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Krishna's Childhood (activity)

The Hindu deity Krishna as a boy, being scolded by his foster mother for eating mud

The Hindu deity Krishna as a boy, being scolded by his foster mother for eating mud, approx. 1750. India; former kingdom of Kulu, Himachal Pradesh state. Ink, opaque watercolors, and gold on paper. Gift of George Hopper Fitch, B86D16.


Students will be able to identify the characteristics of Krishna as a child.

30 minutes
Keyword Results: 

See Downloads Above: Introduction to the Krishna Legend; Krishna's Childhood; Activity Sheet A; Legend of Krishna Bibliography

  1. Tell stories of Krishna’s childhood using the Downloads above. For additional versions, refer to the Legend of Krishna Bibliography for suggestions.
  2. After listening to stories about Krishna’s childhood, each student lists at least five characteristics they would use to describe Krishna’s youthful personality and adventures. Students also list a specific example to support each characteristic. Use Activity Sheet A as a guide for this activity.
  3. Lead a classroom discussion with the students. Some discussion points are:
    • What are the most common characteristics of Krishna as a child?
    • Are these characteristics the same as/different than how you would describe a younger brother or sister?
    • What examples would you use to support your choice of characteristics?
    • Why do you think stories about Krishna’s childhood are so popular?
  4. Compare these characteristics of young Krishna to those of other literary characters. Ask students to name other famous children or childlike characters that have similar characteristics. What is it about these characters that is so endearing to audiences?

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