Amish Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What are the fundamental principles that guide Amish communities? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to outline key facts about the Amish. An activity challenges students to compare their daily activities with those of the Amish.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize the history of the Amish
  • explain the belief system of the Amish
  • describe the characteristics of Amish life


45 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


  • Assorted photographs of Amish people
  • Paper copies of the text lesson Amish: Culture, History & Religion
  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated text lesson
  • Photocopied blank daily schedules, broken out into hourly segments


  • Begin by displaying the photographs for the class.
    • Do you notice anything unique about the people in the photographs?
    • Have any of you seen people who look similar to those featured in the photographs?
  • Pass out the paper copies of the text lesson to the class.
  • Tell the class to read the introduction and 'The History of the Amish' section of the text lesson.
    • Did anyone guess that the people in the photographs are Amish?
    • What is shunning?
    • What types of things might cause someone to be shunned?
  • Tell the class to read the 'Rejection of Self-Expression' section of the text lesson.
    • Take a look at what you are wearing. Which items would be against the Amish rejection of self-expression? Why?
    • What would life be like without music or personal photographs of loved ones?
    • Can you think of any other religions that practice self-denial?
  • Have the class read the 'Religion' section of the text lesson.
    • Why do the Amish only baptize adults?
    • Why are young people in Amish communities allowed to engage in rumpsringa?
  • Instruct the class to read 'The Amish and Technology' section of the text lesson.
    • How different would your life be without electricity, automobiles, television, telephones, and computers?
    • Why are these things prohibited in Amish communities?
  • Ask the class to read the rest of the text lesson.
    • What role does the Ordnung play in Amish life?
    • What are the key elements of Amish life?
  • Pass out the worksheet to the class.
  • Instruct each student to complete the worksheet using what they learned in the text lesson about the Amish.
  • When all students have responded to each question on the worksheet, give them a chance to ask any questions they may have.
  • Review each question and answer with the class as students self-check their work.

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