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Session 6: Mapping the Five Major World Religions

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Session 6: Mapping the Five Major World Religions

  • Outline map of the world

  • Colored pencils

  • Textbook or other instructional resources
Instructional Activities

1. Distribute copies of an outline map of the world and colored pencils. Instruct students to develop, using the textbook and other instructional resources, a color-coded map reflecting the location of the five major world religions today: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Have students put the color code on the back in order to foster studying using a flash-card-like technique.

2. Have the students study this map in pairs until they have mastered it. Display the map, and have the class practice locating each world religion on it.

3. Assign a teacher-selected reading or other reinforcement activity.

Session 7: Assessment

Instructional Activities

1. Distribute copies of Attachment B, and have students complete the assessment.

Attachment A: Five Pillars of Islam



Pillars of






Attachment B: Sample Assessment Items

An asterisk (*) indicates the correct answer.

1. Christians believe that Jesus is

A a great prophet like Moses.

B the author of the New Testament.

C the Son of God.*

D a follower of Paul.

2. The founder of Islam was

A Muhammad.*

B Jesus Christ.

C Abraham.

D Siddhartha Gautama.

3. Which belief is associated with Islam?

A Five Pillars*

B Caste system

C Reincarnation

D Polytheism

4. Which term means “belief in one God”?

A Polytheism

B Atheism

C Monotheism*

D Animism

5. Buddha is a term that simply means

A “religious person.”

B “anointed one from God.”

C “enlightened one.”*

D “follower of God.”

6. This Hindu belief can be defined as a “soul rebirth” or coming back to life as another human or other living creature.

A Zoroastrianism

B Karma

C Jihad

D Reincarnation*

7. In the early Christian church, Christian doctrine was established by

A church councils.*

B the Pope.

C Paul.

D Jesus Christ.

8. The homeland of the Jews is

A Egypt.

B Israel.*

C Afghanistan.

D Saudi Arabia.

9. Jewish people call their holy writings (sacred scriptures) the

A Koran.

B Vedas.

C New Testament.

D Torah.*

10. The founder of Buddhism was

A King Suddhodana.

B Mahatma Gandhi.

C Siddhartha Gautama.*

D Asoka Gupta.

11. The second holiest city of Islam is

A Rome.

B Mecca.

C Medina.*

D Jerusalem.

Organizing Topic

Conditions in Developed and Developing Nations

Standard(s) of Learning

WHII.16 The student will demonstrate knowledge of cultural, economic, and social conditions in developed and developing nations of the contemporary world by

a) identifying contemporary political issues, with emphasis on migrations of refugees and others, ethnic/religious conflicts, and the impact of technology, including chemical and biological technologies;

b) assessing the impact of economic development and global population growth on the environment and society, including an understanding of the links between economic and political freedom;

c) describing economic interdependence, including the rise of multinational corporations, international organizations, and trade agreements;

d) analyzing the increasing impact of terrorism.

Essential Understandings, Knowledge, and Skills

Correlation to

Instructional Materials

Skills (to be incorporated into instruction throughout the academic year)

Identify, analyze, and interpret primary and secondary sources to make generalizations about events and life in world history.

Use maps, globes, artifacts, and pictures to analyze the physical and cultural landscapes of the world to interpret the past.

Identify and compare contemporary political boundaries with the location of civilizations, empires, and kingdoms.

Analyze trends in human migration and cultural interaction.


Explain that both developed and developing nations face many challenges. These include migrations, ethnic and religious conflicts, and the impact of new technologies.

Describe some challenges faced by the contemporary world, using the following information as a guide:

  • Migrations of refugees and others

  • Refugees as an issue in international conflicts

  • Migrations of “guest workers” to European cities

  • Ethnic and religious conflicts

  • Middle East

  • Northern Ireland

  • Balkans

  • Horn of Africa

  • South Asia

Summarize the impact of new technologies, using the following information as a guide:

Explain that developed and developing nations are characterized by different levels of economic development, population characteristics, and social conditions.

Explain that economic development and the rapid growth of population are having an impact on the environment.

Explain that sound economic conditions contribute to a stable democracy, and political freedom helps foster economic development.

Explain contrasts between developed and developing nations, using the following information as a guide:

  • Geographic locations of major developed and developing countries

  • Economic conditions

  • Social conditions (literacy, access to health care)

  • Population size and rate of growth

Summarize the impact economic development and rapid population growth are having on the environment and society, using the following information as a guide:

  • Environmental challenges

  • Social challenges

  • Poverty

  • Poor health

  • Illiteracy

  • Famine

  • Migration

Explain the links between economic and political freedom, using the following information as a guide:

  • Free market economies produce rising standards of living and an expanding middle class, which produces growing demands for political freedoms and individual rights. Recent examples include Taiwan and South Korea.

Explain that the countries of the world are increasingly dependent on each other for raw materials markets and financial resources, although there is still a difference between the developed and developing nations.

Explain how economic interdependence is changing the world, using the following information as a guide:

  • Role of rapid transportation, communication, and computer networks

  • Rise and influence of multinational corporations

  • Changing role of international boundaries

  • Regional integration, e.g., European Union

  • Trade agreements, e.g., North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), World Trade Organization (WTO)

  • International organizations, e.g., United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Explain that both developed and developing nations of the world have problems that are brought about by inequities in their social, cultural, and economic systems.

Explain that some individuals choose to deal with these unequal conditions through the use of terrorist activities.

Define terrorism as the use of violence and threats to intimidate and coerce for political reasons.

Explain that a major cause of terrorism is religious extremism.

Point out some examples of international terrorism in the contemporary world that have impacted developed and developing nations, including the following:

  • Munich Olympics attacks

  • Terrorist attacks in the United States (e.g., 9/11/2001) motivated by extremism (Osama Bin Laden)

  • Car bombings

  • Suicide bombings

  • Airline hijackings

Explain governmental responses to terrorist activities, including the following:

  • Surveillance

  • Review of privacy rights

  • Security screenings at ports and airports

  • Identification badges and photos

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