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Lesson Plan

Hinduism- Caste System Simulation by ECSDM

Course, Subject

Global History and Geography, Social Studies, Social Studies, Social Studies (NYS K-12 Framework Common Core)

Grade Levels

Commencement, 9th Grade, 10th Grade


Students will be broken into different groups representing the Hindu caste system. Each group will be given and list of tasks and responsibilities to complete during the lesson in an effort to earn karma points. At the end of the lesson, there will be a rebirth ceremony where students will be moved into higher classes based on how many karma points they earned. The SMART Notebook materials will explain the origins and vocabulary of the Hindu religion.


One or two forty-five minute periods

Learning Objectives

Students will understand how the Hindu caste system and reincarnation work. Students will understand the major vocabulary in the Hindu religion.


  • Slips of paper to divide the class into different castes:
    • green paper (Bhramin)
    • blue paper (Kshatryia)
    • red paper (Viasya)
    • yellow paper (Sudra)
    • purple paper (Untouchable)
  • Lots of small pieces of paper to represent karma points
  • Candy
  • SMART Board set-up
  • Hinduism Guided Notes
  • Hinduism Guided Notes.doc
  • Hindu Caste System Simulation.notebook
  • Hindu Caste System Simulation.pdf
  • Step-by-Step Procedure

    1. Bell Ringer: Define reincarnation. Explain why some religions might believe in it.
    2. Discuss the bell ringer.
    3. Explain that today we will break into different groups from the Hindu caste system, which depends on reincarnation. Explain that in Hinduism people aim to achieve good karma and to fulfill their dharma in efforts to move up in caste ranking during their next life. Tell the students that all groups will have the ability to improve their status by earning karma points, five points will move you up one class.
    4. Using a "Box of Fun" or hat have students randomly pick colored slips of paper. Do not tell them what each represents until everyone has picked. Dramatically divide them into the castes and explain the responsibilities of each. I had the Brahman sit in the very front of the room and the Untouchables stand in the back of the room, the other groups are organized in groups between the other two.
      • Brahman- Pass out/take away Karma tickets to other classes and help with reincarnation ceremony
      • Kshatriya- read when called upon, write on SMART Board, and answer questions
      • Vaishya- pass out and collect papers. Sudras- get candy for higher classes.
      • Untouchables- pick up trash and clean up messes that the other classes make.
    5. Explain that they have a few minutes to get organized. Allow the Sudra to pass out candy, the Untouchables to clean-up, and ask the Vaishya to pass out Hinduism guided notes. Let them know that it is their responsibility to kindly let the Bhramin know their deed, so that they can earn their karma points. Bring them back together and let them know that everyone must remain in their seats during the lesson.
    6. Go through the SMART Notebook slides on Hinduism, discussing and explaining topics as necessary. Be sure to ask questions of the Kshatryia, only they can answer, but all castes must pay attention or risk losing points. Everyone should fill in their guided notes. (Kshatryia should locate and circle India for the class and label the hierarchy pyramid.)
    7. Explain that they have a few minutes to fulfill their dharma. Sudra can pass out candy, untouchables can collect trash, and Viasya can collect papers.
    8. Regroup the class for the reincarnation ceremony.
    9. Ask who ask five or more karma points. Have the Bhramin take five of their karma points, tell them their new social class, and ask them to move into it.
    10. At the end of the lesson, orally review all information letting all students answer/ask questions and have everyone complete the exit slip. I allow anyone who has not been allowed to get candy have a piece on the way out. Be sure to collect all karma points for use during the next period.
    11. Exit Slip: Why do you think that all social classes appreciate and participate in the caste system?


    • Oral assessment
    • Exit slip

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