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Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

CultureGrams’ Teaching Activities: One Religion, Many Practices

Looking for new ways to incorporate CultureGrams into the classroom? Look no further than CultureGrams’ collection of over 75 teaching activities! This collection of educationally engaging activities is organized by grade level and activity type. Each activity also includes a national curriculum standard correlation.  If you don’t have access to CultureGrams, enjoy this free teaching activity today and sign up for a free trial of the product to access more.

One Religion, Many Practices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Standards for Social Studies

 Culture

  • Standard C [Middle Grades]: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity, so that the learner can explain and give examples of how language, literature, the arts, architecture, other artifacts, traditions, beliefs, values, and behaviors contribute to the development and transmission of culture.
  • Standard E [Middle Grades]: Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity, so that the learner can articulate the implications of cultural diversity, as well as cohesion, within and across groups.

Developed by the National Council for the Social Studies

Standards for Geography Human Systems

  • Standard 10: The geographically informed person knows and understands the characteristics, distributions, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics.

Developed by the National Council for Geographic Education

Grade level:

6–8

Objective:

Students will compare the practice of a single religion across multiple countries and interviews.

Time requirement:

Preparation: 10 minutes

In-class: 1 hour and 30 minutes, two different days

Materials:

CultureGrams World Edition

CultureGrams Online Edition—Interviews

Instructions:

1. Have students read three interviews with people who practice the same religion. The interviews featured below represent the perspectives of three Muslims from Kuwait, Mali, and Syria. Students can also find religion excerpts about Catholicism (Javier: Bolivia, Trina: Costa Rica, and Petrosse: Mozambique) and Buddhism (Sai: Cambodia, Dawa: Nepal, and Chhun: Cambodia) just to name a few.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. What differences do students notice in the way the interviewees practice their religion? Differences may be found in how often a person attends worship services, how important they consider religion in their life, ways they worship, and holidays they celebrate.

3. Now have students read the Religion section of each interviewee’s country in the World Edition report. What do these sections say about the religion? How does the information in the report compare to the information in the interviewees’ answers? How does the practice of the religion vary between countries?

4. Have students write a short essay on their observations about the ways a single religion varies in different areas and between individual observers of that religion. They may also speculate on why this could be.

Try out CultureGrams’ Teaching activities in your classroom and let us know what you think by tweeting us @CultureGrams.

Passover 2017: Chag Sameach!

Jews Celebrating Passover. Lubok, XIXth century (image 1850), via Wikimedia Commons.

Jewish communities around the world are currently observing Passover (Pesach, in Hebrew)–one of the most important events in the Jewish calendar. So wish your Jewish friends chag sameach (happy festival)! Passover is a week-long celebration that takes place each year in early Spring, this year taking place between April 10-18th. It commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from ancient Egypt and God’s sparing or “passing over” Jewish homes during the final plague in Egypt. According to the Biblical story, the Israelites had to leave Egypt in such a hurry that they didn’t have time to wait for their bread to rise, taking with them only unleavened bread. As a reminder of the Israelites’ exodus out of Egypt, Jews today refrain from eating anything containing leaven (chametz) during Passover, eating unleavened products such as matzah (a type of flatbread) instead. Jews also eat matzah with bitter herbs such as horseradish, in remembrance of the bitterness of slavery in Egypt. Learn about Passover traditions in the CultureGrams Israel report.

Test your knowledge of Judaism with this quiz

Religion and the News

Religion is a part of the cultural milieu that shapes many of the major news events making headlines these days. Whether it’s events in the Middle East, the pronouncements of Pope Francis, or the ongoing debates over such hot-button issues as same-sex marriage or gender roles, religion is often a key factor that affects what people see and do. It shapes the views of both news makers and those who consume news.

Unfortunately, many people know little about the religious beliefs of others, so their ability to make sense of the news is diminished. They lack the knowledge to put world events in context, particularly when it comes to religion. So a great place to learn about world religions is with ProQuest K-12 products. In addition to providing excellent source material for research about religion, ProQuest databases offer useful overviews, editorially-selected content, and a diversity of perspectives about how religion shapes our world today. They can help give users a framework for reading the day’s news with intelligence and understanding. Below are three examples.

eLibrary

Research Topic Screencap via ProQuest eLibrary

Research Topic Screencap via ProQuest eLibrary

eLibrary, one of our largest general reference collections of periodical and digital media content, is one way to begin. In addition to the content available through targeted searching on religious topics, eLibrary has editorially-curated Research Topic pages that provide a starting point for learning about more than 7,500 of the most popular search queries, including world religions. These pages provide useful background information (overviews, history, beliefs and practices, photos, etc.) that can help place world events in context.

History Study Center

Study Topic Screencap via ProQuest History Study Center

Study Topic Screencap via ProQuest History Study Center

History Study Center, a database that covers history from ancient times to the present day, has editorially-created Study Units, which are in-depth introductions on a variety of historical topics. Each Study Unit includes a brief introduction followed by a page of editorially-selected links to reference works, biographies, maps, primary sources, journal articles, images, video clips, and websites. And there are dozens of Study Units dealing with religion—“The history of Judaism,” “The rise of Islam,” “Religion in colonial America,” “The papacy in the twentieth century,” etc. The Study Units provide useful information and historical context for understanding the world’s religions. In addition, users can find valuable material on religion on their own in History Study Center via targeted searches.

CultureGrams

CG Religion Category Screencap

Religion Category Screencap via ProQuest CultureGrams

Although there is some historical information about religion in CultureGrams, the emphasis of this product is more on daily life and the present. So with CultureGrams, users get a glimpse into how various religions are practiced today. Each country report has a religion category that gives an overview of the religious makeup of the country and often provides a brief description of some selected religious practices. Furthermore, relevant information about religion is often available in standard categories such as History, General Attitudes, and Holidays, as well as in photos, videos, slideshows, and interviews. Plus there are learning activities that help users discover more about the world’s major religions.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these or other ProQuest products, please contact us or register for a free webinar.

Epiphany: The Three Wise Men and More

We three kings of orient are;
Bearing gifts, we traverse afar,
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star

Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo - Adoration of the Magi [Public Domain]

Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo – Adoration of the Magi [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Most people consider the Christmas season to be over after the gifts have been opened, the wrapping paper has been cleaned up and the tree has been taken down. Many, however, carry on the celebration of Jesus for twelve days after Christmas (the inspiration for the carol). Epiphany, one of the oldest celebrations of Christianity, falls on January 6 and is a commemoration of the trip made by the Three Wise Men to honor Jesus after his birth.

Popular tradition has it that the Magi were three kings who heard a prophecy of the coming Messiah and followed a star to Bethlehem. But, the gospel of Matthew–the only one that mentions the visitors–does not call them kings, nor does it name or even number them. (The story of their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh seems to be the basis for the idea that there were three.) One theory is that the Magi were Zoroastrian Mede priests. While such confusion about the biblical and historical records has even caused some Christians to question the story, the holiday remains an important one.

There is more to the religious significance of Epiphany than just the story of the Magi. In the the Eastern Christian Churches, it represents Jesus’ manifestation on Earth. Jesus’ birth and the arrival of the Magi, his first miracle at the wedding at Cana and his baptism are all commemorated in varying denominations.

Epiphany traditions vary by culture, and here a few: In Spanish and Latin American tradition, Epiphany is celebrated with rosca de reyes (king’s cake), a ringed cake with a baby figure or a bean hidden inside. Russians take an icy dip to symbolize Jesus’ baptism. European countries have multiple traditions involving sweets. Some traditions date back to pagan times, and in Britain, some of them have been making a comeback. Since the U.S. is a nation of immigrants, there is a mix of world traditions and unique ones, such as the blessing of homes and a dive for a cross in a Florida bayou.

This was just a quick rundown of the history and traditions of Epiphany. To really dig into this topic and many others, search eLibrary and follow the links above and below.

Research Topics: Bible, Christmas, Christianity, Zoroastrianism

Subject browse sections (Click on underlined words to widen or narrow the scope and click on “View Results” to see eLibrary resources. Items with stars next to them will display Research Topic pages.): Holidays, Religion

 

CultureGrams―World Religion Quiz: Hinduism

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A Hindu man rests along the stairs of a ghat (bath) in Varanasi. Thousands of men like him come to the holy Hindu city each day to meditate, pray, and bathe in the waters of the Ganges River. (Varanasi, India, January 2008) Source: CultureGrams Photos

Religion plays a major role in shaping the cultures of countries around the world. In CultureGrams’ World Edition and Kids Edition, each country report features a religion section with facts about a country’s major religions. This week, we are highlighting fun facts about Hinduism, the world’s third largest religion with about one billion followers. Many Hindus believe Hinduism is more than just a religion, but is a way of life.

Test your knowledge of Hinduism by answering these religion trivia questions. 

Need help? Search Hinduism in the  CultureGrams search box.

1) Which country is the birthplace of Hinduism?

2) The word “Hinduism” is derived from what ancient language?

3) True or False: Vishnu is the founder of Hinduism.

4) What animal is considered especially sacred by Hindus?

5) What colorful Hindu festival welcomes the spring season?

6) Which of the below is not a Hindu god?

-Shiva      -Brahma

-Rama      -Sikh

7) Where do Hindus worship their gods?

8) The statue of what god is said to bring prosperity if placed by the front door of a home?

9) The principle of (___) says that good deeds bring good fortune while bad deeds have negative consequences.

10) True or False: Hindus believe that they will be reincarnated after they die.

Check your answers with the quiz key in the comment section. Let us know how you did by leaving a comment.

Jenni Boyle

CultureGrams―World Religion Quiz: Christianity

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Tahitian women and men gather for Sunday services in a Christian church. Sunday services are a major weekly event, and many people travel long distances to reach the church and socialize with other church members. (Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia, August 2007)
Image Source: Peter Stone

Religion plays a major role in shaping the cultures of countries around the world. In CultureGrams’ World Edition and Kids Edition, each country report features a religion section with facts about a country’s major religions. This week, we are learning about Christianity. There are about 2.2 billion Christians worldwide, or about one-third of the world’s population.

Test your knowledge of Christianity around the world by answering these religion trivia questions. 

Need help? Use CultureGrams’ country reports and search boxes to help find the answers.

1) Which sect of Christianity is the largest?

2) Where is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church located?

3) Who is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church?

4) In the 16th century, during the reign of Henry VIII, England split from the Roman Catholic Church to form which church?

5) Which European country was one of the last to convert to Christianity?

-Italy   -Albania

-Germany  -Estonia

6) In what year did Armenia make Christianity its state religion?

7) Easter celebrates which event in Christianity?

8) True or False: Christianity originated in the Middle East.

9) Which country has the most Orthodox Christians?

-Russia  -Greece

-Egypt   -Armenia

10) Which sect of Christianity is the largest in the United States?

 

Check your answers with the quiz key in the comment section. Let us know how you did by leaving a comment.

Jenni Boyle

CultureGrams―World Religion Quiz: Buddhism

Buddha

This large statue of the Buddha is located in a park which also contains an area where legends says Buddha jumped between two stones, pushing so hard that he left his footprints in two places. Visitors now try to re-create the leap, which is over 15 feet in length. (Suzhou, China, November 2007)
Image Source: Chris Rains

Religion plays a major role in shaping the cultures of countries around the world. In CultureGrams’ World Edition and Kids Edition, each country report features a religion section with facts about a country’s major religions. This week, we are learning about Buddhism, which is the world’s fourth fastest growing religion.

Test your knowledge of Buddhism by answering these religion trivia questions. 

Need help? Search Buddhism in CultureGrams’ search boxes.

1) Who is the founder of Buddhism?

2) Which country is considered the birthplace of Buddhism?

3) According to Buddhism, which part of the body is considered the most sacred?

4) Which country is not known for its large Buddhist population?

-Thailand   -Iran

-Japan         -Taiwan

5) What are the main branches of Buddhism?

6) After a person dies, Buddhists believe what happens next?

7) True or False: Buddhist believe all living things have a spirit?

8) The principle of (___) says that good deeds bring good fortune while bad deeds have negative consequences.

9) Which type of Buddhism is practiced in Bhutan?

10) Who is the most respected spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism?

 

Check your answers with the quiz key in the comment section. Let us know how you did by leaving a comment.

Jenni Boyle

CultureGrams―World Religion Quiz: Judaism

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Jewish worshipers gather to pray at the Kotel or Wailing Wall, which is considered Judaism’s holiest accessible site in Israel.

Religion plays a major role in shaping the cultures of countries around the world. In CultureGrams’ World Edition, each country report features a religion section with facts about a country’s major religions. Judaism is the oldest religion and one of the three Abrahamic religions, also including Christianity and Islam.

Test your knowledge of Judaism by answering these religion trivia questions.

1) Which country has the largest Jewish population?

2) What does the Hebrew greeting Shalom mean in English?

3) What is the name of Judaism’s dietary law?

4) What is the Jewish place of worship called?

5) According to Jewish law, boys (age 13) and girls (age 12) perform what rite of passage in order to become an adult?

6) When do Jews observe the Sabbath?

7) During Passover, also known by it’s Hebrew name Pesach, Jews cleanse their home of what food item?

8) True or false: Jews are unable to use electricity during Shabbat.

9) What is considered the ultimate act of kindness?

10) What is the name of the Jewish Holy Book?

 

Check your answers with the quiz key in the comment section. Let us know how you did by leaving a comment.

Jenni Boyle

CultureGrams―World Religion Quiz: Islam

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Muslims visit the Grand Mosque of Damascus in Syria.

Religion plays a major role in shaping the cultures of countries around the world. In CultureGrams’ World Edition, each country report features a religion section with facts about a country’s major religions.

This week, I am going to highlight some fun facts about Islam. Islam is the world’s second largest  and fastest growing religion with an estimated 1.6 million followers. Though this religion is  practiced by 23 percent of the world’s population, the basic beliefs of Islam remain unknown to many people.

Test your knowledge of Islam by answering these religion trivia questions.

1) Can you name the Five Pillars of Islam?

2) How many times a day do Muslims pray?

3) Which city do Muslims pray toward?

4) What is Islam’s holy scriptures called?

5) True or False: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism share a belief in the same Old Testament prophets.

6) What is the Arabic term for the pilgrimage Muslims must take at least once in their lifetime?

7) What color is considered the color of Islam?

8) Which country has the largest Muslim population?

9) How long do Muslims fast for during Ramadan?

10) Which one of these is not a sect of Islam?

-Sunni            -Shi’i

– Sephardi    – Ismaili

 

Check your answers with the quiz key in the comment section. Let us know how you did by leaving a comment.

 

-Jenni Boyle