Exploring World Religions

Students build a deeper appreciation and respect for world religions in the aim of better understanding the differences and similarities among the religions and cultures of their classmates.



Unit 7

3rd Grade

This unit has been archived. To view our updated curriculum, visit our 3rd Grade English Language Arts course.

Unit Summary

In this unit, students build a deeper understanding, appreciation, and respect for the wide variety of religions found in the world by reading two core texts: What Is Religion? and One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship. In today’s society, illiteracy regarding religion is widespread and fuels prejudice and bullying. The negative impacts of religious illiteracy and intolerance can be minimized by teaching religion from a non-devotional, academic perspective. Therefore, this unit challenges students to build a broader awareness and understanding of religion by exposing students to a diversity of religious views and educating students about some of the most common religions. It is important to note that this unit is not intended to promote the acceptance of one particular religion or serve as a place to practice religion. Instead, it is our goal that this unit will help students better understand the differences and similarities among the religions and cultures of their classmates, and begin to appreciate and respect differences in religion. 

This unit challenges students to synthesize information across two texts to build a deeper understanding of a topic. Students will analyze how authors support points, what structures they include to emphasize key ideas, and how different texts provide different perspectives and information about similar topics. Students will also review how to determine the main idea of a text, determining which details best support the main idea.  

When discussing the text, students focus on critiquing and analyzing the reasoning of others, using what they learned from previous units on how to clarify and share their thoughts and how to engage with the thinking of others to push the discussion to a deeper level. In this unit, students also have multiple opportunities to write informational paragraphs, using what they learned from previous units about topic sentences, supporting details, and elaboration. 

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Supporting Materials


These assessments accompany this unit to help gauge student understanding of key unit content and skills.

Unit Prep

Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

Before you teach this unit, unpack the texts, themes, and core standards through our guided intellectual preparation process. Each Unit Launch includes a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning to ensure you're prepared to support every student.

Essential Questions

  • What is religion? Why is it important to learn about other religions? 
  • What are the key beliefs of the major world religions? 

Reading Focus Areas

  • To determine the main idea of a text, readers think about which details best support the main idea.

  • Authors use different text structures to help readers understand and describe ideas or concepts.

Writing Focus Areas

Informational Writing

  • Conduct short research projects to build knowledge.

  • Introduce a topic and group related information together.

  • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.

  • Write a concluding sentence.

  • Include text features and visual support to aid comprehension.

Speaking and Listening Focus Areas

  • Question and clarify. Seek to clarify a particular point a student makes by asking follow-up questions.

  • Build on and challenge a partner's ideas.

  • Synthesize to build deeper meaning. Synthesize everything from the discussion into a coherent statement at the end of the discussion.



baptism covenant crucified descendant detachment denomination enduring enlightenment endures fast forbid karma meditate monk observe pilgrimage plagues prophet presence revelation resurrection represent resurrected religion ritual sacred surrender synagogue sympathy venture worship


-ant -ism -ment de- en- re-

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 7, view our 3rd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Notes for Teachers

Lesson Map

Common Core Standards

Core Standards


Supporting Standards


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