Over the last 3 years I have been covering PPA, rather than, being a class teacher. I ended up teaching a lot of R.E. and P.E. and I ended up really enjoying teaching R.E., especially in Middle School. The children are able to articulate their thoughts, ask questions, reflect and more. It was truly amazing!

One lesson stood out the most. The lesson was called ‘Deep thoughts about deep ideas.’
The objective was for the children to know about Hindu concepts of the atma (the true self).
They also needed to understand the Hindu belief that God is within the heart and conscience.

We discussed the soul and the various words that can be used to describe it. We also talked about the fact that many religions talk about the soul or the spirit. Many of the children had heard of it. 🙂

Here are some of the things that the children said: –

Fred said that an example of the soul not needing a body was shown in Harry Potter. Moaning Myrtle lives in the in the toilet.

Dave said that the soul’s trapped in the body.

Vijay said if the soul doesn’t have a body it can live but if the body doesn’t have a soul it can’t live.

Danielle said that “the soul controls you. When you die it gets re-born into another body.”

Sandy said “it’s like a ghost. It leaves the body when you die”

Tommy said “the soul leaves the body when you die and goes somewhere. If you’re knocked out you see yourself on the floor but you’re see-through and like a silky wall. If your heart stops you see your soul raise out of your body and you go to heaven.”

Natalie said “A child could see the soul that came out of the body of the dead person” so we discussed that many people believe children’s minds are more open to this kind of thing and others believe that our minds becomes closed as we get older. Thus we lose the ability to see things like this. We discussed that others believe it’s not possible at all.

Ben said “It helps you make hard decisions. The soul helps you face your fears.”

Ali remembered the episode of Tom and Jerry when Tom died and 9 souls came out. They all showed different feelings – playful, bossy etc.

Tammy said the same as Ali but she remembered a similar episode from Garfield.

It may not read as well as it felt. The lesson was buzzing. The children were so into it. their hands were shooting up all the time because they wanted to explore their ideas together. They felt curious, safe & most of all, they all showed respect for all faiths as they spoke. It was amazing!

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Arvind Devalia · October 4, 2010 at 11:22 am

What a fun article!

Children are clearly much more open to the idea of a soul and in a great being.

And they have a lot to teach us about respecting all faiths.

    Heena Modi · October 11, 2010 at 9:42 am

    It was an amazing lesson Arvind! 🙂

Chandesh Parekh · October 14, 2010 at 11:09 am


it’s truly amazing how insightful children are; They have no pre-conception and therefore see things ‘in the clear’ as it were. Their logic is impeccable. I probably learn more from Neil than I teach.

As adults we need to me more ‘child-like’ (not to be confused with childish :)).

    Heena Modi · October 19, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Agreed Chandesh.
    Thanks for your comment 🙂

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