School Resource

The Story of Prince Vessantara


Developed for teachers of primary school students, this powerpoint learning resource focuses on a work from the Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. A Thai/Laotian Buddhist narrative scroll created by artist Taa Saenglao Buddhist narrative scroll depicting the Vessantara Jataka (Pha yao Phra Wet) 1958.

Information in this resource has been drawn from Buddhist Storytelling in Thailand and Laos: The Vessantara Jataka Scroll at the Asian Civilisations Museum, 2012 by authors Leedom Lefferts, Sandra Cate and Wajuppa Tossa

Part 1: Slides 2–43
Exploring and responding
These slides introduce the story of Prince Vessantara as told through the Buddhist narrative scroll depicting the Vessantara Jataka.

Teachers’ notes and questions for students include:
• background/contextual information
• introduction to key characters in the narrative
• discussion of the narrative through focusing on different sections of the scroll.

Part 2: Slides 44–53
Creating and making
These slides introduce a collaborative art making activity for students inspired by the Buddhist narrative scroll depicting the Vessantara Jataka.