Remember the Ground Rules
As educators in the 3Rs Ambassadors program, we agree that our approach to religion is academic, not devotional; we strive for student awareness of religions, but we do not press for student acceptance of any religion; we sponsor the academic study about religion, not the practice of religion; we expose students to a diversity of religious views, but do not impose any particular view; we educate about all religions, we do not promote or denigrate any religion; and we inform students about religious beliefs and practices, but do not seek to conform students to any particular belief or practice. Doing so will cultivate in our students two civic competencies: religious literacy and legal literacy.
Lesson 1. Countering Bullying
What is religious-based bullying? What are the forms of bullying: physical, verbal, social, and cyber? What remedies? Introduce the “3Rs of Religious Liberty” to show how can the 3Rs can empower students to prevent religious-based bullying.
Lesson 2. Introduce the Religions
What are the building blocks of becoming religiously literate? First, we need to build our vocabulary. In this exercise, students will (1) refresh their memory about the meaning of the 3Rs of Religious Liberty; and (2) introduce the names and symbols of religions.
Lesson 3. Meet the People
In continuing to build students’ vocabulary, students will refresh their memory of the 3Rs and organize the visuals of the religions and symbols presented in Lesson 2. Then they will add the names of the people who identify with those religions. Then they will explore the visible and invisible ways people express their religious and non-religious identities. This lesson teaches students about internal diversity within religions.
Lesson 4. Explore the Places
In building upon the previous lessons, students explore images of religious places. Every picture shows a religious place located in the United States, visually teaching students about America’s religious diversity.
Lesson 5. Take the 3Rs Oath
In the final lesson, students synthesize what they have learned about the religions, symbols, people, and places. They take the 3Rs Oath in a closing ceremony, inspiring students to promote rights, responsibilities, and respect. Students receive the 3Rs Ambassador Patch and practice telling others about what the Patch means to them. A student might say to someone outside of this class, “I’m a 3Rs Ambassador, and no one should be bullied and no one should be bullied because of their religion.” Imagine students sharing what they learned with others, inspiring them to promote the 3Rs in their communities. Overall, this curriculum prepares the next generation to self-govern a nation of religious minorities.