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India's Invincible Durga

Travel to India to learn about the invincible Durga. Her strength and regal beauty are celebrated by Hindus each fall.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Devi, an important part of the Hindu religion, is the invincible Durga. Pictured astride a big cat, she has many arms that illustrate her different strengthens and attributes. Often described as beautiful and deadly, Durga is credited with saving the universe from Asura and thus symbolizes victory over demons.
    2. Throughout India, Durga is honored during the fall festival of Durga Puja. A long series of rituals is performed every day of the celebration, many related to the river Ganga. Invite students to study depictions of Durga to see how she is portrayed and learn more about Hinduism.
    3. Using research, students sculpt a replica of a statue of Durga with Crayola® Model Magic®. Create unique colors by covering white Crayola Model Magic with Crayola Washable Gel Marker color. Knead it to blend desired palette.
    4. With a handful of Model Magic, sculpt the big cat that carries Durga. Make sure the cat is large enough to hold the goddess. Air-dry the cat overnight.
    5. Using more Model Magic, shape Durga’s body, arms, and head. Air-dry the sculpture overnight.
    6. Secure the pieces together with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry for 24 hours.
    7. For a glossy finish on the figure, students will mix equal parts of water and glue. With a sponge brush, cover the statue with glaze. Air-dry on wax paper.
    8. On recycled file folders, students draw details for the sculpture using Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils: her face, objects in her hands, and decorations such as lotus flowers. Cut out with Crayola Scissors. Other decorative craft materials may be added also. Attach pieces with glue.
    9. With Crayola Glitter Glue, students add final regal embellishments. As a last step, add her eyes.
    10. Display student sculptures in the classroom. Provide a time for classmates to view and discuss each other's artwork.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SS: Give examples and describe the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow by Sanjay Patel; Demons, Gods & Holy Men from Indian Myths & Legends by Shahrukh Husain

    Organize a field trip to an art museum that is featuring an exhibit of India's art. Students investigate symbols that represent the culture of India and its Hindu religion. Upon returning from the trip, students post learning to a class blog.

    Working in small groups, students create a family tree of the Hindu deities. Include a brief description of each on the tree.

    Students may choose to read legends associated with Durga.


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  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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