updated March 8, 2023
Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!
This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.
This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your eighth grade year. Enjoy!
Mission Statement - Consulting Services - Lending Library
for Class 8
Rationale & Resources
I will be using as my main resource a Montessori World Religions three-part card material made by PaperCuts (author Patricia D. Brown, published in 1995). It contains information on
Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism, Islam, and Sikhism and includes
R1 - terminology
R2 - followers
R3 - concepts
R4 - founders or leaders
R5 - sacred texts
R6 - places of worship
R7 - symbols
as well as teacher background information, timeline, maps, charts, calendars, readings, and glossary.
Please note that I didn't find any Waldorf reference to a World Religions block; however, 8th grade is a year
for U.S. History as well as World Geography & Economics, and to have an understanding of how these
parts and pieces fit together it is essential to know about the major world religions.
In addition, these students
are old enough for Philosophy, including discussions about God. I have also found that
age 13-14 is when students begin asking about other religions! And my eighth grader requested a particular emphasis on how each
religion cares for the deceased (which ties in nicely with the 8th grade Human Anatomy & Physiology study),
and so we are incorporating that interest as well.
Little Big Minds: Sharing Philosophy with Kids
by Marietta McCarty
From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
by Caitlin Doughty
I have chosen to teach this block in January 2023, when the second grade is studying Jataka Tales. Therefore, we will
begin with Buddhism.
Since this block is new to me, I will be keeping notes as we go along.
Pinterest - Renee Schwartz
My curated collection of visuals! Browse sample main lesson book pages, watercolor paintings, chalkboard drawings, etc. for
FREE eBooks at the Online Waldorf Library
Excellent resource! Published Waldorf curriculum books provided here in PDF format for you to download, keep, and read... for free!
Sample Lessons and Free Curriculum
Live Education curriculum samples:
We didn't do this but I think it would be GREAT to do an illustration for Holi that is all spatter painting (toothbrush or old
screen) in different brilliant colors!
Other Helpful Links
to the Hindu temple to celebrate Holi
9 Religions in Order by Age
4000 years old - Hinduism
Hinduism is the world's oldest religion, according to many scholars, with roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years. Today, with about 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam. Roughly 95 percent of the world's Hindus live in India.
Yoga, which is mentioned in ancient, sacred scriptures of Hinduism, originated thousands of years ago in what is now India.
3500 years old - Zoroastrianism
Sometimes called the official religion of ancient Persia, Zoroastrianism is one of the world's oldest surviving religions, with teachings older than Buddhism, older than Judaism, and far older than Christianity or Islam. Zoroastrianism is thought to have arisen "in the late second millennium BCE."
Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, is regarded as the spiritual founder of Zoroastrianism. He is said to have been an Iranian prophet who founded a religious movement that challenged the existing traditions of ancient Iranian religion, and inaugurated a movement that eventually became a staple religion in ancient Iran.
In Search of One of the World's Oldest Religions
3500 years old - Judaism
The origins of Judaism date back more than 3500 years. This religion is rooted in the ancient near eastern region of Canaan (which today constitutes Israel and the Palestinian territories). Judaism emerged from the beliefs and practices of the people known as 'Israel'.
2500 years old - Buddhism
Buddhism is one of the world's largest religions and originated 2,500 years ago in India. Buddhists believe that the human life is one of suffering, and that meditation, spiritual and physical labor, and good behavior are the ways to achieve enlightenment, or nirvana.
2000 years old - Christianity
Christianity is a major religion stemming from the life, teachings, and death of Jesus of Nazareth (the Christ) in the 1st century CE.
1881 years old - Taoism - 142 CE
Taoism as a religion began in the year 142 CE with the revelation of the Tao to Zhang Daoling or Chang Tao-ling by the personified god of the Tao, Taishang laojun (Lao Tzu), the Highest Venerable Lord. Zhang Daoling became the first Celestial Master and founder of the first organized Taoist school of thought.
Zen is a branch of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China, when Buddhists were introduced to Taoists.
1413 years old - Islam - 610 CE
Although its roots go back further, scholars typically date the creation of Islam to the 7th century, making it the youngest of the major world religions. Islam started in Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia, during the time of the prophet Muhammad's life. Today, the faith is spreading rapidly throughout the world.
554 years old - Sikhism - 1469 CE
The Sikh religion is one of the youngest world religions and was founded more than 500 years ago (1469) in Punjab, North India, by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, in response to a spiritual revelation. Nanak and his nine successors are known as 'gurus', which is a term for a spiritual guide or teacher.
62 years old - Unitarian Universalism - May 1961 CE
Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship
My Plan - List of Religions & Philosophy Connections
references and builds upon the Waldorf curriculum for grades 2 & 5
(Jataka Tales, Ancient India)
Ancient India & Ancient Persia
references and builds upon the Waldorf curriculum for grade 5
(Ancient India, Ancient Persia)
references and builds upon the Waldorf curriculum for grades 2, 3, 6 & 7
(Saints, Old Testament Stories, Middle Ages, Reformation)
Philosophy - Love - Little Big Minds by Marietta McCarty
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Islam & Sufism
Philosophy - God - Little Big Minds by Marietta McCarty
Our Actual Pacing
This week the 8th graders overlapped with the introduction to the Jataka Tales block for the 2nd graders. The two stories
I read them in the first week were The Monkey and the Crocodile retold by Paul Galdone
and The Brave Little Parrot retold by Rafe Martin.
everyone colored a mandala to add to the MLB
breathing exercises, meditation
read "Buddha, the Enlightened One" from Kovacs book, Ancient Mythologies (pp.75-87)
- The Gentle Prince Sidhartha
- Journeys Beyond the Palace Wall
- A Meeting with Death
- Sidhartha, the Homeless Beggar
- Enlightenment Under the Fig Tree
finish Buddhism, begin Hinduism
read The Hermit and the Well by Thich Nhat Hanh
watch documentary on life of Buddha (Genius of the Ancient World, season 1, ep.1), take notes, discuss key points, begin rough draft of Buddhism
read Thukpa for All by Praba Ram & Sheela Preuitt and look for signs of Tibetan Buddhism
finish rough draft of Buddhism, get an edit, add to MLB, review the Buddhism three part cards
concepts nomenclature - monotheism, polytheism, atheism
Hinduism can be seen as both a polytheistic and a monotheistic religion (even though the divinities appear in separate forms, they make up one all-powerful spirit, Brahman)
take Hinduism pretest (page 1 of PDF), discuss answers
The Magic Cooking Pot by Faith Towle (the goddess Durga)
read from Kovacs book, Ancient Mythologies (pp.7-12 and 17-27)
- King Sangara's Horse
- Indra, the Warrior God
- The Fishermen's Catch
make a list of deities on the chalkboard
Brahma / wet season
Vishnu / cool season
Shiva / hot season
Indra (son of Brahma)
Durga (wife of Shiva)
discuss key points, look at three part card for Om / Aum, begin rough draft of Hinduism
look at three part cards for Epic Poems (Ramayana, Mahabharata) and Lord Rama (seventh incarnation of Vishnu)
read Rama and the Demon King retold by Jessica Souhami (Ramayana)
read Ganesha's Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel & Emily Haynes (Mahabharata)
add Ganesha (son of Shiva and Durga) and Lakshmi (wife of Vishnu) to list on the board
finish rough draft of Hinduism
read Priya Dreams of Marigolds & Masala by Meenal Patel
assign children individual picture books to read, have them each share a bit about their story -- and how
they think it ties in with Hinduism -- at the end of the day
read article about Holi:
The Meaning Behind the Many Colors of India's Holi Festival
finish Hinduism, cover Zoroastrianism, begin Judaism
continue Abrahamic Religions
finish Abrahamic Religions, begin Taoism
assign additional independent projects
Islam booklist - AH
Sufism booklist - KLL
read A Sweet Meeting on Mimouna Night and Yitzi the Trusty Tractor for Judaism (discuss Shabbat)
read Laila's Lunchbox for Islam (discuss Ramadan)
finish Taoism & Zen, cover Sikhism
NOTE: We dd not study Jainism but next time I teach this block I will.
Resources for Jainism (including Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Mahavira: The Hero of Nonviolence
by Manoj Jain
look up the rules of Jainism, which are strict and somewhat unusual
Pinki's Palate blog
Jain Vegan Cooking & Lifestyle
My Gandhi Story
by Nina Sabnani
by Supriya Kelkar
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Doreen Rappaport
My Dream of Martin Luther King
by Faith Ringgold
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
by Phillip Hoose
March 2, 1955 (Montgomery AL)
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
by Andrea Davis Pinkney
February 1, 1960 (Greensboro NC)
Let the Children March
by Monica Clark-Robinson
1963 (Birmingham AL)
by Deborah Wiles
1964 (Civil Rights Act of 1964)
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968
by Alice Faye Duncan
1968 (Memphis TN)
Belle, The Last Mule at Gee's Bend: A Civil Rights Story
by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, TN
Blog posts from teaching this block in Jan/Feb 2023: