Early Belief Systems

WEB LESSON How did people begin to understand themselves in relation to the natural world and to the unseen realms beyond, and how was religion a community experience? In this Annenberg Learner unit, animism and shamanism in Shinto are contrasted with philosophical and ethical systems in early Greece and China, and the beginnings of Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Judaism. Resources for learning include three video segments and a set of primary sources.

Spread of Religions

VIDEO ENHANCED WEB LESSON How do religions interact, adopt new ideas, and adapt to diverse cultures? As the missionaries, pilgrims, and converts of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam moved around the world, the religions created change and were themselves changed. Resources for learning include three video segments and a set of primary sources.

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

Interfaith Dialogue

WEB LESSON In a world torn by religious violence, and in America, where there is terrific religious diversity, is it possible for varied faith communities to come together to discuss commonalties and differences? In this lesson, students examine the benefits and shortcomings of interfaith dialogue. They determine its potential influence on the establishment of harmonious relationships among communities of different faiths. They create tools to design and implement interfaith dialogue in their school or community.HS

Spring Colors

LESSON This lesson introduces festivals associated with the vibrant colors, and the hope and renewal of the spring season. The lesson covers five spring holidays: Holi, Easter, Fassika, Sham El Nessim, and Earth Day. The goal is to help elementary students learn about both religious diversity and common practices.