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Festivals

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By Roger Smitheducation writer and former headteacher

Teachers’ Notes by Mim BarnesLiteracy subject leader, Long Stratton

This interactive resource gives the same information about the festivals of six world religions three times, but groups it differently each time to help children understand that there are different ways of organising factual information.

It will encourage children to focus on different aspects of one subject, and to see how research can be directed from several angles. Before you begin using the resource, collect a range of books and websites about religious festivals.

festivals2010.jpg

Shared teaching and learning

Before reading

  • Ask the children to think about information texts they have used recently. (eg, a telephone directory, television schedule, magazine or website.) Work in talk partners to explain how they used the resource, and how it was organised to make it easy to use. Share feedback.
  • Discuss what we mean by ‘organisation’ with reference to information texts. Talk about contents pages and indexes, and establish how alphabetical ordering and subject grouping enables us to find specific words and facts quickly.
  • Choose a well-known religious festival in the context of your class. Ask children to jot down as many facts as they can about the festival before collating all the information. Taking different facts, work backwards from the fact to a question that it would answer – eg, When does the festival take place? To which religion does it belong?
  • Generalise from the specific example to show that someone may want to know about festivals from one of a number of different starting points. Generate some more general questions about religious festivals and write them up. (Refer back to these later.)
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