Religion Creation Story Lesson Plan Essay
“Woman Who Fell From the Sky” Lesson Plan This essay will present a cross-curricular lesson on a Native-American creation story/myth. It will be organized in four parts. These will include a detailed description of the topic, instructional objectives and learner goals, detailed content of the instruction and an art-based extension of the lesson. The lesson will comply with the learning areas of the Social Studies, Language Arts, and the Ethics and Religious Culture programs as per the Quebec Education Plan.It is geared to a Cycle III classroom (Grades 5 and 6).
These students may have already looked at some aspects of Native American culture in their Social Studies and/or Language Arts classes from previous grade levels; therefore, this lesson will build upon their current knowledge and add the dimension of faith which may not necessarily have been explored. This faith dimension will be the main focus of the lesson. As it will be taught in an inner-city school setting, the class will have a variety of diverse learners from different socio-economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds.As a result, they will bring varied levels of educational and cultural knowledge to the lesson which will create a rich learning environment for all.
This lesson will be part of a larger unit presenting creation or origin stories from a variety of faith traditions. This unit and its lessons will allow students to understand the importance of creation stories and their role in a particular faith or culture. These stories vary by culture and typically reflect the worldview of the people and their natural surroundings, animals and other objects associated with their region.The word myth comes from the Greek word mythos, which simply means “story” and encompasses the meanings of legend, story, speech, word, and thought (Ferguson). A myth is an anonymous, traditional story that explains a belief, a custom, or a mysterious natural phenomenon. These stories are meant, in various cultures, to explain to people what their values were. They were often delivered in the form of a story for entertainment and memorizing purposes.
They are some of the world’s oldest stories.People have told myths and folktales since language was created, keeping them alive and vital through the centuries by word of mouth. Myths and folktales are important in every world culture. They attempt to explain the how and why of life and are specifically concerned with the origin of things (Merriam-Webster). According to Encyclopedia Britannica, creation stories are “symbolic narrative[s] of the creation and organization of the world as understood in a particular tradition. A society without stories about its beginnings, its heroes, and its deepest values is like a person without a name, a family without roots. Creation stories or myths are an important way of obtaining information regarding people’s beliefs about how the world originated.
While a myth is usually regarded as fictional; certain myths and creation stories are “true to the people who transmit them” (Eddy). This lesson will focus on one particular creation story, that of the Iroquois people: “Woman Who Fell From the Sky”. This lesson has a few learning objectives.
Students will read the creation story and evaluate the impact this may have had on the Iroquois culture and belief system. Students will be able to recognize and describe character traits that are valued in Native American culture and explain how their creation stories help teach the culture. They will also be able to compare this creation story with others from the unit, for example, the Judeo-Christian narrative. Lastly, students will be able to represent their learning in a creative re-telling of the story. The lesson will begin with a brief introduction to activate prior knowledge.
Firstly, the teacher will conduct a class discussion and brainstorm on the board about the nature of myths and explain their purpose. Secondly, he/she will ask what creation stories the students are already familiar with or if the students have any stories, tales or legends that are important in their family or culture. Students will share with the class and/or the teacher may provide an example. Thirdly, the teacher and students will discuss and arrive at a mutually understood definition of what constitutes a “creation story. Lastly, the teacher will introduce students to the story they will be reading in this lesson and explain which culture it represents.
The story will be read aloud and/or be presented in a power-point presentation. Students will be given a graphic organizer to consider the following elements of the stories while listening: a) the main topic or theme, b) the main characters in the story, c) the sequence of events, and d) the moral lesson of the story. This graphic organizer will allow the teacher to observe the students’ understanding of the story.
In addition, the graphic organizer will jog the students’ memory when discussing the story and will help for comparison purposes as they will fill one in for each story in the unit. Also, the graphic organizers will help students prepare their final project on the story. After the story is read, the instructor will ask for a short summary by one or more students to be sure students understand how the story relates to the creation of Earth.
Next, he/she will ask students questions to elicit responses to show what they have understood about the Iroquois belief and how it relates to the other creation stories they have looked at.These questions may include: a) “How does the Iroquois myth explain the notions of good and evil in the world? ”, b) “How is this similar to or different from the Jewish or Christian explanations? ”, c) “Do people from different cultures tell stories in different ways? ” and d) “What can a culture’s stories say about their values and worldview? ” The next part and most active component of the lesson will be an extension activity that will allow students to synthesize their learning into a creative presentation of the Iroquois creation story.Working in groups and concentrating on the story, the characters and the moral lesson, students will be given the option to create either a picture-book or other illustrated version of the story or they may present a scripted dramatic re-telling of the story.
Students will use a variety of art materials provided in class to complete their projects. The first part of the lesson will be assessed by the participation of the students in the class discussions and by the completed graphic organizers.Rubrics for evaluation of the final projects will be given to the students and will include marks for group participation. To wrap up the lesson and help students organize the information into a meaningful context in their minds, a brief summary or overview will be presented. This closing activity will engage students in a quick discussion about what exactly they learned and what it means to them now. The teacher will look for areas of confusion that he/she can quickly clear up and then reinforce the most important points so that the learning is solidified for future lessons.Finally, the teacher will preview the next lesson and ask the students to determine how the current topic relates to the one that’s coming.
This preview will spur students’ interest and help them connect the different ideas within a larger context.Sources Bastian, Dawn E. ; Mitchell, Judy K. (2004).
Handbook of Native American Mythology. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. Booth, Anna Birgitta (1984).
“Creation myths of the North American Indians”. In Alan Dundes. Sacred Narrative: Readings in the Theory of Myth. University of California Press. Encyclop? dia Britannica (2009).
myth”. Encyclop? dia Britannica Online. Eddy, Steve. Teach Yourself Native American Myths. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 2001. Ferguson, Diana. Native American Myths. London: Collins & Brown, Ltd.
, 2001. McLeod, Susan et al. “The Creation. ” (Iroquois. ) Writing About the World. 2nd ed. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace and Co. , 1995.
36-39. Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions (1999). “Creation Myth”. Merriam-Webster. Websites: http://www. crystalinks. com/iroquois. html http://www.
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