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Lesson Plan

The Teachings of His Holiness The Dalai Lama


Social Studies (NYS K-12 Framework Common Core)

Grade Levels

6th Grade


This lesson plan, focusing on the teachings of the Dalai Lama, is the 1st in a series targeted for 6th grade students in preparations for the visit of the Dalai Lama to the University of Buffalo, September 18 - 20, 2006.


Multiple copies of speech excerpts (see attached)
Copy of the Dalai Lama Personal History (see attached)

  • Caring and Happiness Quotes.doc
  • Dalai Lama Personal History.doc
  • Excerpt from Forum 2000[1].doc
  • Excerpts from Congress 18 April 91[1].doc
  • Excerpt From Human Rights-Universal Responsibility
  • Nobel Peace Prize Speech[1].doc
  • The Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama Works
  • Anticipatory Set

    Teacher will write the following quote on the board:

    “Be kind whenever possible . . . It is always possible”
                                                                                   The 14th Dalai Lama

    Learners will respond to the quote in two ways:
    A) What does the quote mean?
    B) What can you do to follow the idea that the Dalai Lama is suggesting?

    Brief History of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

    Teacher will read the short passage entitled “Dalai Lama Personal History” to the class. The class will be asked to write down important information about the Dalai Lama. The teacher will then lead the class in writing on the board (or overhead projector) the important information that the class has written down.

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Teachings

    Students will be divided into 5 groups. Each group will be given one of the 5 excerpts from speeches given by the Dalai Lama, along with the worksheet (see “The teaching of His Holiness the Dalai Lama”). One student from each group will read the passage to the rest of the students. Together the group will complete the worksheet about the reading. After an appropriate amount of time has expired, the readings will be rotated to another group. Each group should analyze as many of the excerpts as time allows.

    Two alternative procedures could include the student’s sharing the reading responsibilities by passing the excerpts around the group and each student reading a paragraph until the reading is completed, or the teacher reading each excerpt out loud to the class and then filling in the worksheet as a large group.


    Teacher will lead the students in a discussion of what they have learned. Teacher will ask:

    A) How does the Dalai Lama suggest we treat each other?
    B) What does the Dalai Lama believe is the only way that there can be peace on earth?
    C) What has happened to the Dalai Lama’s home of Tibet?
    D) Why is the Dalai Lama’s message so important?


    Students will create a symbolic representation of the Dalai Lama’s ideas about how we should treat each other and his hope for the world. This can be done as a homework assignment if time does not allow for it to be completed in class. Symbolic representations could be in the form of a collage, a pictogram, a drawing, an original poem, or any other representation that the students can create. The symbolic representations can be displayed in the classroom or hallway to create a display of the Dalai Lama’s teachings.

    School/Home Connection

    Students can discuss the teachings of the Dalai Lama with their families and discuss similarities and differences between the Dalai Lama’s ideas and there own.


    Jeff Faunce

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