Buddhism Lesson for Kids: History & Facts

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Buddhism is an ancient religion that is practiced today in many areas of the world. In this lesson, discover how Buddhism emerged, learn about Buddha, and identify some of the main beliefs of the religion.

Conflict in India

To learn about the religion of Buddhism, you'll have to travel back several thousand years to the Asian country of India, when there began to be disagreements about another major Indian religion, Hinduism. This was a belief system that had been practiced, but people started to have different ideas about religion. Groups came together based on those ideas, and one group was led by a man with a pretty interesting story. His ideas eventually became one of the world's major religions.

Who Was Buddha?

Would you be happy if you had everything you could possibly wish for? It may sound strange, but an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama was sad even though he was a part of a wealthy family. He met a monk, who was a male member of a religious group. This monk intrigued Siddhartha, who left his family and all of his riches to find happiness.

As Siddhartha traveled, he thought a lot about why he was unhappy, and he started sharing his ideas with others. People liked what they heard, and they started calling him Buddha, which means 'awakened one.' Buddha continued developing his ideas, and he probably had no idea of the impact his beliefs would have on the world.

Buddha created ideas on his path to peace that eventually led to the creation of the Buddhist religion.

Four Noble Truths

Buddha felt that even though life was uncertain, there were four things that were always constant. He called these the Four Noble Truths. The first truth was that suffering is a part of life, and he knew that firsthand with his sadness as a prince. He felt there was a reason for this suffering, which was the second truth. People suffered because they were greedy. However, the third truth was that suffering could end if people controlled their greed for things like money and power. Finally, to stop their desires, people must follow a certain set of rules throughout their life, known as the Eightfold Path.

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