Five Aggregates

The Five Aggregates are a framework to understand what a person is and how people function.

Age Group: 11–16
Materials: 4
Image: Hanna Eberhard/

The Five Aggregates describe the five main factors that constitute reality according to Buddhist thought. They are: form, feeling, perception, mental formations and consciousness. They account for both physical and mental dimensions of reality and the connections between them. They are especially important as a framework for understanding what a person is and how people function.


The content presented here follows the AQA GCSE Religious Studies A specification. If you are seeking further detail please see our resources in the 16-19 section of the website or Discovering Buddhism by Dominique Side for further reading.

Buddhist Stories

Detailed Subject Knowledge

VIDEO   (Youtube)
The five Skandhas in four minutes
Play Video

Lesson Activities and Reflections

DOCUMENT   (.pdf)
Five aggregates presentation notes
DOCUMENT   (.pptx)
Five aggregates slides

Lived Experience


DOCUMENT   (.pdf)
Five Aggregates worksheet