Lesson Notes By Weeks and Term - Primary 5


Week 7-8




Topic: Traditional marriage and modern marriage 

Behavioral objectives: At the end of the lessons, the pupils should be able to

  • describes the features of traditional marriage.
  • highlight the advantages and disadvantages of traditional marriage.
  • describe the features of modern marriage in Nigeria.
  • identify values associated with Christian marriage and Islamic marriage

Instructional materials

Different kind of Charts and references materials 

Scheme of work 

And other relevant materials

6 years basic Education curriculum

Online information

Building background connection to prior knowledge: pupils are familiar with the topic in their previous classes


Main features of traditional marriage

Traditional marriage is conducted in accordance with the traditions and customs of the people. These traditions have been with the people for a long time, even before other people’s ideas were introduced. Here are some of the features of traditional marriage:

  1. Traditional marriage is mainly between the families of the man and the woman.
  2. There is always a betrothal ceremony.
  3. Traditional marriages are not held without the payment of a bride price. 4 It usually involves traditional rites and prayers.
  4. In many Nigerian cultures, the woman is taken to her husband’s house the same day the marriage ceremony is held.
  5. in some cultures, the woman goes, in a ceremony, with her own parents to her husband’s house. For example, the Edo and Urhobo ethnic groups perform this ceremony.
  6. In traditional marriage, a man can marry as many wives as he wants.
  7. The marriage takes place in the family home of the wife-to-be.

Advantages and disadvantages of traditional marriage  

Advantages of traditional marriage

  1. It allows a man to marry many wives, who could help him on his farm or in his business.
  2. A man is able to have as many children as possible from this type of marriage. These children help on the farm and in the family business. They also provide support when their parents are old.
  3. A large extended family, made up of the families of a man’s wives, is produced from this type of marriage. This large family is usually helpful to the man in bad times.

Disadvantages of traditional marriage

  1. Since his wives and children are many, the man may not be able to take care of them adequately.
  2. There may be frequent quarrels among the wives and children. 3 Most times, the man does not give equal love and care to his wives and children

Main features of modern marriage 

Modern marriage was brought into Nigeria from outside the country. There are three types of modern marriage, namely:

  1. Christian marriage or church marriage
  2. Muslim marriages
  3. Marriages by the Marriage Act

Christian marriage

  1. Christian marriage is conducted in accordance with the rules of the church.
  2. The marriage is celebrated in the church.
  3. A reverend or pastor conducts the marriage
  4. The marriage is expected to be guided by the dictates of the Holy Bible.
  5. The man puts a ring on the fourth finger on the left hand of the woman and the woman does the same to the man. Usually, the woman already has an engagement ring on that same finger.
  6. A man can be married to only one woman at a time.
  7. After the wedding, there is usually a party. Here, among other ceremonies, the couple is advised by their friends and relations, on how to have a successful marital life.

 FIG. 1

Muslim marriage

  1. The Muslim marriage starts with the traditional steps we have learnt about in the previous unit.
  2. An Imam conducts the wedding.
  3. The man is permitted to marry up to four wives.
  4. The marriage is conducted in the mosque.
  5. The man pays a bride price called yigi.
  6. Guests are entertained with food and drinks to celebrate the marriage

 FIG. 2

Marriage by the Marriage Act

Marriage by the Marriage Act was brought into the country by the Europeans. The marriage follows the laws of the government office called the Marriage Registry. 

The person who joins the couple is called a Registrar. In this kind of marriage, a man may only marry one wife. The couple swears to certain statements, and may Exchange rings. Parents and friends are usually present at the registry.

 FIG. 3

Advantages and disadvantages of modern marriage

Advantages of modern marriage

  1. It is based on good traditional customs.
  2. It is backed up by the religion or law, which the couple strongly holds on to.
  3. It makes divorce difficult.
  4. It is guided by written laws.

Disadvantages of modern marriage

  1. It does not follow our customs and traditions.
  2. It tries to limit the influence of parents on the affairs of the couple who, however, may not be ready to bear the problems of a married life.

Values associated with modern marriage 

The Christian marriage, Islamic marriage and marriage by the Marriage Act are based on love and submission, which must be adhered to strictly by both the husband and wife.

Both husband and wife should fear God, as stipulated in the Christian and Islamic doctrines. Both of them should learn to forgive each other. This attitude will encourage peace and prolong the relationship.

Assessment and evaluation

Teacher asks questions from pupils based on the topic 

 Wrap up and conclusions

Teacher goes over the topic for better understanding.


  1. Define Traditional and modern marriage

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