Goals: 1. reinforce learning by having students talk about their answers; 2. encourage active learning by having students answer the questions on their own and by discussing their responses with their peers and with the class; 3. encourage visual learning by using the website
1. List 2-3 facts or descriptions about a Japanese religion (e.g., Shinto, Buddhism, Christianity, New Religions, or folk religions) based on the website. Be specific in your description, and if what you read differs from other readings you’ve been assigned on Japanese religions, write that down.
2. Chose one of the facts or descriptions above and explain how that is similar to or different from religions you are more familiar with. List at least one similarity and one difference.
3. Read a few of the shrine and temple pages. Based on what you read and see, what are some of the main differences between Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, in general?
4. Choose one of the festival links and list 2-3 interesting observations from the descriptions and by looking at the pictures/videos. Also, explain why you find that observation “interesting”.
5. Read about and watch the two “Household rituals” clips (under “Religions” heading). List some of your initial impressions of the rituals. Also, explain how they compare with rituals you are more familiar with?
6. Putting it altogether: How would you describe to your instructor or to a friend what it means to be “religious” for most Japanese today? Where should you look to find academic sources to learn even more? (Hint: See “Info”—“References”)
Class time: 20-30 minutes
[Hint: If you assign the homework or discussion as a grade (e.g., Participation) you are more likely to generate good discussions.]
1. Have the students bring their homework to class. Tell them in advance that their participation/completion of the assignment is being graded.
2. In class, have the students get into groups of 2-3
3. Once they are groups, for 5-8 minutes have them share at least 3 of their responses to the homework questions
[4. Optional: After 5-8 minutes, have them group up with 2-3 different students and repeat 2-3]
5. After small group discussions, for about 3-5 minutes ask students to share responses with the entire class (tell them they can give their own responses or that of a classmates—to remain anonymous)
6. Next, ask the students to look at number 6 again and answer it again based on their discussions with their classmates (in their notes or on their homework assignment). If they had a reading assignment or you lectured over Japanese religiousness, tell them to take those into consideration as well. Give them 3-5 minutes to think and write.
7. Depending on time, have them get back into a group and ask them to discuss their new responses and how they may have changed, OR ask for a few volunteers to give their responses.