Religious Faith — a Talking Points lesson plan for English reading and speaking

Introduction

Introduction

What is religious faith?

Do you have a religion that you follow?

How did you come to believe in this religion?

Reading — My God

Read Michelle’s account below…

 

I wasn’t born into any religious faith. When I was a kid, we didn’t go to church or Sunday School.

We had religious studies at school, but none of the kids took it seriously.

I had never read The Bible.

But a few years ago, I started to have these thoughts about God. I have no idea where they came from, but I just started to think that there must be a God who looks over all of us and protects us.

I found a book about God — not The Bible — and I read it.

Once I finished the book, I was pretty sure that I had some faith in God. That I believed in him.

Then I went to church.

I had been to church before. But it was years ago when I was a kid. Like I said, we were not regular churchgoers. But there were times when my mum would drag us down to the local church.

We would go at Christmas, for Midnight Mass. Or at Easter.

I think my mum was trying to introduce it to us. But she wasn’t really a believer herself.

But I went to church on my own after reading the book.

I walked in and I felt kind of nervous. I didn’t know where to sit or who to talk to. I didn’t know what to do and when people sang; I didn’t know the words to the songs.

I saw this one man; he seemed to know everyone. He wasn’t the father. Just a normal guy.

And he noticed me on my own.

He introduced himself to me.

His name was Ray, and he was heavily involved in the church. He seemed to know everyone.

I felt shy talking to him at first because I was unsure of how I felt about believing in God and coming to church. But he was very kind and understanding.

He asked me if I wanted to talk after the service, and I agreed. He then introduced the different meetings the church had and gave me the names of other people I could talk to.

I left the church that day, and I had this strange feeling. Like I had found my people.

I felt like I was in the right place.

I got home and told my mum. She was very happy for me. My dad too.

My brother — he is at university — and he kind of laughed and said that all religion is nonsense. But I had a very strong feeling in my mind that I had made the right decision to join the church.

I went to church the following Sunday. I saw Ray, and he was very happy to see me again.

And very soon I met other people the same age as me. We meet and talk together regularly now.

I have told some of my friends at school about my finding God. Some people think it’s cool. Some others laugh and make jokes about it.

But I just do what I feel is the right thing for myself.

I am glad that God is part of my life now.

Reading Comprehension Questions

Reading Comprehension Questions

What was Michelle’s religious background when she was a child?

Why did Michelle start thinking about the existence of God a few years ago?

What did Michelle read that made her believe in God?

What was Michelle’s experience like when she first went to church after reading the book?

How did Michelle feel when she walked into the church for the first time on her own?

Who was the person in the church that Michelle noticed and later introduced himself to her?

What was the name of the man Michelle met at church, and what was his role in the church?

How did Ray help Michelle feel more comfortable at the church?

Why did Michelle agree to talk to Ray after the church service?

What did Ray share with Michelle about the different meetings the church had?

How did Michelle feel after leaving the church on that first day?

What was Michelle’s family’s reaction when she told them about her experience at church?

What was Michelle’s brother’s opinion about religion?

How did Michelle describe the feeling she had when she left the church for the first time?

What did Michelle do the following Sunday after her first visit to the church?

How did Ray react when he saw Michelle again the next Sunday?

Who did Michelle meet at the church, and what do they do regularly now?

How did Michelle’s friends at school react when she shared about finding God?

How does Michelle respond to those who make jokes about her faith?

According to Michelle, why does she continue to follow her newfound belief in God?

Essential Vocabulary

Essential Vocabulary

religious faith

where to sit

religion

Sunday School

seemed

nonsense

took it seriously

normal guy

strong feeling

religious studies

noticed

decision

thoughts

introduced

following Sunday

protects

involved

very happy to see me

faith

shy

very soon

believed

unsure

age

church

understanding

talk together

regular churchgoers

service

regularly

Christmas

meetings

cool

Midnight Mass

people I could talk to

jokes

Easter

strange feeling

right thing

introduce

found

account

believer

right place

heavily involved

on my own

got home

 

nervous

happy for me

 

 

Exercise

 

Write down all the words and phrases in your vocabulary notebook. Look in your dictionary and find the meaning of each word. Write the definition next to each word.

Then make up your own sentences using each word or phrase.

 

For example:

 

ReligionA set of beliefs and practices about the existence and nature of a higher power, often involving rituals and a group of people who share these beliefs.

 

NonsenseSomething that doesn’t make sense or has no clear meaning; foolish or silly words, ideas, or actions.

 

Then write a sentence of your own that uses the new word or phrase correctly.

 

People often find comfort and guidance in their chosen religion.

 

Bob’s excuse for being late was pure nonsense, and no one believed it.

 

Do this with all the vocabulary and, over time, this will help improve all your English skills — reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Discussion Questions

Have you ever had thoughts about the existence of God, like Michelle did?

How did these thoughts begin?

How do you feel now about the existence of God?

If you were to visit a place of religious worship for the first time, how do you think you would feel?

What might make you feel nervous?

Or excited?

What questions would come to your mind?

In Michelle’s case, reading a book about God influenced her belief. Have you ever read a book or encountered something that made you reconsider your beliefs?

In the story, Ray played a key role in Michelle’s church experience. Can you recall a person who made a significant impact on your life? How did they do so?

Michelle felt like she had found her people at the church. Where do you feel the most connected or at home? Is it a place, a group, or something else?

Have you found ‘your people’? Where did you meet them? What do you have in common?

Share an experience where you felt unsure about a decision but, like Michelle, had a strong feeling that it was the right choice.

How do you think Michelle’s perspective on religion might have been influenced by her family’s attitude when she was a child?

If you were to introduce someone to your beliefs or interests, as Michelle’s mother did with church, how would you go about it?

Do you think you should introduce your religion to other people? Why/why not?

Discuss the role of community in shaping individual beliefs. How has your community influenced your views or decisions?

Michelle faced different reactions when she shared her faith with friends. How would you respond if someone close to you had a significant change in their beliefs?

Consider Michelle’s brother’s reaction. How do people in your life usually respond when you express personal beliefs or experiences?

Reflect on the idea of doing what feels right for oneself. Can you think of a time when you followed your instincts, even if others had different opinions?

Share a story about a time when you went to a place or joined a group where you felt a strong sense of belonging.

Discuss the importance of open-mindedness when it comes to exploring and understanding different beliefs, as portrayed in Michelle’s story.

How does religious faith influence a person’s sense of purpose and meaning in life?

Has religion had this effect on you?

In what ways does religious faith shape one’s moral and ethical values?

Give some examples.

Can people from different religious backgrounds find common ground in their beliefs, and if so, how?

How does religious faith impact the way individuals cope with challenges, grief, and uncertainty?

Is it possible for someone to have a strong moral compass without adhering to any specific religious faith?

How has the role of religious faith evolved in the modern era, and what challenges does it face in today’s society?

Can religious faith be a source of both unity and division within communities and societies?

If so, how?

How do religious beliefs influence perspectives on social justice issues, such as equality, poverty, and human rights?

Give some examples if you can.

Is it essential for individuals to share the same religious faith for a successful and fulfilling relationship, whether it be a family, a romantic or a friendship relationship?

What if people have different religious faiths? Can they have a good relationship?

How do different religious traditions approach the concept of tolerance and acceptance towards those with different beliefs?

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Religious Faith

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