask them to share what they have learnt from the story?