Lesson Plan: For Teachers: The Pope and His Peers
Students will research and prepare a presentation about the leader of one of the world's major religions. This activity is suitable for all grades. Be sure that students choose their sources carefully, and that they are respectful of the information they gather.
Have each group choose a current
religious leader (including Pope John Paul II) whom they would like to
investigate. (You may want to approve these choices before work begins.) Once
each group has chosen a leader they should do research to prepare a
presentation that includes the following elements:
Biography of the leader
Information about his/her religion and its central beliefs
An outline of his/her beliefs
How this person has impacted their society and the world
Students will work in groups. They may wish to assign roles within the group, or to assign specific research areas to different group members. Students' research focus should be web-based, but students may use other sources as well. Students should be sure to cite all sources used. Students can use any format they wish for their presentation, but all group members must take part in the preparation of the final product.
Have students present their findings
to the class. As groups present, other students can keep a list of the basic
tenets of each religion. After each presentation, encourage questions from the
When all presentations are complete, students can compare and contrast the information they have gathered about each religion. You may wish to extend the class discussion to compare and contrast the impact on society of each person researched.