Religions and Beliefs
This project guides teachers and
students in an exploration of some of the religions and beliefs of Ireland.
It provides suggestions for organising the project, fact files on the different
religions/beliefs, lesson plans and references.
There are 3 phases in the project:
Phase 1: This involves teacher presentations
and student research. The different religions/beliefs are explored: History,
Beliefs, Customs and Attitudes, Places of Worship, Artefacts and Holy Books.
Phase 2: Visiting places of worship/meetings
place and interviewing representatives from different religions/beliefs or inviting
representatives to the school.
Phase 3: Bringing it all together
through classroom activities and by preparing the project work, publishing it
on a website and presenting it to the class.
- I first did this project with
my class in 1990. Since then Ireland has become a much more multicultural
society. Undoubtedly, this project goes a long way to contributing to an increased
awareness and appreciation of diversity.
are not given the facility to study adequately the history and traditions of
sections of society which belong to a different culture and religious ethos
from their own, they cannot easily acquire the understanding and appreciation
of these groups which will be necessary if they are to live and work harmoniously
with them in later life". (Irish Episcopal Conference, 1976, Directory
of Ecumenism in Ireland, paragraph 55)
- Doing project work encourages
independent learning and the development of good communication skills. It
provides opportunities for students to filter the information they have obtained
in the classroom and to explore feelings, beliefs and attitudes in relation
to these facts.
Through active involvement in this
project students will:
- learn about some of the different
religions and beliefs in Ireland
- develop an awareness of different
cultures and traditions
- begin to appreciate and respect
- develop skills - interviewing,
listening, observation, communication, research, planning, decision-making
- develop self-confidence
- work independently and in teams
- present the information they have
gathered in an interesting and attractive way so that other people can learn
- use ICT to enhance their project
This project integrates well with
other areas of the curriculum.
- Reading/Study Skills
- using reference materials, reading about religions, seeking out new material/references.
- Writing - project work
(display techniques), factual and creative writing, notetaking, form filling.
- graphs to represent facts, statistics, drawing comparisons in mathematical
- Gaeilge - scéalta
faoi naomhanna in Eirinn, Lá Fhéile Bríde, La Fhéile
Phádraig. Na hainmneacha Gaelach sa tír atá baint acu
leis an reiligúin.
- Geography - Looking at
where religions/beliefs originated, special places for different religious
groups, maps showing predominant religion/belief etc.
- Stories -
about religions and people from around the world
- Art and Craft - sketching,
rubbings, painting, model building, designing, making cards, etc.
Development - asking questions, reporting back, discussing, debating etc.
- Effective Listening and
good communication techniques
- History - looking at the
origins and development of various beliefs, exploration of graveyards etc,
artefacts and what they symbolise.
- Drama - role play.
Computers, digital cameras, sound
recorders and scanners are great resources for the project. The students take
photos, scan images, type their reports and place them on the internet. Research
can be done through visiting other web sites and using cd rom encyclopedias.
Work published on the internet by one class can be a resource for other classes
in the school. Powerpoint presentations are also easy to prepare and are an
effective way to present project work. Worksheets and information sheets can
be downloaded in word format and used in the classroom. The project can easily
be adapted to meet the technology available in schools and provides a framework
for the integration of ICT into curricular areas.
- Fact sheets about each religion/belief
- in word format for ease of printing
- Guidelines for organising visits
to places of worship/meeting places
- Organising a visit to the school
by a representative of a religion/belief
- 4 lesson outlines with accompanying
- A guide for the student for each
stage of the project.
- Names of books
- Useful websites
- Lists of contacts in Dublin