Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.
By the end of this lesson plan, students will be able to:
- Identify and describe elements of Buddhism such as: the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the Middle Way, karma, and enlightenment
- Apply the Noble Eightfold Path in their own lives
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating a command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grades 11-12 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
- The Four Noble Truths
- The Middle Way
- The Noble Eightfold Path
- View:: to recognize that the Four Noble Truths exist
- Intentions: commit to becoming a better person slowly over time
- Speech: speak the truth
- Action: do no harm
- Livelihood: choose a job that doesn't harm others
- Effort: focus on self-improvement
- Mindfulness: strive to see things clearly
- Concentration: strive to achieve enlightenment
- Copies of the transcript of Buddha: Life & Moral Teachings and the printable worksheet for each student.
- Paper and pencils
- Distribute transcripts for the lesson to students.
- Watch the video for the lesson Buddha: Life & Moral Teachings as a class to introduce the activity.
- Pause after each section of the lesson to discuss and answer questions.
- After the sections called 'Early Life of the Buddha' and 'Enlightenment', ask the class for a show of hands of who among them:
- was ever a prince living in a palace?
- has wandered the countryside with traveling monks?
- lived under a tree without eating for weeks on end?
- No one? They are already sort of living in the middle way by not living in these extremes.
- After the section called 'Teachings' , ask the class for a show of hands of who among them:
- has ever had anything bad happen to them?
- has ever wanted something they couldn't have?
- has ever wished for a guide through life?
- After the video and discussion, distribute the lesson's printable worksheet to assess understanding.
- Students will answer questions about how they embody the Noble Eightfold Path in their own lives.
- The Noble Eightfold Path tells you the Way to the End of Suffering, to live the right life, and work toward reaching enlightenment.
- Right View: to recognize that the Four Noble Truths exist
- Right Intentions: commit to becoming a better person slowly over time
- Right Speech: speak the truth
- Right Action: do no harm
- Right Livelihood: choose a job that doesn't harm others
- Right Effort: focus on self-improvement
- Right Mindfulness: strive to see things clearly
- Right Concentration: strive to achieve enlightenment
- For each of these steps on the path toward enlightenment, students will think of an example from their own life that relates to that step somehow.
- If students do not have any examples from their own life for these, they can state how they could incorporate that step or a reasoning why they do not.
- For example, a student might not want to say they have the Right View if they are unwilling to accept The Four Noble Truths. Perhaps they feel suffering is a result of something other than unfulfilled desires.
- Students should write a couple sentences about each of the eight guides for living in the Noble Eightfold Path, from the perspective of their life today, or how they hope to be.
- Students may not have a job yet, but they can choose to make a commitment to work in ethical fields when they do choose a career.
- When students complete their writing, they can choose one or two to share and discuss as a class.
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