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Overall Unit Question:
How have world religions shaped who I am today?

Lesson 1 Includes:

  1. Lesson Question
  2. Learning Standards Addressed
  3. Performance Objective Addressed
  4. Resources Listed
  5. Learning tasks
  6. Assessment tasks
  7. Rubrics for assessment
  8. Reflection guide

Learning Standards Addressed:
Standard 2 - World History of Learning Standards for Social Studies.

  • Students can analyze changing and competing interpretations of issues, events, and developments throughout world history.
  • They can analyze the roles and contributions of individuals and groups to cultural and religious practices and activities.
  • They can understand the development and connectedness of World Religions over time.

Performance Objective Addressed: Describe belief systems that influence or affect your life today.

Lesson 1 Question:
What does one's religion or philosophy have to do with one's lifestyle and actions?

A. Lesson Introduction for Unit on World Religions:

What might you expect to learn in a unit about world religions? Ask students to contribute their ideas, and share the names of world religions that might be included in the unit.

Record responses on an overhead. Give students a copy of the overall unit question and the five lesson questions. Ask them to list a question they have about world religions, and invite them to consider that question as the lessons proceed.

B. Set:
Next, use a visual presentation. Present a symbol for each of the following in turn:
Star and Crescent ----- Islam
Aum ---- Hinduism
Lotus ----- Buddhism
Yin, Yang circle ---- Confucianism
Six pointed star ----- Judaism
Cross ---- Christianity

Ask students to record their reactions. Have they seen them before? Do any of them evoke any emotional repsonse?

How does what we believe shape how we act towards others and toward other belief systems? Continue with this discussion question, and invite students to pair-share their ideas for two minutes before opening the discussion to the class for three minutes. The idea is to build their curiosity for the unit and motivate their explorations of world religions.

C. Teaching and Learning Tasks:
Individually students complete the following interest inventory to explore how belief systems influence their lives as teenagers. Inform students ahead of time that they should be prepared to share their responses with others. It is important that students know this information will be public and not confidential, since that may affect what they write.

Student Interest Inventory:



Name: ______________________________  Date: _________ 



 1) Three words that best describe my beliefs are 




 2) In a lesson on world religions I would like 
     to learn more about 




 3) I wonder about __________________________________




 4) Religion really challenges me to _________________ 




 5) One thing that really bothers me is _______________ 




 6) Beliefs relate best to a person's life when 




 7) Belief systems do not relate to daily living when 



D. Students discuss their responses with a group of two, then four, then a group of eight.

E. Assessment Tasks: The group of eight then chooses one person to share their group's conclusions.

F. Assessment: Papers are collected and checked for completion.

Excellent Presentations:
  • demonstrate the ability to probe ideas and assumptions.
  • ask and answer analytic questions.
  • take an inquiring attitude toward diverse prepositions.
  • evaluate evidence.
  • formulate key conclusions.
  • demonstrate participatory skills.

G. Closure:
Ask the following: If you were going to help to publish the most important statement about world religions and how they shape a person's life and actions, what would that statement be? Have them write their answers in three sentences or less and pass in before they leave class. Assign readings to be completed for next class and allow students to begin if time permits.

Lesson Reflection:
Jot down a few reflective notes. Look at this lesson from the students' eyes and adjust the work so that they learn more successfully as the unit progresses.

Workshop: Tapping Into Multiple Intelligences
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation | Get Credit

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