Teaching 4th year Religion can be a challenge for many teachers but it can also be an exciting chance to develop new unique and original teaching ideas. During 3rd year teaching practice I was given the task to teach religious education to 4th years. I decided to think outside the box and chose to teach about the Amish community.
Right from the very first lesson the class were immediately engaged and interested. It can be an extremely educational topic for both you as the teacher and the students. As a subject the Amish community allow you as a religious educator to develop ideas of material and essential goods, things teenagers take for granted in their every day lives and things they might like to change about their lives. It allows them to question the role of religion in their lives…should religion play a bigger part in their daily lives like it does in the Amish community or can the Amish community learn things about our way of life. You can look into the impact we have on the environment versus what impact the Amish community have n the environment. The list is endless.
The students also really engaged with the series called Living with the Amish on Channel 4. Here is a link: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/living-with-the-amish/4od
The program is about the Amish community opening their doors to six teenagers who live outside the Amish lifestyle. It focuses on the main features of the Amish way of life and what the six teenagers can learn about themselves and about their own way of life after living with the Amish community.
I asked the students to pick a teenager from this television program that they identify most with and write about why. This was a very interesting task.
Here are a few useful websites: