To provide an opportunity for students to explore the concept of "creation stories" as a part of religions and sacred traditions. Why do sacred texts often include a creation story? Why do we have so many creation myths passed down by different peoples from different ancient cultures all around the world? Why is there and has there always been a basic human need to answer the question, "Where do we come from?" The purpose of this lesson is not whether or not the stories are true. The purpose is exploring what seems to be a basic, common aspect of human nature – the need to know who you are and where you came from.
Creation stories and myths from various religions and spiritual traditions and cultures.
- Excellent source: In the Beginning: Creation Stories from Around the World told by Virginia Hamilton.
- Day One and Two: Have students read or read out loud to students at least 3 different creation stories from three different religions, ancient cultures and/or spiritual traditions.
- Homework for Day One: Assign one more story as a reading assignment.
- Day Three: Once students have several stories in mind, talk about what makes a creation story a creation story. Talk about what questions the stories are helping people explore. Talk about similarities and differences.
- Day Four: Homework (needs more than one night of work-maybe assign after Day Two):
Let students create their own "creation story." Have them include elements that these stories seem to have in common but give them freedom to interpret the assignment their own way. Have students create at least one illustration for the story.
The student's creation stories serve as the major assessment for this lesson.
- Optional: Have students read their stories aloud to each other and/or create a book (or e-zine) of original creation stories with illustrations done by the students.