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RE Share has been set up by Tim Shelton for RE teachers to share resources via Google drive. Please see blog below for details.
I’d like to recommend the British Humanist Association website http://www.humanismforschools.org.uk/
Great Humanism resources for all RE teachers!
Humanist Observer on Dorset SACRE
I’d recommend http://www.bristol.ac.uk/religion/buddhist-centre/projects/bdr/students-educators/ for teaching Buddhism.
This is a really interesting video on Youtube about ‘Life after Death’ called ‘The Boy Who Lived Before’. I used it as part of a unit on Hinduism as it allows for some fascinating discussions about reincarnation.
A resource I’ve gone back to time and again is http://www.bigmyth.com
Looks at creation myths and is geared towards pupils working in groups. Have used in Y4 and 5 RE, literacy & P4C sessions.
So glad it’s now been turned into an app.
I visited Saints Alive, an exhibition by Michael Landy, at the National Gallery this week. According to the guide there is an A Level Religious Studies study day on Friday 8 November 2013 (and one for A Level Art students on Wed 13 Nov). I imagine the exhibition may not be to everyone’s taste, but I found it to be quite thought-provoking. I also had an interesting conversation with one of the guards, who described the demon in one of the exhibits as being “not very Christian”…
I have to admit that I like teaching about a range of things in RS and telling the pupils that there is tons of really fascinating stuff that we have to miss out.
Zoroastrianism is fascinating not merely in terms of religious history because it introduces/reinforces light and truth, monotheism, day of judgement, battle between spiritual as well as material forces of good and evil, but historically. It was the religion of the first world empire, the Persian Empire, it survived exile into India and continues to flourish today.
Another religion that does not get the time it is worth, for my money, is Jainism. http://www.jainworld.com/ is a good resource. I like to look at the history because there is an argument that the pre-Hindu religion of India, that is to say the religion of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa was Jain. This develops a theme I like which is that religious ideas may go underground but often resurface in different ways, in this case, in Buddhism.
The Kama Sutra. For 6th Form. One of the first few lessons for year 12. Something to open their minds to the scope of Religion.
First, explain that ancient Indian society declared the four goals of life – spirituality (moksha), civilisation (dharma), prosperity (artha) and pleasure (kama). While the great cities of the plains and coast were governed by rules to enforce civilisation, people would wander into the forests to carry out experiments in living. Indian thinkers developed the concept of zero, some rules of trigonometry, had schools of atheist, materialist philosophy and studied human sexual behaviour. Without a fulfilling sex life, it was argued, couples would quarrel and/or cheat and this would be a hindrance to their prosperity, spiritual progress, and civilisation. Due to the importance of the subject matter their observations were written in a sacred text, a Sutra. Question 1: is sex education needed? In school/college? In society?
Second, Westerners who became aware of the text were shocked and focused on one book dealing with sexual positions, rather than the other six dealing with relationships. Does this sound familiar in relation to sex education in schools? As Western educated and ‘brain-washed’? Indian elites took over the country they applied the standards of the newly dominant civilisation. Victorian values rub uneasily against more traditional, indigenous ones. Question 2: Is there a way to return to a pre-colonial existence, experience and world view? Is this necessary in order to be authentic? Or is the new authenticity an awareness of the impact of the colonial interlude?
Third, due to Victorian unease at the discussion of sex, until the ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ case it was a banned book only published by pornographers. Now, it is freely available. Note that the original text has no illustrations. You can find it, together with thousands of other books, on Project Gutenburg, as a free eBook. Question 3: Should it be part of the 6th Form curriculum in order to counteract internet porn? Is the problem that it is a Hindu (Indian) text? Is it that sex is or should be a taboo subject?
A fantastic animation of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Ideal for year 8 pupils. Part of a series I teach about religious tales being based on history. In this case we can use this as a link into Sumerian civilisation and massive impact in human history.
A resource I have used several times as a follow-on from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Focussing on Utnapishtim and the Flood we look at evidence of flooding in Britain due to glacial meltdown. This video is in several parts. The research methods are interesting as are the maps and the virtual reality reconstruction. There is also a discussion of ritual practices that appear to have commemorated this lost land. It is based on the discovery of Doggerland under the North Sea. Is something like Remembrance Sunday religious?
Useful as a starter for pupils in KS3 to start their own investigations into glacial meltdown causing a Black Sea flood event which later made it into Babylonian and (then?) Jewish religious tradition. There are links at the bottom of the page but there are also a lot of videos available. Pupil enquiry based in groups with presentations in PowerPoint or Prezi.
Some Sikh resources: for all age groups the best resource is SikhNet. There are streams to live radio, to music channels, to discussions, articles, etc. A simple way of giving a focus is to ask pupils to write a review of the web-site and to write about what they learned from visiting it.
For KS4 one way of examining diverse perspectives is to select particular topics, for example, vegetarianism, and contrast About.com with Sikhs.org.
A great debate! Strangely I find that few KS3 pupils have much of an inkling about Neanderthals. Therefore, a brief explanation of hominin evolution can be useful. The question I like to raise is: at what point do we become human? What does it mean to be human? Brain size, looking like it, scientific classification can all be dismissed since brain size is in their favour, they look like us – well, if you may have ginger hair, and the classification is chicken and egg – it is based on an assumption that they are not us, so they are not human. It is interesting how the classification changes based on skeletal remains vs DNA results. What makes us humans, I suggest, is not related to our bodies but our behaviour. Big question: do practices related to an afterlife imply religion?
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