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Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and devotion – the stories

Use this inquiry unit to develop your students' understanding of Persian stories. The unit focuses on analysing stories and creating narratives.

Refer to the Love and devotion – the stories curriculum outcomes to see how this unit aligns with VELS standards for levels 4 and 5.


  • Show students manuscript paintings from the story summaries.
  • Ask what the stories might be about.
  • Read the story descriptions and compare the stories with the students' ideas.
  • Brainstorm connections between the stories and familiar books, films, television shows and comics. Use as a brainstorming and mind mapping tool.


  • Explore stories from the Persian literary epic, the Shahnama ('Book of kings'). You will find three examples of Shanama stories in the story summaries.
  • Discover more about Persian stories through our Stories and poems section and list of useful websites
  • Research stories and classify them by characters featured (for example: king, prince), story theme (for example: heroic rescue, love story, tragedy, character being set a challenge) and narrative structure.


  • Using the information gathered by the class, compare the stories and identify common elements.
  • Use mind mapping to organise students' understandings of the stories.
  • Revisit the connections to various familiar texts.


  • Students create a product that demonstrates their understanding of a chosen story and ability to transfer their learning. Represent part or all of a story, or reinterpret it to create a new narrative.
  • Consider storyboarding as a planning tool (see Useful websites for storyboarding resources).
  • See Puppet making & performance and Comic creation for activity ideas and resources.
  • See Digital comic creation and Telling the story for activities involving creating digital products.
  • Other activity ideas: poetry, play, diorama, painting, song, oral storytelling, newspaper article, narrative writing (for example: retelling the story, rewriting the resolution or complication, writing a chapter either before the original story starts or after it ends).


  • Develop a rubric that allows students, teachers or peers to evaluate progress, and supports students in reflecting on their learning and identifying future goals.
  • Consider the relevant VELS for your activity. Refer to the Love and devotion – the stories curriculum outcomes.


Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.


Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Tel +61 3 8664 7000