How to use this curriculum unit

  • In terms of lesson content, this unit is subdivided into four sections, each of which contains a number of lessons. The unit also contains introductory information as well as a number of useful appendices and a resources section.
  • The teacher may want to use the entire unit or only selected lessons. The teacher should also feel free to adapt or supplement the lessons as he/she sees fit.
  • Throughout this curriculum unit, the terms, “rules”, “rules for living”, “guidelines for living”, “values” and “moral principles”, are used in a somewhat interchangeable and unitive fashion. This is done in an effort to deal with the issues of ethics and ethical living. I would encourage the teacher to use this language for four reasons:
    1. “Rules” are a big part of young people’s lives
    2. It is important to reflect on the connection between “rules” and “values”
    3. “Rules” have a lot to do with the issue of the co-existence of human beings in any given community
    4. The “rules” language will make it easier for the students to grasp the concept of the Golden Rule.
  • The teacher is advised to peruse this entire document, including the appendices, before beginning instruction.
  • To get a better understanding of the concept of the Golden Rule, the teacher is advised to read the following four articles. Three of these are posted on the Scarboro Missions website and one is found in the Appendices section of this curriculum:
  • The teacher will need to obtain one or more copies of the large Scarboro Missions Golden Rule Poster (22 x 29 inches) for use in this unit. Instead of one large poster, the teacher may want to provide each student with a copy of the small poster (8 x 10 inches). This poster has tremendous teaching capacity, given its visual qualities, written content, and symbolic power. To view and order the poster, see:
    http://www.scarboromissions.ca/product/golden-rule-across-the-worlds-religions
  • In this curriculum unit, a number of learning strategies are utilized: teacher instruction, private reflection, journal reflection, group reflection, role-play, art, music, dance, story, collage and drama. At the beginning of the unit, the teacher may want to alert students to the use of these various strategies.
  • Throughout this unit, the students’ reflections will be recorded on chart paper. The teacher should retain these documents for use in subsequent lessons in the unit. “Chart paper” is a term used in North America to describe a large sheet of paper that is approximately 20 x 30 inches and is used in classrooms or educational environments.
  • The texts of the Golden Rule in 13 religions are available in seven languages on the Scarboro Missions website. These languages are English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German and Hebrew. To view these texts, see:
    http://www.scarboromissions.ca/golden-rule/thirteen-sacred-texts-multi-lingual-versions
    What this means, for example, is that if the teacher is fluent in English and Portuguese, he/she could use these lesson plans with a Portuguese-speaking class. There is no Portuguese-language Golden Rule poster available at this time but still the teacher could use the English-language poster, because in this unit the poster is used mostly for its symbolic and visual content and not for its written content. Also, the teacher may choose to assign the students to design a Portuguese-language poster.
  • A Spanish-language Golden Rule poster is available (22 x 29 inches). To order, see:
    http://www.scarboromissions.ca/product/golden-rule-across-the-worlds-religions
  • The teacher should be aware that there are more than 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. In fact, researchers have discovered hundreds of Golden Rules – from ancient and modern sources, as well as from religious and non-religious sources. The reason for using only 13 here is because this unit utilizes the Scarboro Missions Golden Rule Poster which features 13 expressions. The teacher may want to expose students to additional versions of the Golden Rule from other sources, including secular or non-religious sources. Additional versions of the Golden Rule can be found by an Internet search under the category of “Golden Rule”. There are many websites that contain long lists of Golden Rules.
  • The teacher should be aware that it will take a good deal of time to complete all the components of all the lessons in this unit.
  • These lesson plans touch on a number of disciplines taught in schools: drama, philosophy, character education, civics, culture, art, ethics, world religions, peer group cooperation, and problem-solving.
  • This unit is ideal as a resource for anti-bullying and character education programs in schools and in the community.
  • This unit is not meant to be a world religions curriculum but parts of the unit can be used in a world religions course. In fact, the Golden Rule concept and the Golden Rule Poster are used in many world religions programs. For those teachers who would like to supplement this unit with introductory material about the world’s religions, there are lots of resources available – print, audio-visual and interactive – from a number of sources including the Internet. Short statements on the Golden Rule from the perspective of a number of faith traditions are available on the Scarboro Missions website. See:
    http://www.scarboromissions.ca/golden-rule/golden-rule-interfaith-commentaries

 

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