Here we will provide resources for use by school teachers that have been developed as part of our project Approaching Religion Through Story. This page is a work in progress, so please check back later to see more materials. If you have any feedback about the resources or would like to share your experiences of using them please get in touch: Dr Alison Jack (a.jack [AT] and Dr Naomi Appleton (naomi.appleton [AT] – we’d love to hear from you!

Although the resources have been created in consultation with Education Scotland and Scottish school teachers, we hope they will also be useful to teachers in other parts of the UK (or even beyond). Please do let us know if you are using them elsewhere, and how you get on!


How to use the resources

The resources are provided as pdf files for ease of downloading, printing and copying. Simply click on the link to download.

Some stories also have Powerpoint files with images relating to the story.

The stories are ordered by religious tradition (currently Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam) and according to the three structuring principles of the experiences and outcomes for RME in Scotland: Beliefs, Values and Issues, and Practices and Traditions. Keywords are also provided to indicate the particular relevance of the story. To search for a particular keyword use the search function in your browser.

Each of the stories is accompanied by notes for teachers (providing background information) and suggested discussion questions (to be adjusted as necessary for different learners and levels).

For suggested classroom activities involving stories, arranged according to level, please see Classroom Activities Using Stories, a resource created by our consultant teachers Louise Hepburn, Martin Downes and Robert O’Neill.

You can also download Lesson Plans and other resources created by fellow teachers.

A full booklet of resources for Christian and Buddhist traditions including a keyword index, as distributed at our launch event in May 2016, can also be freely downloaded, printed and circulated as desired. Since the launch we have added resources for Hinduism and are currently developing resources for Islam.

Resources provided as part of the project Approaching Religion Through Story are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. They are free to use, copy and adapt for all non-commercial purposes.


Stories from Christian traditions

Introduction to Parables


The Rich Man and Lazarus

Keywords: actions and their consequences, poverty and wealth, heaven and hell

The Prodigal Son

Keywords: forgiveness, repentance, family, being lost and being found, fairness

Values and Issues

The Dishonest Manager

Keywords: honesty vs dishonesty, morality, debt, generosity

The Labourers in the Vineyard

Keywords: generosity, morality, reward

Practices and Traditions

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Keywords: prayer, hypocrisy, appearance vs reality, repentance, true godliness

The Wedding Banquet

Keywords: sacred meals, salvation, invitation, discipleship


Stories from Buddhist traditions

Introduction to Jatakas


Kisagotami and the Mustard Seed

Keywords: impermanence, suffering

The Fatalist King and the Divine Sage

Keywords: karma and rebirth

Values and Issues

The Story of Prince Vessantara

Prince Vessantara Images (Powerpoint)

Keywords: generosity, non-attachment

The Story-cycle of King Shibi

Keywords: generosity, self-sacrifice, compassion

The Monkey King

Keywords: compassion, self-sacrifice, leadership

The Whats-It Tree

Whats It Tree Images (Powerpoint)

Keywords: impermanence, appearance vs reality, wisdom

The Cat and the Mice

Keywords: hypocrisy, appearance vs reality, wisdom, morality

Practices and Traditions

The Challenges of Meditation

Keywords: meditation, determination


Keywords: renunciation, non-attachment, determination


Stories from Hindu Traditions

Introduction to the Mahabharata


Savitri and Death

Keywords: dharma, death, marriage and wifehood

The Brahmin and the Hunter

Keywords: karma and rebirth, dharma, caste, killing

Values and Issues

King Yudhisthira and His Dog

Keywords: loyalty, devotion, heaven, dharma, non-cruelty, pride

King Shibi and the Dove

Keywords: compassion, self-sacrifice, kingship

Practices and Traditions

Descent of the Ganges

Ganges images (Powerpoint)

Keywords: pilgrimage, cremation in the Ganges

Stories from Islamic Traditions

[This section is under development]


Values and Issues

The Old Woman who Threw Rubbish

Keywords: patience, mercy, compassion, empathy, forgiveness

Practices and Traditions


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