Teacher's Guide for COBBLESTONE ® Our First Amendment: Freedom of Religion
Teacher Guide prepared by: our staff.
inalienable * immunity * clause * denomination * orthodox * predominately * creeds * sacraments * dissent * sanctuary * to repeal * disparaging * tyranny * to compel * platform * to sever * secular * to inhibit * consensus * directive * extracurricular * monolith * vision quest * to desecrate
Give students a copy of the "Brain Ticklers" on page 42 to test prior knowledge. Students should check off the boxes in one color, and leave space for revising the answer in a different color after they have read the articles. Review the correct answers (page 48) with the class.
Read the names of the religions on pages 8 and 9. After each religion, ask students to raise their hands if they know of anyone who professes that particular faith - it could be friends or relatives, but also politicians, movie or TV stars, or professional athletes. Have one student keep a tally on a board or easel pad how many students raise their hand, and then ask students to calculate the percentage in relation to the class size for each of the religions mentioned. Also, do students know of other religions besides the ones listed? If your school subscribes to COBBLESTONE® and CALLIOPE®, you might have available the following issues: Shakers, Quakers, Roger Williams and the Puritans, Mormon Trail (COBBLESTONE®); Early Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucius, Shinto, Judaism, Islam, Martin Luther (CALLIOPE®); Tabus (FACES®).
If your school subscribes to COBBLESTONE®, have the January 1998 (Free Speech) and January 1999 (Freedom of the Press) available for students to read. Ask students to write a short essay about the one freedom they would want to keep, and why, if two were abolished.
If you don't have a class set of this issue, photocopy (yes, you may!) pages 34 and 35 and distribute to students. As a class, discuss the three Supreme Court cases and see if you can come up with a unanimous ruling (you probably won't, and can use this to talk about respect for diverging opinions). You can also use this as an essay topic and have each student write her / his opinion. Then read, or give, to the students the actual Supreme Court rule. Students will see that even in our Supreme Court there are different opinions.
A few school districts have or plan to put up "rules of conduct" drawn from the Ten Commandments. This has created some controversy. (Students can research the subject online at http://www.freedomforum.org) Can the class come up with a code of conduct using concepts common to all major religions or philosophies?
Students could gather more information on individuals mentioned in this issue: William Penn, Roger Williams, Ann Hutchinson, Mary Dyer, Mary Baker Eddy, and others in the issues listed above.
Show students the Norman Rockwell print on page 7 and ask then to design a poster that would illustrate Freedom of Religion in America's multi-ethnic population today. If you get a few real pieces of artwork, send them to our webmaster, and we may even put them up on the web to share with other teachers what your class did!