You are on page 1of 5


Lesson Topic: Cultures: Different or Same?

Unit Topic: Different Cultures
Subject/Grade Level: Grades 1-3
Lesson Duration [can be longer than a single class period]: 2 class periods
ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS | Factual, Debatable, & Provocative Questions
Essential Question(s) for Unit: Even though our cultures are different, are we all the same?
Essential Question(s) for Lesson: Are cultures different from each other?
- Students will understand
the Seven Elements of
- Students will understand
that these elements point
to a society/cultures

- Students will understand
that all cultures share at
least some similar features
-Students will be able to
recognize the seven
elements of culture within
their own culture, and be
able to compare and

- Students can compare
and contrast (both in
casual conversation and via
Venn diagram)
- Students will think like a
social scientist when they
categorize aspects of their
own culture and another
culture into the Seven
Elements of Culture
- Vocabulary:
- value: a strongly held
belief about what is
important and appropriate
- customs: an action or way
of behaving that is
common and usual for a
specific group of people
-economics: a science
studying the processes and
ideas relating to money
-social organization: the
way that families, groups,
and communities are set
up - specifically referring
to how people relate to
each other

- WI Common Core State
Standards (English/Language
Arts): Reading Informational Text Grade 1 students:
- Identify basic similarities and
differences between two texts on
the same topic. (CCSS R1 #9)

Students should be able to recognize that, even though all cultures are not identical,
they are all made up of the same building blocks, or sets of values that dictate who

we are. We are all the same in that we almost all have religions, governments, families,
foods we like, etc.
[For each of the above outcomes, what DATA or EVIDENCE will you use to evaluate
each of your learning outcomes? Be sure to address this for each outcome. Give a brief
description of any assessments you will use, including whether they are formative or
summative. In Section C, you also need to include your assessments as they will occur
during the lesson.]
Diagnostic Assessments
Formative Assessments

The students will be given a list of the

vocabulary words above. They will either
look these up in a classroom dictionary,
or online at,
depending on classroom resources. Their
list with definitions will be handed in
after a brief class discussion about what
the meanings of the words are, and how
they relate to culture.

Summative Assessments

Students will, for a final learning activity,

create a set of Venn diagrams between
their culture and another culture from
around the world (i.e. Russian culture,
Jewish culture, Californian culture).
Their diagrams should illustrate
similarities and differences between the
two cultures in at least 5 of the 7
Elements of Culture

Students Developmental Assets

Students this age are still open to ideas

about being different - they havent
developed biases and prejudices yet. We
must keep them open to different

cultures, experiences, and ideas.

Students Prior Knowledge

Students are aware of their own culture,

especially traditions, what their family
looks like, what religion (if any) they
practice, what they like to wear and eat,
etc. Well build on this by showing other
culture that appreciate these same types
of things.

Possible Misconceptions

When students compare and contrast

with another culture, if that culture is
fairy broad, they may stereotype it into
one statement that expresses an idea
held about every member of that group.
We will need to go over what stereotypes
are, and how we can still generalize
about a culture without stereotyping.

Individual Learning Needs

In my 1st grade field placement

classroom, many students are still
struggling emergent readers.
Researching a particular culture on their
own, or even in pairs, might be an
immense challenge for students who are
not yet able to read or write notes


[Be sure to include estimated time allotment for each activity]
5 minutes

(Students will have already been introduced to what culture is,

as this is later in the unit). Well gather on the carpet/in the
meeting area to continue learning about culture. Ill present
them with the EQ, either on a slideshow or on chart paper. Ill
ask a few students for their response to the question (are
cultures different from each other?). Ill expect to get answers
that are mostly yes.
Purpose statement - Our purpose today is to find out how
cultures are different from each other, if theyre even different
at all. Well do this by comparing our culture with different
cultures from around the world.

Parts 1&2: 30
minutes (Day
Part 3: 50
minutes (Day

1. Students will do a quick warm-up activity where they find

definitions for the vocabulary words above (see: Academic
Language Demands, Formative Assessments). This will help
me understand what they may already know about these 7
2. Students will listen/watch through a powerpoint describing
the Seven Elements of Culture, and how they look in three
separate cultures: Chinese culture, German culture, and
Southern US Culture. The slides will illustrate the elements:
social organization (family patterns, class systems); customs
and traditions; religion; language; arts and literature;
government, and economics. There will also be slides showing
how these elements appear in each of the three cultures. The
objective here is to show that, while our cultures are different,
(i.e., communism vs. democracy), we all hold similar core
values (government is important).
3. Students will create their own Venn diagrams comparing
and contrasting their personal culture with another culture. It
can be one of the three that we learned about, or another
culture that they know about or want to look up on a
computer. I will need to teach how Venn diagrams work with a
brief mini-lesson before they can get started.


A few students may share their work with the class.

Return to the essential question. Reiterate some of the
responses from the previous day. Ask if anyone has a different
answer, after weve looked at what cultural differences really

- Students vocabulary work will be collected and graded for completion. It is a
tool to help me see what students already know about different aspects of
- Classroom dictionaries or computers
- SMART Board/Projector/Computer for slideshow
- Chart paper to illustrate how to use a Venn diagram
- Venn diagram worksheets for students

Example Worksheet for Venn Diagram: