This mini-unit activity will give students an opportunity to learn more about one major world religion. Students will start out by defining a few key terms that will better help them understand these religions that they will be learning about. Students will complete a close reading about that religion where they analyze and identify key elements about the religion they choose. Students will then conduct additional research using online databases to create a poster that will demonstrate their understanding. Once all students have completed a poster on the religion that they studied, a gallery walk will be done so all students can admire their peers work and have an opportunity to learn about all the different world religions that students have studied. It is our hope that through this activity students will see that, when it comes to religion, there is far more that unites us as a people rather than divide us.
The religions that that students will be able to choose from are:
Using a dictionary or the internet, students will write down the definitions for some key terms. Once they have copied down the definition, they will then have to rewrite the definition in their own words to better help their comprehension.
Students will first choose which religion they want to learn more about. You can assign students, but I like to give them the choice. I strongly encourage students to not pick a religion they themselves practice, but I don’t necessarily forbid them from picking Christianity if they are a Christian. Once they pick a religion, they will complete that religion’s close reading. Each reading is between 450 – 500 words, and they each have six questions that go with them. Students can complete these for homework, time can be taken in class to complete them, or they can work on them in partnerships or small groups.
Once all students have had an opportunity to complete their close reading, they will be doing a little more research on their chosen religion. Using the provided websites on the “Religious Poster” instruction sheet, students will learn even more about their religion. Students will use this information, their close reading, and the “Religious Poster” instruction sheet to create a poster that represents what they have learned about that religion. I have had students create these posters on blank printer paper or blank legal size paper. You could have them do something even bigger if you want! I have also considered having students get together in their religion groups to create one big cooperative poster for each religion; it is up to you.
When all these posters are done they should get put up onto a wall to prepare students for the gallery walk.
Religious Gallery Walk
With all of your students’ posters prominently displayed on the walls, students are now ready to learn about the five religions that they did not do a close reading on. Using the “Religious Gallery Walk” students will go from poster to poster, filling out the information about each different religion. Through the completion of this chart students will hopefully begin seeing some of the key similarities and differences between these religions.
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