This past year, I took a different plan for our history lessons, instead of following along with a textbook, I planned out our curriculum based on units. We started this whole thing off a pre-history unit exploring worldview. How you view the world changes your view of world events, and the why behind people’s actions. Therefore, it’s very important to take some time exploring worldview, especially before we dive into our history lessons this year.
(I might have some affiliate links in here, I can’t think of any offhand, but I’m sure they might be in there somewhere)
What is worldview and why does it matter?
Worldview is how you look at the world. In a lecture I went to once I was told a worldview had to answer, how did we get here, what is our purpose, and why is the world the way it is?
With that in mind, I thought it would be helpful to look at 5 different worldviews: Buddhism, Christianity/Judaism, Hinduism, Humanism, Islam.
I’ll tell you right off, this was a learning session for me too, because I had a brief idea for some of them, but not necessarily for all of them.
Also, humanism was the best name I could come up with for non-affiliated with religion. It is a worldview for sure, because it does answer many of the fundamental questions religions answer.
Worldview Unit: What do you need to learn?
Each worldview has to answer a few questions:
- How is the world created?
- Why is the world messed up?
- How do they deal with ‘sin’?
I fully admit there are dozens more religions and worldviews we could have looked at, but these are the five most likely worldviews they are going to encounter, so this is what I picked for our worldview unit.
So, I set the kids off to research. I pretty much gave them free rein for a couple of weeks to look things up on their computer, and I grabbed some books from our library on each of the different religions.
What they found out in our worldview unit
I’m sharing this picture, so you don’t think my kids always fill out wonderful, amazing papers that I brag to you about.
Nope, this is the nonsense my son first tried to turn in.
Yes, he still has atrocious handwriting.
But, he also learned a lot. All of the kids learned a lot from our worldview unit, because they got a chance to look at how others think.
The Eastern worldviews of Buddhism and Hinduism are very different from how we look at things. Their Creation stories are very different, and different enough they were confusing.
It was more difficult to find material on Islam that didn’t get political. We did find material, but it was surprising how often political material popped up in top search results.
I asked the kids to tell me the differences between Judaism and Christianity, and they didn’t take the time to look up the differences.
Going back to that attempting to hurry through the boring parts of the Worldview Unit.
They were intrigued to look at how Humanists view the world. It’s obviously different from how we as Christians view the world, and they struggled to figure out an “answer to sin” for Humanists. I pointed out a few possibilities, and that turned into a great discussion all by itself, because I don’t think there is one answer for that. It will really depend on who you ask, and their personal experiences.
Their favorite part of the Worldview Unit
Okay, this may be my favorite part too. As y’all know, we’re Christians, I mean, why else would I have a Bible curriculum tab up at the top, and one thing I find fascinating is the multitude of Flood narratives around the world. Most cultures have some variation on a big flood hitting the earth and a small number of people being saved.
I set them to finding a flood narrative from another culture and turning it into a picture book and illustrating it.
They wrote stories, revised, printed it out, and started assembling their books.
Then they read their stories.
Actually, the boys had to redo their first version because they tried to slap together a story in the last minute. Their stories were decent, but they didn’t listen to the part about illustrating with lots of color and detail.
Sigh, that’s been a common problem, and a year-long problem we’re working at.
Finally, we had some daily writing prompts
I came up with a list of about 20 different writing prompts, and put them into a bingo. Some of them were silly, “what if you were the first person to milk a cow?”
Ugg, I’m struggling to write about this well, so let’s just say, the kids wrote paragraphs, and I got quite a laugh out of some of the paragraphs.
Okay, I’m gonna sign off because I am just not getting this right.
More Ancient History Lessons
- Ancient Sumeria lesson
- Minoan Unit
- Ancient Olympics
- Ancient Greek Unit Study
- Ancient History lessons
Natalie PlanetSmarty says
This is SO interesting. I hope you will write more about it, but I have to say that I love the idea and think that maybe it’s something that I should do with A in the summer. She is a “humanist”, but my husband and I just discussed with concerns that she has very little understanding of other viewpoints and therefore might have trouble communicating respectfully with people having other beliefs.
Communicating with others has been a topic we’ve worked on A LOT.
The problem is, I don’t have super a lot I feel qualified to say more about this. My experience with writing about other worldviews, or too much about the comparisons between Christianity and other religions because I’m not an expert in this area, and people are so eager to tear you apart if you’re wrong on a detail (I’ve experienced this in other areas, not on my blog) has been largely negative.
I’ll have to think about how I could write more about it, because it is a topic I find fascinating.
This sounds like a great way to introduce worldviews to kids.
It really was interesting to see how the kids did with it.