Theology/Religion Lesson Plans and Resources
All lesson plans and links on this page were checked and updated on 9-28-2015.

This page contains resources and lesson plans for world religions and religious education, including links to sites of particular interest to Catholic educators.

Site Index: World Religions, Religion/History, Geography/Holy Places, Values/Ethics/Morals, Famous People, Holidays, CCD/Catechism, Catholic Education, Homeschool Resources, Bible Study

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World Religions Lesson Plans and Resources:
Taking a Closer Look at World Religions
Teaching ideas for grades 6-12 from Teaching Tolerance. See also World Religions and Curriculum Guide: World Religions and Spirituality for other teaching materials. For excellent resources on world religions, go to The Major World Religions and Religious Tolerance: Religions of the World.


Lesson Plan Ideas: The World Religions
Lesson planning ideas for grades 6-12 from Education World.

Comparing World Religions
A lesson plan from We Are Teachers.


How Have World Religions Shaped Who I Am Today?
Five lesson plans exploring the above question from Concept to Classroom.

The Spread of Religions
A unit from Bridging World History.

Argumentative Writing/Religions of the World Unit
A 14-day unit for grade 6 from the Utah Education Network.

Resources: World Religions
From the NY Times Learning Network.

World Religions WebQuest
A WebQuest for AP history. See also World Religions WebQuest, Lessons from the World's Major Religions, and Understanding Major Religions of the World for other WebQuests.

Rituals and Rites of Passage
A 5th or 6th-grade lesson plan.

The Comparative Religions Page
A long list of links to related sites.

Europe's Languages and Religions
An activity for grades from National Geographic.

Jesus and the Rise of Christianity
A high school lesson plan from the Discovery Education.

The Roman Empire and Christianity
An elaborate lesson from the Stanford History Group.

Christianity in the World
A high school lesson plan designed tom introduce students to the history or Christianity.

Lesson1: The Origins of Christianity
A lesson plan from Houghton Mifflin World History: Ancient Civilizations. See Lesson 2: The Early Christians and Lesson 3: Rome and Christianity.

The Mormons
A teachers guide from PBS. See their lesson plan Vote or Veto: How Does Religion Affect Candidates and Voters? and Ideas for Addressing Mormonism in the Classroom.

Religion and Belief Systems in Asia
A middle-school lesson plan fro Xpeditions. See also Religion and Spirituality in Nepal.

Lessons of the Indian Epics: Following the Dharma
A lesson plan exploring the Ramayana, an epic poem which provides insights into many aspects of Indian culture and the Hindu concept of Dharma.  

Religions of the World: Hinduism
A teacher's guide.

Islam
A lesson plan for grades 9-12 from Discovery Education. See also
Islam: History, Society And Civilization.

The Islam Project: Education
Lesson plans, essays, and maps designed to help answer questions about Islam and its role in world politics including What is Shariah? Major Sources and Principles of Islamic Law.

Islam 101 Online Course
An online course complete with tests.

Islam and the West
An overview and suggestions for study from Teachable Moment.

Understanding Islam
A WebQuest.

The Growth of Islam
A SCORE Cyberguide providing a 7th-grade Internet-based activity. See also Islamic Scientific Contributions to Civilization for another 7th-grade activity.

The World of Islam, 600-1500: The Hajj

A web-based lesson plan introducing students to
the Hajj, one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

Islamic Foil Art
This art activity, which is appropriate for many grade levels, may be just what you need for your multidisciplinary unit on Islam.

The Story of the Jews
Classroom resources from PBS.

Blue Monday and Friends: Traditional Jewish Holidays Come Alive Through The Art of Story-Telling
A primary-grade unit.

Jewish Teaching Resources
From the Lookstein Center. See also

Jewish Culture
A lesson plan using the KWL method and Marilyn Sachs' book, A Pocket Full of Seeds.

Judaism and Jewish Culture
An extensive curricular resource packet.

Religions of East Asia
A middle or high school lesson plan on the religions of East Asia. See also Expedition to Asia – Religions Across the Continent.

The Buddha
Teaching resources from PBS.

The Spread of Buddhism
A high school lesson plan.

The Three Doctrines & Legalism
A lesson plan from Mr. Donn comparing Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

Buddhism and the Dalai Lama
A high school lesson plan from Discovery Education.       




Religious History Lesson plans and Resources
Christianity Chronology
A timeline. See also A Timeline of Church History.  

From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians
From PBS Frontline, this site looks at Jesus from a historical perspective.

Christianity in the World
A high school lesson plan designed tom introduce students to the history or Christianity.

The Roman Empire and Christianity
An elaborate lesson from the Stanford History Group.

Lesson1: The Origins of Christianity
A lesson plan from Houghton Mifflin World History: Ancient Civilizations. See Lesson 2: The Early Christians and Lesson 3: Rome and Christianity.


The Rise of Christianity
Eight high school lesson plans.

Lesson Plan on the Crusades
A 6th-grade lesson plan.

The Crusades: Voices and Perspectives
An internet-based secondary lesson plan and an assignment exploring different perspectives regarding the Crusades.

The Middle Ages

An elementary-grade lesson plan from the Discovery Education that includes information on the Crusades.

The Crusades
Concise information from Mr. Dowlings Electronic Passport.   See also Letters of Crusaders.  

The Growth of Islam
A SCORE Cyberguide providing a 7th-grade Internet-based activity. See also Islamic Scientific Contributions to Civilization for another 7th-grade activity.

The World of Islam, 600-1500: The Hajj
A web-based lesson plan introducing students to
the Hajj, one of the Five Pillars of Islam.


Galileo's Dialogue
A high school lesson plan examining how Galileo's conclusions about the position of the earth in the solar system raised objections from the Church.

Galileo and the Inevitability of Ideas
Another secondary lesson plan. This one concludes by examining Galileo's trial before the Inquistion. See also The Gallileo Project.

Mali to Mecca
Follow the 14th Century journey of Mansa Musa as he fulfills one of the five pillars of Islam by making the Hajj or holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

Ptolemy, Capernicus, and the Church
A high school lesson plan designed for physics or world history.

The Reformation
A 5th-grade lesson plan. For more lesson plans and resources on this topic, go to my World History Page.


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
A web-based 7th-grade lesson plan on Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the power of images in forming opinions.

Martin Luther
A lesson plan from
the Stanford History Education Group's Reading Like a Historian curriculum.

Simulation of the Trial of Martin Luther
An AP history activity.

Simulation of the Trial of Martin Luther
An AP history activity.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
A web-based 7th-grade lesson plan on Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the power of images in forming opinions.

The History of the Catholic Church in Latin America and Liberation Theology
Though this collection of materials is labeled as a "unit," it does not contain complete lesson plans. However, it does include substantial background information, a list of behavioral objectives, a set of questions, vocabulary, suggested assignments, student projects, and a bibliography. Therefore, the site could be quite useful to someone preparing to teach a unit on this topic.

Scopes Trial Lesson PLan
A lesson plan Stanford History Education. See also Historical Thinking Matters: Scopes Trial for a 5-day lesson plan, The Scopes Trial Began Today in 1925 for a "calendar event" for grades 5-12, and
Whose ‘Truth’ Is Out There? for a lesson plan from the N.Y. Times. For background information, see The Antievolution Crusade of the 1920s, Clash of Cultures: The Scopes Trial, Tennessee vs. John Scopes: The Monkey Trial, and The 'Intelligent Design' Debate.

Freedom of Religion
An elaborate lesson plan for grades 7-12. See also
Church and State Separation: The Challenge and Debate.

Mock International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
An online activity in which students investigate claims of genocide committed against Balkan Muslims.

Geography/Holy Places Lesson Plans
Jerusalem:
History Of The Holy Land
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 which explores the importance of Jerusalem to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Culture Goggles: Same Holy Land, Different Holidays
A primary-grade lesson plan from National Geographic.

Exploring the Middle East: Hands-On Approaches
Three lesson plans developed during the 2002 Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.

Middle East and North Africa Geography
A high school lesson plan from PBS. See also Mapping the Middle East.

Middle East Primer
A lesson plan for grades 6-12 in which students work in groups to learn about the important people, places, events, groups of the Middle East.

Map and Background Info: Geography and History of the Arabian Peninsula and Overview of Islam
An activity from The Islam Project.

Prospects for Peace in the Israeli - Palestinian Conflict
A lesson plan using Internet resources in which students design a peace plan to resolve the Middle East conflict.

The Temple Mount, Holiness, and Holy Places
A lesson plan complete with Jewish and Israeli source documents.

The Geography of Mormonism
A lesson idea from PBS.

Sacred Places: California Missions from Different Perspectives
An elementary-grade lesson plan in which "students
explore the concept of a sacred place by looking at works of art representing sacred spaces and studying the California missions."

The Hajj: Journey to Mecca
A lesson plan for grade 5-13+ from PBS.

Journey to Mecca
An Educator's Guide.

Mali to Mecca
Follow the 14th Century journey of Mansa Musa as he fulfills one of the five pillars of Islam by making the Hajj or holy pilgrimage to Mecca.

European Tour: History and Tradition
A high school lesson plan in which students learn about the Vatican and Sistine Chapel.

Vatican: The Holy See
Access Vatican museums and archives or find information about the Pope. See also Vatican City State.

Christus Rex Et Redemptor Mundi
A collection of images that provide a tour of the Vatican, Jerusalem, the Holy Land, Assisi, and famous art museums

Values/Ethics/Morals Lesson Plans
Forming Consciences
A lesson plan for junior and senior high school students from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. See their other lesson plans.

Peace and Aggression: A Challenge of Our Time
An interesting unit examining the morality of war and dissent within the historical context of the Vietnam war.

Non-Violent Protest Through The Ages
A middle school unit examining non-violence and exploring the ideas and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Henry David Thoreau, and Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.

Lawrence Kohlberg's Six Stages of Moral Development
A lesson plan for grades 11-12 designed to help students understand their own human behavior through learning about Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral development. See also Moral Development and Gender for a discussion-based lesson plan featuring the ideas of Carol Gilligan.

Activities that Teach Values
Activities complete with worksheets from the Utah Education Network.

Values Lesson Plans and Activities
Activities for all grade levels from the Australian Department of education.

The Mystery of the Undiscovered Values
A 5th-grade unit which seeks to foster the development of values and personal integrity through the study of mystery and detective fiction.

Values
Many lesson plans from Advocates for Youth including Introduction to Values.

What is a Value?
A lesson plan from the Freeway Foundation.

Values and Barriers
One lesson plan from Scholastic's Breaking Barriers.   

Virtue in Action Teacher's Guide: A Promise Kept
A lesson plan for grades 6-12 based on former Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weiss' promise to a boy with a brain tumor.

Planting the Seeds of Our Values: Historical Examples
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from Learning to Give. Go to their site for many K-12 lessons combining academic content about philanthropy and skill development activities that engage students in giving and serving in their classrooms and communities.  

Understanding American Values
A lesson plan for grades K-5 from Discovery Education.

Character Education Informational Handbook and Guide
Information and several short lesson plans from the North Carolina Public Schools.

Character Education: What Would You Do?
A lesson plan for grades 6-8 from Learn NC. See also Character Education: Honesty.

Character Education Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans for both elementary and secondary grades from the Character Education Partnership.

Character Education Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans from Peaceful Solution Character Education Incorporated.

How to Integrate Character Education into the Curriculum
An informative article.

Catholic Relief Services Activities and Lesson Plans
Many lesson plans for all grade levels dealing with issues such as poverty, hunger, migration, and peace building.

Argument in an Athenian Jail: Socrates and the Law
A lesson plan for grades 8-12 analyzing the relationship between individual rights and the rule of law in contemporary society through the study of Socrates and the arguments he presents in the Crito. It is part of Edsitement, a program of The National Endowment for the Humanities.

Working on WMD
A high school discussion activity exploring the values conflict over nuclear weapons.

Critical Thinking with Fables Old and New
A lesson plan for grades 3-12 from Education World in which students think critically about the morals of a variety of fables.

GoodCharacter.com
Character education teaching guides with discussion questions, writing assignments, and student activities for all grade levels plus a number of other resources for teachers. See also Live Wire Media for a nice selection of character education videos.




Famous Religious Figures Lesson Plans
Lesson Plans for Jesus and the New Testament
Three lesson plans correlated with Curriculum Guidelines for Adolescent Catechesis and Confirmation from the Diocese of Buffalo

From Jesus to Christ: A Portrait of Jesus' World
From PBS Frontline, this site looks at Jesus from a historical perspective.

Jesus and the Rise of Christianity
A high school lesson plan from Discovery Education.

The Birth of Christ
Four lesson plans from Kids Sunday School Place. See their many other lessons.      

A Note from Jesus
From Resources for Catholic Educators, this junior or senior high school lesson plan allows students to reflect on a scripture passage and invites them to respond by writing a short prayer to Jesus.

Mary as the First Disciple
A discussion-based activity for high school students.

Our Lady of Guadalupe
A 6th-grade lesson plan.

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
Lesson plan ideas for the high school level.

Classroom Activities on Saints
Several excellent suggestions. See also Catholic Online Directory of Saints and Angels.  

Pope John Paul II
A lesson plan for grades 9-12 from the Discovery Education.

Habemus Papam! Pope Francis Lesson Plan
From the Religions Teacher. See also #Walking with Francis.

Nine Activities and Lesson Ideas to Teach About Pope Francis' Visit to the United States
See also Catechetical Resources for Pope Francis' 2105 Apostolic Journey to the U.S.A.

Change Agent: Examining How and Why the Pope Can Make a Difference
Resources and information from the NY Times Learning Network.

Famous Person: Mother Teresa
A 4th-grade unit on Mother Teresa and humanitarian service.

Rainbow and Noah's Ark Craft Genesis 9:8-17
A Bible-based lesson plan complete with printables. It is appropriate for kindergarten or preschool students.

Simulation of the Trial of Martin Luther
An AP history activity.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
A web-based 7th-grade lesson plan on Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the power of images in forming opinions.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A large collection of lesson plans and resources from my history page.  

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
A lesson plan complete with substantial background information.

Jewish Clergy in the Civil Rights Movement
A lesson plan from the Jewish Women's Archive. See also Abraham Joshua Heschel, Jewish Heroes Congress and Leader's Guide: Abraham Joshua Heschel's The Sabbath "A Sanctuary in Time."

Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet
Many lesson plans from the
Institute on Religion and Civic Values.

Biographical Sketch of Muhammad's Life
A discussion activity from The Islam Project complete with a handout that provides brief biographical information.

Mohandas Gandhi: The Art of Nonviolence
A 10th-grade unit from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. See also Gandhi Today for an excellent site with a great deal of information about Gandhi.

Teaching with the Buddha
Educational resources from PBS.   

Buddhism and the Dalai Lama
A high school lesson plan from Discovery Education.
       
The Teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
A 6th-grade lesson plan from NYLearns. Go to their Educational Resources page to find other similar lessons.


Shirin Ebadi: Nobel Prize Winner
A reading and teaching activities on the Iranian human rights activist and her beliefs about Islam, democracy, and human rights.


Religious Holidays Lesson Plans
Catholic Thanksgiving Day Lesson Plans on the Eucharist as Thanksgiving
An elementary, middle, and high school lesson plan.


Christmas Traditions
Many lesson plans and resources from Mr. Donn's pages.  

The Christmas Tree
A 5th-grade lesson plan on the origin of the Christmas tree.

Christmas Around the World
Activities and lesson plans from Education World.

Christmas in Mexico
An excellent lesson plan for use with ESL students. See also The Christmas Lesson for other ESL/EFL activities.

Feliz Navidad: A Mexican Christmas Unit
An interdisciplinary unit for grades K-2.

The Polar Express
A primary-grade lesson plan for this Christmas book by Chris Van Allsburg.

Consumerism and Holidays
An interesting lesson plan for grades 4-5 examining the economic impact of holidays, including Christmas.

Easter Lesson Plan
Though these activities are designed for those who home school, they may also work in non-public-school classrooms.

A Tale of Two Easters
Explains why in most years Western Christian churches and Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on different dates.

Calculate the Date of Easter Sunday
Have your students calculate Easter Sunday dates for all years 326 to 4099!

Easter Theme Page
Lesson plans, arts and crafts. Mostly non-religious.

Rosh Hashanah
A grade 4-5 lesson plan about this Jewish holy day.

The Chanukah Mystery Webquest
From the Lookstein Center for Jewish Education Chanikah Resources.

Celebrate Hanukkah in Israel!
A lesson plan from Scholastic.

Hanukkah in the Classroom
Also from Scholastic.

Hanukkah
A lesson plan for grades 4-5.

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights
More ideas for teaching about Hanukkah.

Light in Festivals
A social studies unit for grades 4-5 that examines the use of light as a symbol in celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Le Re'veillon, Los Posados, and St. Lucia Day.

Rosh Hashana as a Day of Judgment
A middles school lesson plan. See also Lesson 2.

Yom Kippur Davening
A discussion guide.

Passover
A lesson plan for the 5th grade. See also Passover Lesson Plan for 3rd & 4th Grade.

Ramadan
A lesson plan on this Islamic holiday for grades 5-7. See also Let's celebrate Ramadan!

Hana Matsuri (Buddha's Birthday) Mini-Unit
A 5th or 6th-grade mini-unit.

Diwali-Hindu New Year
A lesson plan for grades 4-6 on this festival observed by many Hindus in late October or early November.

CCD/Catechism
Saint Rose CCD Religious Education Handbook
See also Saint Maurice Parish CCD Handbook.

CCD Program Parent/Student Handbook
From the Catholic Toolbox.

Catechism of the Catholic Church
An extensive on-line document.

Catechetical Resources
See also RCIA Resources.

Catechism
Information and resources from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Resources for Catholic Education
Resources for Catholic Educators
A large collection of resources indexed alphabetically. Click here to access the large selection of lesson plans, worksheets, and activities for Catholic religious education contained within this site.

Engaging Faith
Many excellent lesson ideas and activities for Catholic educators.

The Catholic Toolbox   
Tools for the classroom or home including ctivities, lesson plans, amd worksheets.

The Church Building/Body
A high school lesson plan from the above site in which students reflect on "the language of faith" as expressed through church architecture and liturgical environment.

Catholic Relief Services Activities
Many lesson plans for all grade levels dealing with issues such as poverty, hunger, resource management, human dignity, and homelessness.

Catholic Social Teaching
Lesson plans for grades 1-8, also from Catholic Relief Services.

Catholic Lesson Plans
Several lesson plans from the Religion Teacher including Rites of Confirmation.

Forming Consciences and Citizenship
Lesson plans for junior and senior high school from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Catholic Educators Resource Center: Education
Many resources for Catholic educators.

Catholic Religious Education Lesson Plans for Sunday Gospel and Readings
A long list.

Saint Mary's Press: Activity Resources
Activities for Catholic high school theology teachers.

Christianity and Architecture
An extensive resource for Catholic educators.

Catholic Encyclopedia
An on-line version of the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, so don't expect up-to-date information, but a useful resource none the less.

Catholic Information Network
A huge site with information on spirituality, Catholic news, recent church documents, church doctrine, daily readings, inspiration, and links.

Catholic Answers
Answers to questions about the Catholic faith.

Today's Catholic Teacher
On-line articles, including Catholic Identity Across the Curriculum.

Catholic Online Directory of Saints and Angels
Information about hundreds of saints and angels. A great resource for those teaching in Catholic schools.

Shroud of Turin Website
View and learn about this famous and controversial religious artifact. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the Website Library for history as well as scientific papers and articles.

Vatican: The Holy See
Access Vatican museums and archives or find information about the Pope. See also Vatican City State.

Christus Rex Et Redemptor Mundi
A collection of images that provide a tour of the Vatican, Jerusalem, the Holy Land, Assisi, and famous art museums.

Catholic Online

National Catholic Education Association

Homeschool Resources
Catholic Scholars Online
Ideas and lesson plans for Catholic education (and particularly home schooling) gathered from a variety of source

Love2learn.net
"Favorite resources for Catholic homeschoolers."

A to Z Home's Cool!
The ultimate homeschooling website with articles and resources that would be particularly helpful to parents who are considering homeschooling their children.

On-Line Resources for Theological Teaching
From Wabash College, this site contains links to resources for teaching theology and religion. Also, see their Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.

Catholic Homeschool Sites

Links to homeschool  sites.

Catholic Heritage Curricula
A source for Catholic homeschooling curriculum materials.

Bible Study
A Byte of Bible a Day
A lesson plan for grades 10-12.

Sunday School Resources
Free Bible studies lessons, activities, songs, etc.

Kids Sunday School  Lessons
Many Bible-based lessons for both the Old and New Testament.


Bible Activity Worksheets
Many worksheets in pdf format.


Rev.Tim's Bible Studies
Many resources for Bible study.

Bible Gateway
Search online Bibles.

Biblical Studies on the Web
A scriptural index and online journals.

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Please let me know if you find any links on this site that no longer function. My name is
Edmund J. Sass, Ed.D.
You can reach me at
esass@csbsju.edu