An Edict on Ashoka

WEB LESSON Ashoka symbolizes one of India's great ages. After years of brutal rule and the bloody Battle of Kalinga, Ashoka converted to Buddhism and embraced the idea of dharma, ruling through righteousness. In the years that followed, he developed a tightly structured bureaucracy that allowed him to govern with efficiency and a justness that distinctly contrasted with the ruling traditions of the time throughout the world. In this PBS Story of India program, students learn about the series of edicts that Ashoka had carved in stone and placed throughout the empire, through which he proclaimed to his people the importance of Buddhist values and his beliefs about how his people should act. Students then write an edict that memorializes Ashoka the Great.

Edicts of Asoka

WEB LESSON Asoka, one of the first rulers of ancient India, rejected military conquest in favor of spreading a philosophy of nonviolence and respect for others and their religions. Asoka's edicts, proclamations written on rocks and stone pillars, reveal him to have been a surprisingly forward-thinking monarch.

Tracking Early Hinduism

WEB LESSON This PBS lesson explores the oldest and most widely practiced religion in India, Hinduism, and its deep roots in the subcontinent. Throughout the numerous political upheaval and foreign invasions, Hinduism remained the sole constant throughout the region's history. Hindu beliefs developed over the centuries and include many influences, including numerous sacred texts, thousands of deities, and holy sites that continue to draw millions of pilgrims. Students create a scrapbook of images and text to highlight a virtual tour of the development of ancient Hinduism from the perspective of a foreign traveler just discovering this religion.

Religion in Politics and Daily Life in Rome

WEB LESSON In this lesson, students will examine various aspects of religion in ancient Rome including the role of mythology, polytheism versus monotheism, the treatment of Jews and Christians, and the spread of Christianity. The main source of content is the PBS website "The Roman Empire in the First Century." The video material is accessible for Windows users online but Mac users need to purchase the video.

Edict on Ashoka

WEB LESSON Ashoka symbolizes one of India's great ages. After years of brutal rule Ashoka felt tremendous regret for the violence he wrought upon his enemies. He converted to Buddhism and embraced the idea of dharma, ruling through righteousness.

It Came from Greek Mythology

WEB LESSON This National Endowment for the Humanities lesson focuses on the question What meanings did myths about gods, goddesses, and heroes have for the ancient Greeks? What meanings do the Greek myths have for us today? Upper Elem - MS

Religious Tolerance and Persecution in the Roman Empire

WEB LESSON This CRF lesson examines the time Roman Empire and the challenges of forging as society made up of diverse peoples. Almost 2,000 years ago, the Roman empire spread onto three continents and held more than one-fifth of the Earth's population. Rome allowed its diverse peoples to practice their own religions as long as they also made offerings to Roman gods. People of most religions agreed to this arrangement. Jews and Christians couldn't.

Egypt's Golden Empire: Architectural Marvels

WEB RESOURCE This PBS lesson gives students the opportunity to study pyramids, temples, and obelisks, all architectural marvels, even today. Students will learn about the purposes these structures served in Egyptian culture and religion as well as how they were constructed and what we have learned from studying them. Students will work in groups to design their own pyramid, temple, or obelisk and create a model of their structure as part of a class presentation.

St. Augustine and the Role of Religion in the State

WEB LESSON This Constitutional Rights Foundation reading and lesson explores the ideas of St. Augustine, a Christian theologian and philosopher, who was one of the first political thinkers to outline the tension between the secular state and religious faith. Students examine Augustine's idea of Just War and how it has been applied. Users need to scroll to the 3rd lesson in the booklet. (scroll to 3rd lesson)

Attila and Pope Leo

WEB LESSON Explore the impact of religion on the fall of the Roman Empire in this Stanford History Education Group lesson. In 452, Attila the Hun led an army to attack Rome. In order to protect the vulnerable city, Pope Leo met with Attila. It is unclear exactly what was said between the two leaders. What we do know is that at the end of the meeting, Attila and his army departed, leaving Rome untouched. In this lesson, students develop the skill of sourcing as they consider the question: What happened at the meeting between Pope Leo and Attila the Hun?

A Story on a Vase

WEB LESSON In this Getty Museum lesson students examine a scene depicting Herakles (Hercules to Romans) and the Hydra on the face of a black-figure hydria. They will then read Greek myths and choose one to depict in the style of the vase painter, known as the Eagle Painter.

Ancient Egypt: Stories and Myths

WEB LESSON In this National Geographic lesson students examine stories and myths about ancient Egypt through time. As a hook they learn about the famous modern Egyptian myth about the "curse of the mummy." Then they investigate ancient Egyptian culture and belief systems, including the influences of geography on the beliefs and customs of the time. They explore myths and stories from ancient Egypt, and finally, read about and discuss the influences of ancient Egypt and geography on modern Egyptian culture.

Spread of Buddhism

WEB LESSON This is an archived National Geographic Xpeditions lesson. It uses Buddhist art to trace the spread of Buddhism in Asia. It is an inquiry activity based on embedded websites, most of which are active but some of which will need to be reviewed and updated by the teacher.

Lesson Plans on Greek Mythology

WEB LESSONS This is a set of lessons on Greek religious myths reviewed and assembled by Mr. Donne, a 6th grade educator who has reviewed and assembled useful websites for teachers over a number of years. Resources for multiple grades are represented here.

Of Codes and Crowns - The Development of Law

TEXT & LESSON BOOK This brief volume explores the development of law from the ancient world to the Renaissance including contributions by the Babylonians, the Greeks,the Jews, and the Romans, plus contributions by more groups in the Middle Ages.

Jews and Christians in the Roman Empire

WEB LESSON This two-day lesson explores the history of religious toleration and persecution in the Roman Empire. On the first day, students discuss why religious freedom is important. Then they read and discuss an article on the treatment of Jews in the Roman Empire. On the second day, students review what they learned the previous day. Then they read and discuss an article on the treatment of Christians in the Roman Empire. Finally, students prepare and deliver speeches to Emperor Theodocius urging him to adopt freedom of religion in the Roman Empire.

Overview of Belief Systems

WEB LESSON This Khan Academy lesson on early Belief Systems is based on a written article. The activities are organized around three reading strategies starting with a overview and ending with deep reads.

Mythology and Culture in Ancient Rome

WEB LESSON In this National Geographic lesson students research different types of myths, read about three types of myths popular in ancient Rome, and analyze the purpose of mythology in Roman culture.