People and Places
Way of life and wet rice agriculture in the lowlands: The case of Java
This lesson examines how folktales influence agricultural practices. It explores the concept of the iceberg of culture.
|Subject||History / Social Studies|
|Topic||Way of life and wet rice agriculture in the lowlands: The case of Java|
|Key idea||Across time, people respond to the varied natural environment of a region in multiple ways that shape their
worldviews and ways of life.
|Key concepts||Environment, highlands, lowlands, coastlands
People, worldviews, way of life
|No. of periods / lessons||1 period (1 period is approximately 50 minutes)|
|Facilities needed||A/V equipment and Internet access to play the video clips (or hard copy with similar content)
Sources and handouts for distribution
|Prerequisite knowledge||No prerequisite knowledge required.
Understanding the attributes of lowlands (as explored in Lesson 1: Flood plains and river systems) is a plus.
By the end of the lesson, the students will be able to:
Download the lesson plan for details on the talks and activities suggested below.
1. Hook activity
Students observe video or images of a rice harvest festival. Many communities in the lowlands are focused on agriculture and rituals associated with this activity have shaped their way of life.
2. Group work: Source/artefact analysis
Students observe an artefact connected with a rice festival (or photos) and guess its significance.
3. Role play
Students analyze the folktale of Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice (using a text or a video) and identify identify elements in the story that refer to an agrarian life.
- Our way of life (festivals/rituals/stories) is shaped by the environment we live in.
- Lowlands in Southeast Asia focus on agriculture, which has shaped their way of life. Many festivals, rituals and stories are common in lowlands across
- At times, they differ due to the influences of religion and the time period
5. Suggested home extension activities
- Students collect stories related to agriculture.
- Students create their own story related to agriculture.
- Students create an artefact to be used in the harvest festival and explain its significance.