Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lesson Plan: World Religion Dream Catchers

In my short (five-week) World Religion class, we are concentrating on the six religions that have had the most influence on Western culture--Paganism, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam (in order of when they began).   So to help the students keep the order of these religious movements straight, we made World Religion Dream Catchers.

Dream Catchers are a tradition among some Native American tribes (which fall under the Paganism category).  They are a circle created out of a branch of wood, between which string and beads have been strung, creating an open web in the middle.  The idea is that the dream catcher will capture the bad dreams sent to a child, but will allow the good ones through its openings.

Because we are on a restricted budget of both money and time, we made ours out of paper plates, from which I had cut out the centers and punched eight holes around the inner circle of the remaining rim.  I had the students write the names or draw symbols for the six religions (we covered the religious in symbols in class beforehand) on the paper plate rims, and then string yarn from hole to hole IN ORDER of the religion's founding date.  So the first hole was just the start, but then the student would string the yarn through the Paganism hole, then through the Hinduism hole, then Judaism....you get the idea.

Here are some samples of their work.  As always, they were following the same instructions, but came up with some lovely variations.

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