World Religions Framework

As we explore the world’s five major religions (Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam), the themes and lessons are developed within the following framework. Not all elements will be covered each year; the beauty of a curriculum that occurs each day throughout the school year is that themes and concepts are able to be revisited. As students get older, they are also able to explore these topics in greater depth and with increased maturity.

Elements Insights and Descriptions
Main pillars
  • Relationship to STS core virtues
  • Overview of main tenets of beliefs of the religion
  • Place in history
Religious Calendar
  • Major celebrations and holidays​​​​​​
  • New year, goal setting, reflection
  • Journey of renewal (asking for and giving forgiveness, penitence, letting go, goal setting, call to transformation and change of heart)
  • Life cycle - connect to nature; life and death

Commonalities and contrasts

  • Practices, creation stories, common ancestors (e.g. Abraham as an example that connects Islam, Judaism, and Christianity)
  • General countries and regions of religions; numbers of believers
  • Pilgrimage and personal/spiritual journey; seeking inner peace and understanding
  • Places of worship and sacred spaces (church, synagogue, mosque, temple); structures and symbolism
  • The divine, God, monotheism, relationship to universe, our spirit
Meaning and rituals grounded in
light, music, and food
  • Music as a path to being present and in celebration
  • Use of light (and relationship to religious calendar)
  • Food (gathering, gratitude, hospitality, fasting) 

Prayer, mindfulness, and meditation


  • How the believer comes to understand the religious practices and beliefs
  • Presence - remaining focused on the present (vs future and past)
  • Mindfulness and rituals as religious and non-secular ways of speaking to prayer and being present
  • Purpose of prayer across religions
  • Purpose and reason for spending time with rituals and routines (centered, grounded, less anxious)