Strategy #4: Give Students a Real Audience
Part of the task of preparing students to live and work in a globalized world means engaging them in meaningful projects. All of us know what it feels like to be given assignments that make us feel like we’re jumping through hoops like a show dog. When students have a real audience, they know that the work has a purpose. The motivation then comes from the desire to share with others, rather than merely to complete an assignment.
- Standard: Describe major ethnic and religious groups in various countries in Asia, Europe, and Oceania. (SS6.G1 – H, E)
- How to Globalize: Learning major world religions is obviously important to building religious understanding globally, and helping students learn to communicate across cultural difference. However, if students just learn information out of context, it won’t be interesting or relevant to anybody. Giving students an audience with whom to share their knowledge provides them with a mission.
- Sample Project: Sacred to Me, Sacred to You ~ Through the activities of this unit, students studied the basics of five major world religions: Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism. Their work was profiled on a class website where students shared what is sacred to them, and displayed original museum exhibits about what is sacred to people from a different religion than their own. In addition to the online audience, students engaged with religious leaders on field trips to five real houses of worship in the area, and they also interviewed a family member. A lesson on preventing religious conflict helped students to understand why this work is necessary for people to do.
- Learn More: Unit Plan, Rubric, Organizer, Website, Student Work, Blog Post about the project, Video below (shows excerpts from our field trips to houses of worship)