Lesson Ideas for Teachers

Making multicultural Australia

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KLA/Subject: Science and Technology

Stage: Stage 3

Places of Worship


Science and Technology
  • BE 3.1 Creates and evaluates built environments, demonstrating consideration of sustainability and aesthetic, cultural, safety and functional issues


This lesson uses images from Making Multicultural Australia as stimulus to familiarise students with the built environment, specifically the cultural and functional uses of houses of worship. This lesson idea can be used over two or more lessons.

Material to Download

Archival Images: The Nan Tien Temple

Archival Images: St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Sydney

Archival Images: The Sri Vankateswara Hindu Temple under construction

Archival Images: The Martin Luther King Kirche (German Lutheran)

Archival Images: Inside of the Auburn Mosque

Archival Images: Inside of the Great Synagogue

Suggested Activities

Class Discussion
Lead a class discussion on places of worship. The following questions can serve as a guide:

  • What is a place of worship?
  • What places of worship are the students familiar with?
  • Have students been inside any place of worship?
  • Are students familiar with any features of buildings that are used as places of worship?
  • What religious buildings are in your local area?
  • Download archival images from the 'Materials to Download' section and show images to the class as a stimulus. Ask students to match images to a religion and consider how the buildings in their local area compare with those shown?

Ask students to find pictures of houses of worship in countries other than Australia. These can be sourced from the internet, photographs, magazines, newspapers, etc.

Ask students to display the pictures of the houses of worship that they have found. Show again the archival images from the 'Materials to Download' section.

Lead a class discussion:

  • Does the particular house of worship look the same in each country?
  • Can you give reason/s why this may/may not be so?
  • Why is the appearance of each the way it is?
  • Does the natural environment influence the design and construction of the building?

Houses of worship are used for similar reasons in all countries. The external and internal appearance may change in different countries and at different times. There are features that are common for a house of worship of a particular religion, regardless of the location or age of the building.

Preparation Checklist

You will need to organise student access to computers terminals to view stimulus materials. Alternatively, hard copies may be downloaded and copied.


Ask students to research floor plans of different houses of worship using the internet. Examples of floor plans can be found on the internet, such as in websites listed in 'Related Resources'.

Students should be asked to consider:

  • How floorplans similar?
  • How they differ?
  • Why has each been built with the specific floor plan?

This lesson can be supplemented with an excursion to places of worship in the local or nearby community.

Related Resources

Buddhist Temple

Hindu Temple




Lesson Notes

Teachers need to be:

  • sensitive to the religious/spiritual beliefs and non-beliefs of the students
  • aware of variations within a single religion or denomination
  • aware of the sensitivities in the local community
  • familiar with the houses of worship in the immediate area.
  • Date Added:

    11 December 2004

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