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Fashion Giant Files for Bankruptcy and Liquidates StoresBenefits of Social Media for Business That You Can’t IgnoreDo you Want to Generate Passive Income? Watch Unforgettable Moments as African Americans Win Oscars Throughout the YearsWill Idris Elba Be The Next James Bond? Hind Jarrah (left), executive director of Texas Muslim Women's Foundation, works with victims of domestic violence with the help of caseworkers like Aceil.
Looking to liven up grade 6-12 social studies instruction or add a multicultural element to your class? Expand students' world views by helping them understand religions with which they might be less familiar.
Click on the names of the religions in the table below to access mini-articles that provide more information on the religion, as well as the corresponding holiday that falls within a particular month. The mini-articles offer a basic rundown of beliefs and practices, information about two holidays observed in the faith, and links to enrichment resources such as photographic images and relevant phrases in various languages. Each month of the school year, try opening discussion on one or more religious observances that might be new to your students. Below the table, you'll find (1) general tips for discussing diverse religions in the classroom, (2) introductory information for students, and (3) discussion points and activities you can use to cover each religion. Religion can be a complex and even contentious issue and therefore needs to be approached carefully in the classroom.
The Teaching About Religion site offers a helpful list of "do’s and don’ts" as well as concrete examples of what appropriate classroom instruction on world religions looks like. Requiring or pressuring students to disclose or discuss their own religious beliefs (this includes singling out students who may represent a particular faith).
Stereotyping adherents of various faiths or ignoring the diversity present within every faith. Likewise, any outside speaker the educator may engage should be comfortable abiding by these guidelines.
Begin by asking students to define the term "religion." Record students' responses on chart paper, or have them share their ideas verbally with the class. The United Religions Initiative also offers a thorough definition of religion that's geared toward younger students.
Remember that students may tend to provide definitions that reflect the scope of their personal beliefs. If students have written their initial definition as a journal entry, after teaching about world religions, have them go back and determine whether they want to revise or expand their definitions. Introduce the names of nine world religions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism and Baha'i. How does the above global distribution of religions compare to that within the United States? Students may notice that Christianity is the largest faith both in the United States (79%) and worldwide (33%). Variations among followers of each religion (information on subgroups of each religion can be found here).


Ask students to take notes and use graphic organizers such as Venn diagrams or fact tables (see Example 1 and Example 2) to help them process the information. Ask students to go back to their journals or class chart paper to determine whether their definition of religion needs revision.
Have kids fill in the 'L" (what I learned) column of a KWL chart or make a concluding journal entry that reflects knowledge gained about world religions. Administer a post-quiz that involves (1) rank-ordering religions by number of worldwide adherents or (2) matching concepts with the corresponding religion.
Ask students to create world-religion trivia quizzes and administer them to each other, or facilitate a "Jeopardy!"-style class competition. Have students plan to share additional information about one of the 18 covered holidays (or additional ones of their choice) at an appropriate future time during the school year. Challenge students to practice delivering two- to three-minute "nutshell reports" (brief explanations of each religion for an audience that knows nothing about the faith).
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Want to celebrate diversity by discussing holidays around the world, and not just in December? Offering kids a global take on religion lets them appreciate the perspectives of the many faith groups within, and outside of, the United States. Faiths in the table include: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism and Baha'i. The selection of faiths here is certainly not exhaustive; you will want to encourage students to identify and explore additional religious traditions not on the list.
The good news is that clear guidelines offer appropriate practices for public-school educators.
In general, educators will want to present a secular discussion that neither endorses nor denigrates any one religion. Alternately or additionally, you may wish to have students record their answers in a personal journal. Through discussion, ensure that you arrive at a definition that's inclusive enough to cover monotheistic, polytheistic and nontheistic religions. One quiz might involve putting the nine faiths in order of their number of adherents worldwide.
Students should remember these terms, as they will be used later to describe various faiths. Assure them that no one will have to share personal information or beliefs, and that discussion should explore each faith without positive or negative judgment.
Was there an identifiable founder?) Find detailed information about the founding of various religions here.
You'll want to make the point that we need to be careful not to stereotype members of faith groups; religion is a public as well as a private affair.
He hit them without emotion, as if he were an animal.She feared she would lose her six kids if she didn’t leave him.


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In this way, kids develop the diversity skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century.
In addition, some observances begin in the month indicated but carry over to a subsequent month. They will also want to make sure that the experience is comfortable for students of any faith, as well as those who do not have a religious affiliation. If you prefer to teach about a holiday on its actual start date, you will need to research the specific date on a year-to-year basis.
Suggestions for student sharing include: a PowerPoint presentation, poster, photo essay, paper scrapbook, set of online bookmarks, or transcript of an interview with a faith leader or person of a particular faith that is different from one's own. She speaks limited English, and her family lives in Iraq.Fortunately for her, the Plano-based Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation has become an integral part of her life. An estimated 1 in 4 women will experience such violence in her lifetime.But Muslim women — especially refugees and immigrants — face unique religious and cultural obstacles that make escaping domestic violence more difficult.
Many face immense pressures to keep their families together and not speak out.In response to the community’s needs, the foundation plans to open a new 16-bed domestic violence shelter in Collin County this fall. These clients will gain a haven where they can feel comfortable and understood in a way that’s not always possible in existing shelters.The Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation was established in 2005.
They didn’t want to perpetuate stereotypes that Islam is a violent religion or that Muslim women are oppressed.“After Sept. It has collected $240,000 in donations to buy the property for the new shelter and is raising more for renovations and upkeep. Jarrah would not disclose the shelter’s location for safety reasons.When the new shelter opens, Jarrah says, the staff will understand a victim’s need to seek counsel from an imam. The staff will know what it’s like to come from a large family that doesn’t approve of a woman’s choice to leave.
This is a shift from a few years ago, when fewer religious leaders seemed to recognize the problem, said Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America.“Violence knows no religion,” said Magid, who trains imams across the country on how to deal with domestic violence in their communities. When she said no, he took her back to Algeria and left her there without her immigration papers.Eventually, she returned to Dallas with the help of the foundation and other family members.
A mainstream women’s shelter tried to meet her needs, but she felt out of place because she was pregnant, Muslim and wore a hijab. She hopes to remarry one day after her divorce is finalized.The 45-year-old Iraqi woman knows she made the right decision by divorcing her husband. As she spoke through a translator, she shook her head and said she never thinks about her ex. Her family doesn’t support her decision, and she’s lonely.“From inside, I’m very hurt,” she said.



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