Japanese Religion (Shinto)

5th Grade History/Feudal Japan

Links to Files Associated with This Lesson

  1. Centers Products

  2. Pilgrimage Book Product

  3. Shinto Student Worksheet

  4. War Lords of Japan

  5. War Lords of Japan Account Sheet(EXCEL)

  6. Feudal Japan Origin Religions(PowerPoint)



The students will be able to :

1.  Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the geography and natural phenomena of Japan and the development of the Shinto religion through table and graph interpretation, activities, and projects.

2.  Access prior knowledge to understand the unpredictability of Japanese weather and geology in order to realize how important it was for the early people of Japan to try to find a way to control forces of nature.

3.  Use the knowledge gained from this lesson to perform satisfactorily on the Japanese Religion Quiz in order to help his/her group obtain moves, koku (wealth), and armies in the War Lords of Japan simulation.



1.  Students will use Excelís table and graphing features to show relationships between the natural phenomena of Japan and its earliest religion.

2.  Students will use a teacher created accounting sheet to enter assignment results to determine moves, koku (wealth), and armies in the War Lords of Japan simulation.

3.  Students will be able to instantly view their castle team standings on an Excel chart after completely entering data on the accounting sheets.  They can also view graphs that compare each castle teamís strengths and weaknesses.



Show Relationship (Japanese Weather and Geology to Early Religion)
Solve a Story Problem (Simulation Accounting Sheets)



Japanese Natural Disasters Database Source:  http://www.cred.be/emdat/profiles/countries/japan.htm

War Lords of Japan Simulation from Interact



Students will use the Japanese Natural Disasters Database and its correlating graph to answer a series of questions developing a relationship between the early Japanese religion of Shinto and the natural phenomena of Japan.  They will work through activities to gain knowledge and understanding of Shinto beliefs.  They are also engaged in Day 3 of the Warlords of Japan simulation and itís correlating activities.  Students are assessed and awarded koku (wealth), moves, and armies by the Emperor (the teacher) based on completion of center activities.  These are entered onto the Excel accounting sheets where students can quickly view their castleís rank and plan their next strategy in the attempt to become Shogun of Feudal Japan!



Students are divided into six castle groups (Hokkaido, Shikoku, Edo, Nagasaki, Sendai, Osaka) and are participating in the War Lords of Japan simulation.  The three-week simulation involves learning information about Feudal Japan through multimedia essays and activities and taking quizzes to earn wealth, moves, and armies on the game map.  The objective is to become wealthy, buy many armies of Samurai warriors, and attack weaker castles in the goal of becoming Shogun of Japan.  Each day offers a different topic.  This lesson is for Day 3 of the simulation.  Students have already learned about Japanís mythical beginnings and the geography and geology of the Japanese islands.  

            Activity 1-Students view Power Point presentation that portrays information from

            Warlords of Japan Background Essay 2:  Shitoku and Japanís early religions.

Activity 2-The Japanese Natural Disasters database and its graphs are projected onto Smart Board while teacher points out relationships through guided questioning strategies. 

Activity 3-Students will rotate through two centers.  Hokkaido, Shikoku and Edo

work on completing the spreadsheet student worksheet at the computers while Nagasaki, Sendai, and Osaka participate in their simulation role-play activities of Strategy Leader, Accountant, Writer, Calligrapher, and Artist.  Accountants from each castle will access one of the three remaining computers to enter the Emperorís rewards from the previous day.  After twenty minutes the groups will switch.

Activity 4-Discussion

Activity 5-Quiz

Activity6-Strategy Leaders place their purchased armies and move on the game board.

Activity 7-Students view castle team standings on Excel projected to the Smart Board for the whole class to view.  Teams have a few minutes to discuss their next strategy.



Core Knowledge 5th Grade History Sequence:  www.coreknowledge.org

Warlords of Japan Simulation by Interact:  www.teachinteract.com