Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Religions of the World

Shirley Godbold
Walton County Schools


Students begin a study of the part that religion plays in culture, by discovering how many different religions there are in the world and where they are predominantly located. This will involve reading, as well as map work.


The student knows map legends, coordinates, key symbols, and cardinal and intermediate directions to read simple maps.


-World Geography textbook
-Colored pencils
-Blank student map
-Computer with Internet access


Gather together:
-A blank world map for each student
-Colored sharpened colored pencils so that each student may have different colors
-Prepare a table with encyclopedias or atlas.
-Provided each student with a list of the world religions and their locations. (Suggestions: Christianity - Roman Catholic and Protestant, Eastern Chruches, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam/Muslin - Sunnite and Shiite. If the students find others, credit should be given.)


1. Review maps with students. Include how to make and read a map key or legend, a compass rose, and the color coding on a map. Tell students they are going to create maps that will pinpoint the different religions of the world and where they are predominantly located. (You may need to define the word religion for the students and explain that there are many different ones.)

2. - Have students search in encyclopedias, to develop a list of the world religions and where they are predominantly located. Have each student look for 1 religion and its location. A suggested list is in the teacher preparation section to save time or if students aren't competent in using encyclopedias. As a class, have the students share their information so that all students have the locations of all the religions.

3 - Model how to choose a symbol to represent a religion, and how to locate it correctly on the map. Remind students about the country/continent names, and how to locate them on a map. Also, model how to begin a legend using the same symbol. Have students to individually choose symbols for each of the religion locations they found. Have them put the symbol and corresponding religion name in their keys. Circulate and make sure they are doing it correctly. Remind them to draw simple shapes to use as figures in the key since they will have to duplicate them on the map. Have students to choose one other religion to locate on their maps.(Each student will have two symbols for religions in the key and on their maps.)

4 - As a class, decide what color the oceans should be and what color the land should be. Model how to draw a square of the color and label it 'ocean' or 'land.' Have students add this to their keys. Also model how to draw the compass rose for directional purposes. Allow students to draw one on their maps and then color the maps correctly. Again, walk around and assist students.

5. As a class discussion, ask students why it is important to have a key for a map. Direct the discussion so that students understand the importance. Also ask students if they were aware of so many different religions in the world.


Students' maps should be assessed to see if they created a key, located the symbol on the map appropriately, color coded the map correctly, and added a compass rose.


Students could be challenged by an added assignment such as a further study of a major holiday of one of the world religions.

Web Links

Web supplement for Religions of the World

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