Belief Systems in China: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism 581 BCE - 1368 CE

WEB LESSON This teaching unit explores the three main traditional belief systems , that is, religions or philosophies of China: Confucianism, Daoism (Taoism), and Buddhism. It provides background on each of these systems, including how, when, where, and by whom they were developed and diffused throughout China. Using translations of primary sources , students will examine the major tenets of each belief system, their specific differences, and their importance in the historical development of China. Students will understand the significance of belief systems in helping to establish a sense of belonging and building social cohesion, focusing on China in the premodern era. Students will also be encouraged to reflect on the impact that their own belief systems have on their lives.

Comparative Religious Teachings

WEB LESSON The Eurasian trade routes known as the Silk Roads encompassed a diversity of cultures embracing numerous religions and worldviews from Venice, Italy to Heian, Japan. Between these two ends, belief systems that are represented are Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto, and Daoism. During the height of the Silk Road trades in the 7th century, Islam, Buddhism, and Nestorian Christianity were the most important. This activity asks students to reflect on similarities and differences between belief systems. MS - HS

Comparative Religion Investigation: What Happens When We Die?

WEB LESSON In this lesson, students will research and discuss what Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism teach in terms of what happens when people die. Students will also watch two video clips that show a Buddhist man named Yeshi as he first resists and later accepts the idea that he is the reincarnation of a famous spiritual master. This lesson provides an opportunity for students to think critically about the differences and similarities between religions and belief systems.

Global Faith

WEB LESSON In this lesson, students examine the coexistence of different religions within various countries by chronicling the evolution and nature of those religions throughout history. They then synthesize their findings by designing a creative work that captures the presence of the religions in each of the countries.


WEB LESSON Masoretes were Jewish scholars of the 6th-10th centuries AD who contributed to the establishment of a recognized text of the Hebrew Bible. In this lesson, students learn how these scholars learned from records of the oral history and the interpretations of early writings.