Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Humanism for Schools - Toolkit 1 - What makes us Special? (ages 5-7)

The new BHA Humanism for Schools website has teachers resources for 5-14 year olds.

Humanism is a non-religious approach to life, which the Government and QCA recommend be studied in schools as an example of a secular philosophy. In practice, this most often happens in RE lessons where pupils are also learning about some religious approaches to life.

Six Toolkits are provided for Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 . Each toolkit has a teaching guide (introduction), lesson notes, worksheets and class presentation.

Toolkit 1: What makes us Special? (ages 5-7)

For humanists, one of the most important attributes of humans is the ability which we have to ask questions about the world around us and investigate those questions.

Humanists do not look to any god or sacred texts for guidance in life, but look rather to our own human ability to ask questions, explore the world, reflect on our own experience, and find answers.

Humanists say that our curiosity, and the intelligence, imagination, creativity, and empathy with which we seek answers to our questions, demands responsibility: we can change the world we live in and we are responsible for our own actions.

Learning Objectives
Pupils are able to give their own answers to the following questions:

  • What makes us special?
  • How have our questions changed the world?
  • Is it always a good idea to think about lots of questions?

Pupils are able to compare their answers with those of humanists and other people.
Pupils are able to explain why humanists say that thinking about questions is special.

Summary of Activities

Pupils explore the humanist 'happy human' logo and watch video clips of humanists talking about their ideas, in order to find out about the humanist idea that being able to think about questions makes people special because it means we can change our world and think for ourselves.

Curriculum Links
Religious Education, in particular the themes of 'believing', 'symbols' and 'myself'
Art and Design, sections 1a, 2 and 3
Citizenship, sections 1a, 1b, 1d, 1e, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2e, 2g, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5c, 5f, 5g
English, opportunities for speaking, listening, group discussion and interaction, and drama
ICT, 2a, 2b, 2d, 3a, 3b
Science, 2a, 2b, 2f, 2g

Lesson Guide

Class Presentation (see bottom of this page)


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