Studying a Buddhist festival enabled this Foundation Stage class to expand on themes of feelings, friendship and sharing into a wider exploration of celebrations.
A Foundation Stage class in a first school in Poole undertook a topic using the ‘Elmer the Elephant’ books by David McKee.
The class explored the themes of feelings, friendship and sharing using Elmer’s stories as the stimulus, and then expanded their work by looking at the Perahera in Sri Lanka. This is a Buddhist festival, during which each temple adorns an elephant with colourful decorations and takes part in a procession carrying the Sacred Tooth of Buddha, accompanied by dancers and drummers.
The children’s activities included listening to music, dancing and playing drums, printing material, devising patterns and using batik pictures. The children compared Perahera to their own experience of taking part in festivals and celebrations, which were mainly Christian or secular. The topic culminated in a celebration of their own.
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