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KS3 RE: Gandhi (1982)

Develop students' understanding of methods of democratic opposition and Gandhi's belief in civil resistance

Main image of KS3 RE: Gandhi (1982)
AuthorRebecca Cramer, Lea Valley High School
TopicGhandi, civil resistance
Curriculum linksNC KS3 RE
 QCA RE Unit 7B, 3 Christianity and Justice

An Indian attorney, Mohandas K. Gandhi, aids the cause of civil rights for Indian immigrants in South Africa by advocating the use of non-violent protest. Later he becomes a political leader in India, where he helps to achieve his nation's independence from Britain, resulting in the creation of India and Pakistan.

Both of these clips, which highlight Gandhi's pacifist approach, could be used to support teaching RE QCA unit 7c in which pupils learn about the life and teachings of a religious figure. This particular activity can be used as an opening to a lesson on Gandhi's methods of resistance, with a focus on either his actions or the beliefs behind them.



Ask pupils what they understand by the term 'civil resistance'? They should note down their ideas on a small piece of paper. Less able students may need some support - ie. breaking up the term and noting down words that they associate with 'resistance', for example.

As a class, watch the clip entitled Civil resistance immediately after this. Now ask pupils to write their own definition of the term - thinking carefully about what they learned from the clip - then fold the paper up and pass it to someone else in the room.

Pupils should read through the definitions in front of them before comparing them with the person sitting next to them.

Now watch the clip We cannot lose as a class, which will further aid students' understanding of Gandhi's approach to resistance. In their pairs, students should come up with a final definition, using the information from the clips as well the ideas on the paper in front of them.

Pupils should now feed back to the rest of the class. Ideas can be collected by the teacher on the board and, if there is time, students can vote on what they think is the best definition.


Some more ideas

  • Use the clip Civil resistance at the very beginning of a unit of work on Ghandi as a religious leader. Students should note down everything they can learn or infer about the leader from the clip (ie. he enjoys a lot of support, he is under threat of arrest etc..). Students could also generate questions that they have in response to watching the clip (What year is it? What country are they in?).
Video Clips
1. We cannot lose (0:56)
2. Civil resistance (0:58)

Related Films and TV programmes

Thumbnail image of Gandhi (1982)Gandhi (1982)

Read more about this film

See also