Year 8 Religious Studies and World Views: BUDDHISM 1. The Birth of Siddhartha Gautama

Today’s learning skills: gathering existing knowledge/ re-calling & understanding a story/ create a title document
Target time: 60 minutes

Welcome to a new half term unit. We will be studying Buddhism for the next 5 weeks. You will learn about who this person called the Buddha was, his story, his impact in the world and his teachings.

Today’s learning: The Birth of Siddhartha Gautama

How does the story of the birth of this person show that he was someone important?


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

1. Let’s begin by looking at what we might already know about Buddhism…

Take your paper/ powerpoint or word document and in the middle, put a BIG title- BUDDHISM. A good chance to learn how to spell it! Yes, it’s got 2 Ds and a crafty H in there! The name Buddha is spelt the same, without the ‘ism’ on the end. Learn it!

Now, draw or find and paste a picture of the Buddha. Around it, write down everything you think you already know about the Buddha and Buddhism.

Think about: who? Where? what? When? Why? How?

You may not know very much- which is fine! It’s why we’re studying Buddhism this half term.

2. The Story of Siddhartha Gautama’s Birth

Need to know: the word ‘Buddha’ is a special title given to the person who was born as Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha means ‘one who has achieved a goal’.  He grew up being called Siddhartha. He became known as ‘the Buddha’ later in his life after he had a powerful experience.

We’re going to read the story of Siddhartha’s birth and then watch a video about it. You’ll find both of these below.


Take another blank paper or word document or slide. Find or draw a picture of Baby Siddhartha. You can google ‘Baby Siddhartha’ to find one. Put that picture somewhere on your page.

Answer these questions on that page. You can write them in a list, or in bubbles, or waves. However you want. Be as artistic as you like!

1.When and where does this story take place?

2.Write down all the main characters in this story.

3.Next to each character, add any information you know about them. Example- Asita. Holy man who prophesied Siddhartha’s future. Came to palace after he was born.

4.List anything that was strange about Siddhartha’s birth.

5.What do white elephants symbolise/ mean in Indian culture at this time?

6.Why did King Śuddhodana decide to keep Siddhartha in the palace?

7.Now add today’s lesson title to your page

8.Now- draw or paste these pictures to your page-

-A white elephant

-A lotus flower

-A palace

4. EXPLAIN IT! Show you get it…

On that same page, finish this paragraph:

Buddhists believe that Siddhartha Gautama was someone special because there were clues at his birth that he was not a normal baby.  These things were….

Here’s an example page that might help you shape what you’re doing…


Your final task today is to create a title page for your Buddhism booklet. It might be a bit like my one on the title page here at the top of this blog. You could find a picture you like or draw one. Add the title: THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA.


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!