Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

Religion in Action

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Gandhi

Students pose in front of the Hindu temple’s alter

The best way to learn something is never just hearing about it. That’s why during our Holy C.O.W. (Cultures of the World) unit, when we study world religion, we go on a field trip to five houses of worship.  We don’t just hear about Hindu prayer, we see what it looks like. We don’t just read about Christian theology, we smell the incense. One of our sixth grade students, Sonakshi, made this video about the experience:

Since I’ve traveled a bunch to places where most people are not the same religion as me, I know what it feels like to be surrounded by all the new sights and sounds of another culture.

Exploring a statue of a Hindu God

Exploring a Hindu statue

Some of the students helped write tips for all you readers out there who might have this experience. They suggest:

  • DO ask questions of people who practice that religion.
  • DON’T talk during a time that someone else is praying.
  • DO be curious and positive about things you’ve never seen before.
  • DON’T judge others (for instance, no laughing)
  • DO wear modest clothes to be respectful of their traditions.
Meditation

Trying out meditation

I’m not sure if I always followed their advice on my past trips, but I will certainly try to keep these in mind if I have the chance to visit Buddhist temples in Japan. I feel confident that our Innovation Academy students will be very respectful if they ever visit places like this again. At the end of our religion unit, students researched different aspects of these religions, and made exhibits for our class museum. Each exhibit was unique and special in its own way.

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Checking out a Torah rescued after WWII.

Checking out a Torah rescued after WWII.

I’ve uploaded all of the photos of their exhibits and you can click below to see them:

Please take a minute to check out their amazing work.

Summer is coming up and that means there’s a chance for more learning… in action! With a vacation from school, summer is the best time to explore and experience new things. What are you planning? What new culture can you learn about this summer? Your challenge is to try something new.

Taking shoes on and off at the Buddhist temple.

Taking shoes on and off at the Buddhist temple.

Later this week, I’ll share more about the summer packet homework for our Innovation Academy middle school students. Get excited! There’s going to be lots of opportunity to go out into the world and experience things. What can you plan for this summer? Make it one to remember.

 

Still want to keep learning about world religion? Check out some old photos and posts from my previous travels:

Some of my experiences learning about Islam:

Some of my experiences learning about Buddhism:

A student marvels at the mosaics of the Greek Orthodox Church

A student marvels at the mosaics of the Greek Orthodox Church

So many amazing people and places in the world, and so much more to explore! Help me find all the most interesting corners of our globe and let’s learn together.

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4 thoughts on “Religion in Action

  1. Mara on said:

    Sara, this is so awesome. I love the work you do! These will be profound experiences for your students and will create tolerance in the world.

  2. Anna S. on said:

    Oh! I remember this field trip like it was yesterday! 🙂
    I’m going to miss this school 😦

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