World Religions & Nature – Middle Semester

    $157.07

    I really enjoyed learning more about different religions! I found all weeks to be equally interesting and meaningful because I was learning about different traditions. However, I enjoyed the week about Shintoism because I got to learn more about Japanese religion that I would had I not taken this class. I like how, even as the teacher, [Prof. Avalon is] still willing to learn with the students!
    ~Student A.N.

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    Religious images from around the world for World Religions & Nature course at Athena's Advanced Academy
    InstructorProf. Avalon Jade Theisen
    Content LevelsGrades 7-8 • Junior High
    Grades 9-10 • Lower High School
    Course Length8 Weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnMondays, 8:00 - 8:50 AM Pacific - Middle Semester - 3/20/23 - 5/20/23

    Do you love our planet? Do you enjoy learning about other cultures? Ever wondered how different beliefs translate to environmental action?

    Join us as we explore 8 different religions and their relationships with nature! Each week, we will focus on a different faith (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Daoism, Sikhism, Judaism) as we explore their nature-related beliefs and practices. Some of what we will look at will include specific environmentalist believers, conservation organizations, and ecological excerpts from sacred texts.

    Come learn how religion motivates environmentalism from a secular, cultural, interfaith perspective, as you grow as a global citizen and problem solver!

    Note to students: 

    Note to parents:

    • The structure of this course follows this plan: concept introduction, discussion of varying religious environmental practices, and research.
      • If you have questions about whether this course is right for your child, please contact the instructor, Avalon Jade Theisen.
      • Homework completion is expected. Expect 1 to 2 hours of homework per week, including notetaking and researching religious nature-related practices of your student’s choosing.

    A note from the instructor:

    “Do you love our planet? Do you enjoy learning about other cultures? Ever wondered how different beliefs translate to environmental action? Join us as we explore 8 different religions and their relationships with nature! Each week, we will focus on a different faith (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Daoism, Sikhism, Judaism) as we explore their nature-related beliefs and practices. Some of what we will look at will include specific environmentalist believers, conservation organizations, and ecological excerpts from sacred texts. Come learn how religion motivates environmentalism from a secular, cultural, interfaith perspective, as you grow as a global citizen and problem solver!”
    ~Prof. Avalon Jade Theisen

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • Homework completion is expected. Expect 2 hours of homework (per week) that includes reading, researching, and writing.
    • Reading and thinking assignments to lead to thoughtful introspection.
    • Thorough notetaking. Notebooks will be reviewed each week to ensure students are learning and paying attention.
    • Answer weekly questions that require research.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated supplementary resources, including documentaries and short videos, will be provided to aid deeper understanding and excite students.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts. Although recorded sessions will be available, students should be able to attend most of the webinars.
    • The previous week’s work is reviewed.
    • The current week’s case studies are analyzed.
    • Short quizzes are provided to measure comprehension.
    • Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) in online class discussions.

    What to Expect During the Semester:

    • Week 1: Christianity & Nature
    • Week 2: Islam & Nature
    • Week 3: Hinduism & Nature
    • Week 4: Buddhism & Nature
    • Week 5: Shinto & Nature
    • Week 6: Daoism & Nature
    • Week 7: Sikhism & Nature
    • Week 8: Judaism & Nature

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read non-fiction at a solid 7th-grade level or above.
    • Read complex information
    • Research and discuss issues clearly and with respect to others’ opinions.
    • Possess the skills needed to speak about different religions in a respectful manner.
    • Write 100+ words independently.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Although no particular religion is advocated, varying religions will still be a focus for discussions. Students must be willing to explore diverse perspectives, including those with which they may not agree.
    • Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
    • Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ projects.

    Required books & materials:

    • No textbook required.
    • Notebook in paper or electronic form. There will be notebook reviews each week to ensure students have been doing homework assignments, paying attention in webinars, and are generally learning from the class. If a student opts for a paper notebook, photos or scans of the notes will be suitable for review.