What is "Religion"


The student will know one definition of religion

The student will know how religious study differs from becoming religious



Sheets of ruled & blank paper.

Pens/pencils for each student


Make sure that the material is ready.

If desired, one can make a powerpoint presentation with the material below and/or make handouts


  1. Welcome
  2. Roll and administration
  3. Question: What is religion?
  4. Presentation using the Worksheet (below)
    1. What is religion?
      1. Religion is an organized set of common set of beliefs held by people to explain aspects of the human existence.
      2. Arises from our brain’s ability and desire to draw patterns into things and events.
      3. Many religions explain things that were important to the culture from which they originated from. For many planting and harvest were very important. And from that the start of the seasons and forecasting or controlling the weather was important. For all, birth and death were important. For some origin and foretelling of the future were important. For some explanation of supernatural (and unusual) experiences. Therefore, the rituals and practices were considered sacred.
      4. Religion quickly became a way to explain order including social order and from that power. It became way for societies to be cohesive and a way for leaders to explain hardship, inequalities and to retain control.
      5. Provided a societal bonding and cohesion
      6. A way for leaders to control the population
    2. If desired, review the Worksheet
  5. Discussion
    1. What are other aspects of Religion?
    2. What does religion do now?
    3. Is religion “good” or “bad” for the world? (Do we care? Does it matter?)
    4. Do we need religion?
  6. Activity: Create my religion : Objective: to have the most members at end.
    1. Groups of 3
    2. Choose a leader, record keeper, member(s)
      1. leader: makes decisions, based on some rules
      2. recorder: writes down rules and agreements
      3. member(s): belongs, tries to convince others
    3. Before first turn:
      1. Each Religion decide on theme and name
        1. Earth, Sun, Fire, Moon, Water/Ocean, Wind/Air, Plants/Trees
      2. Decide on basic tenets of the religion
      3. Decide how to make decisions (ex. democracy, consensus, leader(s))
      4. Leaders make statements to class explaining their Religion
      5. Recorder writes Theme, Name and all the initial members on a sheet of paper.
    4. Each turn:
      1. Conference: all members have 3 min to decide on changes to the rules if any. Decision process based on rules. Recorder writes the rule. (Crosses out deleted rules).
      2. Leader can make statement to class
      3. Everyone has 5 minutes to convert or deal where they talk to the rest of the class.
        1. The teacher times the five minutes and gives one minute warning.
      4. Deals may be documented or not.
      5. Recorder writes the names of any new members; crosses out people who leave
    5. Events:
      1. before turn 2: drought
      2. before turn 3: fire
      3. before turn 4: warring country
    6. Last turn:
      1. Leader: present where they started, and where they ended.
        1. Include leaders of Religions that folded.
  7. Conclusion
    1. Discussion.
      1. How did it feel?
      2. Who won? Was that same as “Winning the game?” Was it that important? Could you all have “won”?
  8. Review
    1. Summarize what the class found out definitions of "religion"
    2. Summarize the class conclusions


Conducted via the conclusion and Review





Mas Nishimura, nish221.at.gmail.dot.com, 2018


Worksheet Answers