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

Lesson 5 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

Lesson Question: What are the major belief systems and how do these compare to my beliefs?

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:
Compare and contrast major belief systems

A. Set:
Do a quick brainstorming on the board. Ask students to shout out one idea that comes to them when you say Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Animism, Judaism, or Christianity. Write a few descriptive words beside each.

B. Teaching and Learning Tasks:
A "Novice-Expert Groups" activity and questionaire:

1. Give each student a ticket with one of following categories on it.

 1 - A      1 - B     1 - C     1 - D

 2 - A      2 - B     2 - C     2 - D

 3 - A      3 - B     3 - C     3 - D

 4 - A      4 - B     4 - C     4 - D

 5 - A      5 - B     5 - C     5 - D 

 6 - A      6 - B     6 - C     6 - D 

 7 - A      7 - B     7 - C     7 - D 

The numbers represent the novice group and the letters represent what WILL be expert groups.

2. Have all the number 1's get together, all the number 2's, the number 3's and the number 4's. These novice groups are to research the questions in the form displayed below.

3. After research is recorded, students will look at their tickets to see which "Expert Group" to join.

4. All of the A's will get together, the B's, the C's, the D's, and so on.

5. Then, in the Expert (letter) groups, each student will teach other members of the same Expert (letter) group what was learned in the novice group.

Each student is provided a copy of the research-recording sheet below.

Novice - Expert Group Research for Major Belief Systems


Name: ____________________________________________



Date: __________________ 


Keep this activity sheet for future reviews 

on the topic of Major Belief Systems. You will 

be responsible for compiling answers to one 

question with your home group and sharing 

answers with others in expert groups. As 

experts share, please make sure you copy all

their key points under each question in the 

space provided. 


Group 1: List four main beliefs of Islam below: 





Group 2: List four main beliefs of Hinduism below: 








Group 3: List four main beliefs of Buddhism below: 








Group 4: List four main beliefs of Confucianism below: 








Group 5: List four main beliefs of Animism below: 








Group 6: List four main beliefs of Judaism below: 








Group 7: List four main beliefs of Christianity below: 








After you have listed your research in 

your original home groups, you will be 

assigned to share these responses in an 

expert group. Each person in turn will 

share the response to one question while

the others take notes. By the end of your 

expert group meeting, each question will 

be answered on your review sheet.

Students should be encouraged to list the main points of their research on the board or on an overhead and share visually with the entire class. Teacher and students can decide if a major point has been omitted or recorded incorrectly. Students will revise their review sheets if information is changed during this critique. Both teacher and knowledgeable students will act as knowledge brokers here to ensure correct information is recorded on the final review sheets.

C. Assessment Tasks:
Assessment for this lesson includes the review sheet completed, revised, and passed in at the end of this lesson. It also includes your good contributions and efforts to participate in both novice and expert groups.

Assessment Criteria:
Complete marks are given for the following criteria:

  1. neatness
  2. accuracy of facts
  3. contribution to the group
  4. presentation to the class (this will be a group mark)
  5. spelling
  6. organization of facts

D. Closure:
In a brief paragraph of at least eight sentences, describe how each of the religions is similar ordifferent from your beliefs. Be specific. This paragraph is due by the next class. Students will beexpected to pass in a revised copy of the work.

E. Lesson Reflection:
Jot down a few notes about the process of this lesson. Look at it 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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