Curriculum Youth Group

(Y1 - Y5)


Guide the students to gain a sense of belonging to the community and to help them associate and identify them confidently and proudly of their Indian cultural and religious roots.  This is proposed to be achieved through various class room activities, workshops, seminars, lectures, hands on community service and volunteering activities.  All sessions will be interactive. 

The Curriculum is divided into five units: Religion, interactive classroom discussion and home work, community and interfaith volunteer activities, field trips to gain knowledge about other cultures/religions and Bal Vihar class room volunteering.  There is also project based learning, other electives and interactive discussion sessions.

  • Y1,Y2 and Y3: Students will go through the full curriculum as above (10:00-12:30)
  • Y1,Y2 and Y3: Will learn Bagavad Gita as the basis for religious education. Other religious activities such as reciting Hanuman Chalisa and discussion on Ramayana will be at the discretion of the faculty.
  • Y3: Graduation from the Balvihar program is offered once the student completes Y3
  • Y4: Students will be offered Project based learning and involved in management and planning the community project events. They will be offered leadership guidance. Few of the students may be selected to run the “newsletter” program.
  • Y4: Will also assist in class rooms.
  • Y5: Serve as teachers in the class rooms and lead community project activities. These activities will allow the students to read more and be confident to teach the younger classes to be good role models and to strengthen their own belief.
  • Y5: Will be given a “Farewell” at the completion of the program


Unit 1: Religious Connection

  • Bhagavad Gita discourse by HG Lal Gopal Das Prabhu, President ISKCON
  • Bhagavad Gita Chapters 2, 12 and 16 in Y3 group by Dr. Hamsa Subramanian
  • Hanuman Chalisa, Ramayana
  • Mahabharata DVD


Unit 2 – Interactive classroom discussion, Student presentations and home work

  • Differences and similarities between Western (US) and Asian (Indian) cultures.
  • Peer Pressure and Family expectations/ Role of alcohol, drugs/Dating
  • Self Identity and Self Respect.
  • Be proud of who you are.
  • Role Models
  • What does the religion teach you?
  • Santana Dharma
  • Comparison of different world religions (3 lectures)
  • The Three Gunas
  • Asato Ma Sat Gamaya
  • Hindu scriptures
  • Karma Yoga
  • Swami Vivekananda
  • Vedic Math
  • Ancient Indian Science (4 Lectures)
  • Character comparison Krishna and Rama

Student Presentations:

  • Non-Violence: Is it still relevant in this day and age?
  • Financial Melt Down? What do YOU want to do about it? Is there a difference between “Need and Greed” and could you tie to your "Karmas"?
  • Career Choices: Have you ever thought about it? What should you really look in a career?
  • Laws of Karma: How can the theory of Karma help you lead a positive life? Should we question laws of Karma? Is there a better explanation?
  • Three Guna's: Where do I fit in?
  • Vegetarianism: What is your opinion? Is it a personal Choice? How do like to approach people if you want to convince them to be a vegetarian?
  • Role of women in Hindu Religion: Compare with other religion. Do think that women were generally suppressed in the past by each society?
  • Why are there so many disasters in the world in the last few years? Are we near the end of Kal Yug?
  • "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change what I can and wisdom to know the difference." St. Francis of Assisi. What do you think St. Fransis meant by this prayer? Do you think this holds true in what Gita teaches us? Refer to chapter two and make references to slokas that may explain St. Francis's prayer.
  • How does practice of Hinduism address protecting environment?
  • Arranged marriages: What do you know about them? Pros and Cons? Address sacrifice, adjustment, patience and respect?
  • Why should we go to temples and attend rituals?


Unit 3 – Service Oriented – Field and community service activities

Community service projects participation in a more active manner by providing help within Bal Vihar and to the outside community. A calendar of activities would be given. The following activities are proposed

  • Food Drive
  • Clothing drive
  • In house community projects with younger classes
  • CANstruction drive
  • Poverty simulation
  • Volunteer at various food banks
  • Volunteer at Hindu Temple
  • Other Interfaith projects


Unit 4 – Bal Vihar Classroom Volunteers

  • Assist teachers and other volunteers in day-to-day running of a session. This will be done in rotation among the youth.  This activity will enable the youth to become Bal Vihar teachers as they get older. Currently Y5 will teach and Y4 will be assisting.
  • The specific tasks of assisting in Y4 and Y5 will include research and preparing for the classes, some communication to the parents before and after each class and teaching at least 3-5 classes. Some youth may be given the opportunity to take classes on their own.
  • Bal Vihar teaching and youth group coordinators will further redefine these roles


Unit 5- Field Trips – Subject to change every year

  • Hindu temple Visit on the first day of the class for the Y1 class
  • Sikh Gurdwara
  • Jewish temple
  • Buddhist monastery
  • Vedanta Society
  • Bahai Temple
  • Out of town trip to various temples