Year 8 Religion and World Views: BUDDHISM 4. Stories from the Buddha: what did he teach?

Today’s learning skills:
Target time: 60 minutes

Welcome to week 4 of exploring Buddhism. Now we know who Siddhartha Gautama was and how his birth marked him out as someone special. We also know that as he grew up he wanted to see life outside the palace. When he did that, he saw 4 sights that changed his life. He left his life of luxury and became the Buddha, or ‘the enlightened one’.

Today we’re going to explore what it was that the Buddha had discovered and what he taught.

Today’s learning: Stories from the Buddha.

What did Buddha teach people?


I can: pull all my new learning on Buddhism together into a piece of writing, using my Buddhism notes to help me.

So that:
I can showcase how much I have learned about Buddhism!


Blank paper/ pen or pencils/ colours if you want them OR set up a word document or powerpoint if you want to work on a computer

The ‘I ROCK AS I ALREADY KNOW!’ quick quiz: check yourself out

1.Siddhartha Gautama is a person. Later in his life he would be better known by another name. What is that name?

The Buddha- which means the ‘one who knows’ or ‘enlightened one’.

2. What phrase describes the 4 things Siddhartha saw when he left his palace for the first time?

The Four Sights is the phrase we use.

3.Someone visited the palace when Siddhartha was born and gave a prophecy. What was his name?

Asita was the holy man who prophesied that Siddhartha would become a holy man if he saw suffering in the world.

4.Siddhartha became known as the Buddha. What does the word Buddha mean?

It means the Enlightened One, or the one who has found enlightenment.

5. What did Siddhartha realise existed in the world after seeing the 4 sights?

He realised that the world was full of suffering- like old age, decay, disease and death.

6.Siddhartha realised that life should be lived in the Middle Way between two extremes. One of these is the extreme of luxury- like his life in the palace. What was the other extreme that he experienced when he lived with the holy men?

He experienced poverty (having no money) and starvation (very little food). The holy men chose to go without food and lived with very little so they could focus on their spiritual lives.

7. We say that the Siddhartha became ‘enlightened’ under the Bodhi tree. Explain what we mean by that.

It means that he suddenly understood what life was about. Like a light going on in his mind and getting it! A very difficult idea to explain!

Let’s start with a video as a re-cap…

1. Well done! Now, set up a new thinking page for today

Our little booklet of pages is coming together nicely! In week one we made a title page and a page about Siddhartha as a baby.In the second week we made a page about the four sights. Last time you wrote a neat poem on your enlightenment page. So now we have 4 pages in our booklet!

Today- set up a new page. Either on your computer as a powerpoint or word document or a paper page.

Put today’s lesson title at the top of it. ‘STORIES FROM THE BUDDHA’. (You’ll find an example page I’ve made further below).

2. Let’s find out what the Buddha actually taught. So read the two pages below. There are lots of big ideas here so go slowly with it. Re-read it if you need to. Then there’s a video you can watch to help understand more.

Loader Loading…
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

3. Making Sense of the Four Noble Truths

On your paper/ document, you are going to do the following things. If you get stuck, check out the page below this section with my example page.

1. Find or draw a picture of a tree on your page in the middle. This symbolises the tree that Siddhartha sat beneath to meditate.

2. Underneath the tree, write down what the Four Noble Truths are (go back up to the reading sheet above. The section on the 4 truths has them clearly numbered). Title them, the Four Noble Truths.

Are these truths real for you?

3. Write down 3 things that you crave/ want/ desire (maybe a new phone or a piece of chocolate, or for it to stop raining!) and DRAW THEM!

4. Why do you want those things? Explain fully. “I really want the latest iPhone because…”

5. If you suddenly had those things now, would it satisfy you? Would it stop you from wanting anything else ever again? Explain your thinking.

6. The first noble truth tells us that suffering is part of life. Do you agree or disagree? Why? Ask your family too! Get some debate going!

7. Finish this sentence: People say the Buddha is like a doctor because…


Here is an email sent to the Buddha by someone needing advice. Read it. Then be the Buddha. Send back an email reply using your new knowledge about the Four Noble Truths. Write it on today’s page.

Dear Buddha. I’m really suffering. Please help! I’ve been friends with my best mate since we were four. But he has really changed and has a different group of friends. He doesn’t want to do the stuff we used to do anymore and is in to things I don’t want to do. I feel sad. I feel lonely. I don’t like the fact that he’s changed. What can I do?

You might begin: Dear…, I’m sorry to hear you are suffering…

(Now remember: Buddha taught that all life is about CHANGE. Things constantly change. Nothing stays the same. It is part of being human. There are special Buddhist words for these ideas that you can find in the reading sheet. Our suffering comes from wanting things- like wanting our friendships to stay the same forever…)

BONUS CHALLENGE: if you’re feeling creative, have a go at making a piece of jewellery showing the 3 jewels. Could make it out of paper, play-doh, bread dough, anything you like! Photograph it & send it in!

Here’s an example page of today’s learning to support you if you need help

Loader Loading…
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab


Today we’ve finished our learning about Buddhism! Well done you! You’ve actually written a small book and used your expertise on Buddhism to write a film overview! You have brought two brand new things into the world that didn’t exist only 7 weeks ago! How amazing is that?

Wishing you a gorgeous summer holiday! By the way, if you want to do more on Buddhism over the summer- there will be another blog next week with some creative tasks for you, like tattoo designs and flag making!


Simply send your work to your teacher. And remember, all these pages are making a booklet week by week!