To start off our unit on world religions, I asked the kids what they know about 6 of the world's major religions: Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. They knew a few things:) I gave them a very brief overview of each one. Our main focus for the next 6 weeks will be Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism. In their homework folders is a worksheet entitled, "Origins of Major World Religions." At the top, we filled out a timeline and we discussed how dating (BC and AD) was a standard of dating that derived from a Western Christian point of view. Today, a more universally understood method is to use BCE and CE. We then made two lists of closely related religions, the Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Chrisitanity, and Islam) and the Vedic Faiths (Hinduism, Buddhism). We had a discussion of what those religions have in common and defined monotheism and polytheism. We also sketched out and started watercoloring our mandala's. Plus, one of our ARS mom's who is an archeologist met with us and the Blue Jays to teach us a bit about the origins of religion. People have been living in what we call Texas for 20,000 years. Ninety-seven percent of these peoples did not record any written records. How do you learn about a people who no longer have a voice? We can study the material objects they left behind, such as cave paintings. She showed us a cool painting of a deer shaman near the Pecos River and taught us about animism and shamanism. So, we're off to a great start!