Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Activity 3: What Do You Know?

Activity time: 25 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Copy the handout for all participants.
  • Read the answers so you will be prepared to lead the activity.
  • Devise a way, such as voting by a show of hands, for youth to rank the religions they are interested in. Decide how you will use the group's input to set priorities for the program.
  • Plan how you will organize communication related to engagement experiences as the program goes forward. Identify roles individual youth can take. At the close of this activity, you may wish to collect networking leads from youth who are connected to other faith communities. A youth might volunteer to create a list of email addresses. You may be ready to assign planning roles.
  • Post blank newsprint.

Description of Activity

Youth take a religious literacy quiz and express opinions about which religions the group will explore.

Distribute Handout 1, Religious Literacy Quiz and pens/pencils. Ask participants to take the quiz individually. Give them ten minutes. After everyone has completed the quiz, either give the group the answers or ask for volunteers to answer questions.


  • Which questions were hardest?
  • Are there particular religions you do not know much about? [List these on newsprint.]
  • Which of these would you like to learn about in this program? [Mark on the newsprint list.]
  • Are there are any others? [List these, too.]

Tell participants that they will engage with some of the religions they learn about. Explain that engagement might include worshipping with adherents, meeting with a youth group, or interviewing religious professionals from another faith, or talking with members of our congregation who belong or have belonged to other faith traditions. Invite youth to suggest other ways to engage.

Direct the group's attention to the religions listed on newsprint. Which are participants most interested in engaging? Are any not yet on the list? Add these.

If you will not be able to engage as many communities as youth want, honestly tell them. Invite the youth to rank the religions they have named as priorities for the program and explain how you will use the group's input as you plan future workshops. Share with youth the opportunities and limitations you have already discovered for engagement.

Ask the youth if they or their families have connections to any faith communities with which the group wants to engage. Some may have relatives who are leaders in other faith communities, friends who have invited them to bar or bat mitzvahs, or neighbors who attend a local mosque. Some youth may have belonged or may currently belong to another faith community. Discuss how their experiences could inform the workshops. Consider inviting youth to co-facilitate workshops that explore religions they claim. Commit to ways you will follow up with youth and their families to pursue these leads.

Open additional opportunities for youth leadership. One or two youth could be in charge of notifying the whole group about engagement details. Someone might set up a Facebook page or maintain a contact list.

Communicate any logistical needs or information you already know for planned engagement experiences. For example, you may need to gather family contact information; you may have a tentative calendar to share with the group.