Exploring Significant People & Stories in Religion
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The Story of Jesus' Life

The Story of Jesus' Life | Exploring Significant People & Stories in Religion | Scoop.it

A comprehensive resource on Christianity.

Stephen Donlon's insight:

Request.org.uk covers almost every facet of Christianity, including a Christian's beliefs, values, viewpoints, ways of living, ethics, the church's history and all the significant saints and figures - all in a way which is accessible to both Christians and non-Christians alike. There is a vast amount of information, short videos, timelines, etc, that make this resource a very good aid in several cultural content outcomes, particularly CUS2.4 outcome of the HSIE K-6 syllabus.

 

The link provided sends you to a very accessible, age-appropriate and short video on Jesus' life, detailing his disciples, the last supper, and the crucifixion. Since Jesus is paramount to the Christian faith, it's important that students start with the video and show their understandings of Jesus' timeline. The resource offers a great visual and interactive timeline of Jesus' life that perhaps some students can model and present to the class. Timelines are a great visual aid that puts history into a frame of reference to better understand someone's life, before you understand where a belief system or a way of living came from (Board of Studies,1999).

 

One lesson plan that might follow is that students are invited, in groups, to choose any saint or significant person in Christianity. Each group are then to research, using the resource, their selected person's lives and their relevance today. Each group can deliver a presentation to the class, either orally, written on a poster, or with multimedia. This is a great tool in building the student's skills of planning, organising and presenting (Board of Studies,1999), and is an effective way of assessing what the students have learnt.

 

The learning outcomes achieved are that the students will gain an understanding of Jesus' and many Saints lives, as well as come to a better understanding of a Christians' perspective and their beliefs and values (CUS2.4).

 

References

 

Board of Studies (1999). Teaching strategies and practices in human society and its environment. 

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Fun with Masks: The Hindu Story of Rama and Sita

Fun with Masks: The Hindu Story of Rama and Sita | Exploring Significant People & Stories in Religion | Scoop.it

A professionally-made interactive resource exploring twelve stories from six different religions. All twelve stories have been animated using authentic and stunning images from the British Library's collection. I am using the "Rama and Sita" story from the resource. The image is from page 4/5 of Weitzman's book.

Stephen Donlon's insight:

Page 62 of "Thinking Globally", by Browett and Ashman (2008), offers an insightful and deep lesson plan focusing on stereotypes and archetypes of traditional stories, exemplified with the characters in "Rama and Sita." As per page 62, the purpose of the lesson is for the students to investigate the use of stereotypes and archetypes in traditional Hindu arts so that they can describe some of the cultural nuances within the Hindu religion (outcome CUS2.4).

 

Teachers, you will need: a globe, access to the online resource and a way to present it to the class, the book "Rama and Sita" by David Weitzman (2002) ($8 from Amazon), sample Indian or Indonesian masks and puppets, and materials for constructing a mask or puppets (cardboard, coloured paper, glue, yarn, etc).

 

Lesson plan: present the short video from the online resource to the class as a whole. The kids will love the authentic and age-appropriate animation, filled with exuberant characters, including kings, queens, archers, a ten-headed demon, and a God of the monkeys. At its conclusion, click on "more information" and have some of the students read out the extra information about the story. There are also three questions you can ask the class which invites the students to learn about the Hindu perspective. Next, ask the children to pick their favourite character from the story because they are going to model a mask of their chosen characters.

 

Make sure to point out India and Indonesia (and general South-East Asia) on the globe so that the children can identify where these stories come from, and to create a global understanding of this particular culture.  Also, make handy the visually stunning children's book "Rama and Sita" by David Weitzman so that the students can further explore the values and attitudes present in the story. This, and the students knowledge and understandings, are two components of the global education framework as stipulated by the Global Education Project (2008).

 

With the creation of the masks, have students understand the two Hindi words: "halus" and "kasar", so that they are able to learn some of the differing language in different cultures. The students will decide if they want to create a character with refined, archetypical features (halus), or with rough, stereotypical features (kasar). With help from the illustrations in Weitzman's book, have the students decide on the common features for their masks (using drawings, paint, etc) (Browett & Ashman, 2008).

 

You can asses the children based on their understandings & and creativity of the use of the various design elements that help convey their characters. Similarly, the use of shadow puppets, appropriate for stage 2, would be a great way to get the students to express a part of the story.

 

Have fun!

 

References

 

Browett, J. & Ashman, G. (2008). Thinking Globally, p. 62. Published by: Education Services Australia.

 

Global Education Project (2008). Global Perspectives, p. 6. Published by: Education Services Australia.

 

Weitzman, D. (2002). Rama and Sita. David R. Godine: Publisher.

 

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The Story of the Buddha

The Story of the Buddha | Exploring Significant People & Stories in Religion | Scoop.it

Illustrated text book link:

www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/e-books/keystagetwo.zip

Stephen Donlon's insight:

This website contains great resources (documents, pdfs, powerpoints, etc) and activities all about the story of the Buddha. There is a wonderful illustrated textbook detailing the life and times of the Buddha, including how Prince Siddhartha became the Buddha, the enlightenment, and his death. The illustrations are vivid and the text is simple and interesting to follow for students in stage two.

 

Use of the text book and the other resources on the site gains students an understanding and insight into the perspective of the Buddha, his way of living, his language and his belief system. This is encapsulated by the CUS2.4 outcome of the HSIE K-6 syllabus, and I will present a "backward design" methodology (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005).

 

There are many ways to use these resources in the classroom. You could assign groups of 3-4 a specific chapter of the Buddha's life, and once they have read and understood the chapter, there are many activities for the class to complete.

 

A great idea is to suggest that some of the students might want to do a mock interview. For instance, one student is the Buddha, and the others ask prepared questions about his life. This elicits great understanding of the material, since interviews are a great way of presenting different viewpoints and perspectives (Board of Studies, 1999). It's important to plan the activity by first familiarising the students with interview techniques. This could be done by brainstorming what type of questions are effective interview questions. It's also important to manage the activity by making sure that all the students are taking notes during the interview. At its completion, you can query the class on what they have learnt about the Buddha, reestablishing their prior understandings (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011)

 

Another idea is for some kids to make up a role-play, perhaps acting out "the six years of hardship quest" (Buddha and his five companions), or the enlightenment. This is another effective way for the students to empathise with the perspectives of others and to clarify many of the values that may seem foreign to them.  To plan the role-play, you'll need to perhaps bring a few props, and make sure there is suitable space in the classroom. You also should manage the role-play by perhaps guiding it if the students are stuck, and you should remember to ask questions such as "how did it feel when you...?", as this demonstrates empathy and is a good way of debriefing the activity to the class. (Board of Studies, 1999).

 

Another great thing about these activities is that the students are demonstrating knowledge through discussion and physical demonstrations.  But if you would like other assessment ideas, a good idea is to peruse the online resource provided, for quizzes and question sheets, which demonstrates achievement of the learning outcome by understanding cultural diversity in relation to Buddhism, now that they have explored the story of the Buddha.

 

 

References

 

Board of Studies (1999). Teaching strategies and practices in human society and its environment.

    

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2011).

Teaching Society and Environment, Chapter 8. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia.

 

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design (Expanded 2nd Ed. USA). Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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The Prophet Muhammad

The Prophet Muhammad | Exploring Significant People & Stories in Religion | Scoop.it

 

 An all-encompassing teaching resource for many primary school topics, but I will discuss the "Stories about Muhammad" resource.

Stephen Donlon's insight:

Schoolsnet.com offers a plethora of teaching resources, ideas, lesson plans, activities and assessment cues for a wide range of primary school subjects, in relation to a UK curriculum, which has overlaps with the HSIE K-6 syllabus. In the link provided, the learning outcomes outlines the values and belief system of Muhammad and the Islam people, by understanding the important events of Muhammad's life and his teachings, thus being aligned with the CUS2.4 stage two learning outcome on cultural diversity.

 

To prepare the lesson (roughly 45 minutes), it would be a great idea to get the class to decorate the classroom with the "sayings of Muhammad", and with many Muslim pictures, artefacts, and photos of Mecca - all links provided by the resource. The students will recognise the major difference in language, culture and values just from this classroom decoration, and gives them a great opportunity to have a vicarious association of the Muslim perspective (Ramsey & Derman-Sparks, 1992).

 

As per the lesson plan within the resource: Get the class to read the "Muhammad's Wisdom" story, and ask them to wonder what Muhammad's sayings might mean to them, and how it might affect many people's lives. The story is about resolving arguments, so you could ask the kids what are some of the best ways to resolve arguments, and for them to perform a role-play of a pretend fight.

 

At the end of the lesson some of the assessment cues to keep in mind is that the children should know about the key beliefs that Muslims hold about Muhammad; to understand the importance of the events in Muhammad's life,  some of his teachings, and the ideas which are presented though the stories of Muhammad. This is an application of implementing a "backward design" methodology (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005).

 

 References

 

Ramsey, P. & Derman-Sparks, L. (1992). Multicultural education reaffirmed. Young Children. 47 (2), 10-11.

 

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design (Expanded 2nd Ed. USA). Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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Dazzling Dreamtime

Dazzling Dreamtime | Exploring Significant People & Stories in Religion | Scoop.it

Dust Echoes - a fantastic aboriginal resource all about Dreamtime stories.

Stephen Donlon's insight:

This resource offers a great opportunity for a fun and rich learning ICT experience for your class, exploring the beliefs and perspectives (outcome CUS2.4 of the HSIE K-6 syllabus) of the aboriginal Dreamtime religion, through several stories in an authentic, balanced and accurate aboriginal resource.

 

To prepare, each student will need access to a computer, so this could perhaps be an hourly library lesson. Organise the class into six groups and assign each group a Dreamtime story that has a focus on significant figures within the religion. For instance: Moon man, the Wagalak sisters, Namorrodor, and The Be.

 

 A fun thing about the resource is that the kids are able to explore the aboriginal landscape, before clicking on their Dreamtime story. They are able to explore the sky, the sea, the forest and underground, while learning many different aboriginal words and meanings. This offers a highly engaged lesson and demonstrates the importance of such a lesson (Zyngier, 2008).

 

Once each group have watched the short, interactive and artistically gorgeous videos, they are encouraged to take the quiz and test their knowledge recall. They are also able to read about what the stories mean and where they came from. Back in the classroom, have each group discuss what they have learned with another group, rotating each time. Then you could use a class discussion strategy, asking the students to discuss the ideas from a differing group. This is an invaluable oral-teaching strategy and forms a basis for inquiry-based learning (Hmelo-Silver, Duncan, & Chinn, 2007).

 

Teachers: familiarise yourselves with the stories and download the study guides. The study guides offer terrific ideas on how to introduce the students to the stories, and there are many worksheets and follow- up activities.  One activity is to invite the students to apply the story to their own lives, today. This offers a perspective shift and empathy for indigenous culture and beliefs (Board of Studies, 1999).

 

Dust Echoes passes the selection criteria with flying aboriginal colours, since it is authentic & accurate (the material is up-to-date and without stereotypes, with accurate terminology and meaning); balanced (the stories do not distort its messages); and features aboriginal participation (the writers, animators and narrators are all of aboriginal heritage).

 

 

References

 

Board of Studies (1999). Teaching strategies and practices in human society and its environment.

 

Hmelo-Silver, C.E., Duncan, R.G., & Chinn, C.A. (2007).  Scaffolding and achievement in problem based and inquiry learning: A response to Kirschner, Sweller and Clark (2006), Educational Psychologist, 42(2), pp 99-107.

 

Zyngier, D. (2008). (Re)conceptualising student engagement: Doing education not doing time, Teaching and Teacher Education, 24, pp.1765–1776.

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