Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Buddhism and it’s Impact on East Asian Culture

Buddhism and it’s Impact on East Asian Culture

Standard – 8.1.W.A
Evaluate patterns of continuity and change over time, applying context of events.

Standard – 8.4.W.A
Evaluate the role groups and individuals played in the social, political, cultural, and economic development throughout world history.

Standard – 8.4.W.B
Evaluate the importance of historical documents, artifacts, and sites which are critical to world history.

1. Students will be able to describe the impact of Buddhism on Japan’s culture.

2. Students will be able to explain why Buddhism was able to spread so profoundly throughout East Asia.

Do now (5-10 mins)- Open up the class with a guided meditation; numerous videos can be found on youtube. It is recommended that you watch/listen to the meditation beforehand to ensure it will fit your specific class. (Note: I did not include a guided meditation video as they sometimes taken down by youtube/the creator) After the meditation have students briefly share their thoughts on the quote on the Do Now slide.

Direct Instruction: Use the attached powerpoint for whole group instruction.

1. The first four slides, after the title slide, are Buddhist sayings. Have students jot down their thoughts on these sayings. Are they true? Are they wrong? Did something stick out?

2. Have students take notes on the origins of Buddhism. While this isn’t directly related to East Asia, it is important that students know the origins of Buddhism if they are to understand its’ impact on the world.

3. Review any questions students have.

Guided/Individual Practice: Use the whiteplainspublicschool DBQ for guided/individual practice.

1.Have students complete the questions for documents 7, 8, & 9 of the DBQ.

2. If time allows, go over students answers. If pressed for time, collect the DBQ answers and review with the students the following class.

3. Have students begin the writing process for the essay on Page. 11 of the DBQ. Instead of having students write about two different religions, have them focus on Buddhism. Be sure they are focusing on how the religion spread and how it may have influenced the economic/political life of those living in East Asia. Students should draw information from their notes, the documents from the DBQ, and prior knowledge. This essay should be in the 5 paragraph format

Homework: Have students complete their essay on the spread/influence of Buddhism. (Note: I recommend giving at least 2-3 days to complete this assignment).

1. Students who are reading/writing below grade level can focus on completing 1 or 2 of the DBQ questions rather than all 3.

2. Students who are reading/writing below grade level can write a 3 paragraph essay rather than a 5 paragraph essay.

3. Students who are reading/writing above grade level can complete 1-2 documents on another religion within the DBQ set of their choice.

4. Students who are reading/writing above grade level can include a compare contrast portion about another religion in their essay.

Students can be made to complete a personal mission statement. I recommend the 5 paragraph format, however, teachers can modify this as needed. Directions for the mission statement are on the final slide of the powerpoint. (Note: This is a rather personal assignment, so I strongly recommend that this assignment is not shared with other students).



  • Cody Neamand
  • Benjamin Franklin High School
Related History Institute
Grade Level
  • High School: 9, 10
Time Frame
  • 45-50 mins

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