USF's WebQuest 

 

Title: Countries of Southern Europe; Beliefs, Social Conditions, and Geographic Impact.

 

Author:   Alan Sweetland             

 

Date: March 15, 2005

 

Introduction:

Through the use of assigned readings, group activities, and a webquest students will consider the effects that region and location have on food, human traits, shelter, clothing and issues of morality. Students will conduct research on countries of Southern Europe through a series of designated web sites to examine the cultural aspects of art, music, food, and celebrations. Students will then create a group presentation utilizing both a slideshow and a cultural museum to demonstrate their understanding of the culture they have been researching. (Intended for 7th grade level)

 

 

Teacher's Page

 

Unit Summary

Teacher's Resources

Day 1 Lesson

Day 2 Lesson

Day 3 Lesson

Day 4 Lesson

Day 5 Lesson

Conclusion

Student's Web Quest

 

 

 

 

 

Unit Summary:
Goals/Objectives:

 

…         Students will write stories of an imaginary trip with a friend from a country they have researched, visiting a country that neither is familiar with and describing their reactions to the new culture.

…         Students will demonstrate an understanding of cultural symbols and cultural landscapes by compiling a series of photographs showing buildings, structures, or statues that represent a city, place, or region.

…         Students will critically analyze trading cards (hockey, baseball, basketball) to understand how people come to think about the assumptions that underlie beliefs about culture and helping students to understand the complexities involved in studying culture.

…         Through the use of a simulation activity (castaways) students will re-create the struggles of early people in meeting basic needs to understand the relationship between culture and geographical environment setting the stage for discussion of culture and to introduce the concept of ethnocentrism and the need to appreciate cultural diversity and respect for others' cultures.

 

NCSS Theme:

 

CULTURE - Social Studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of culture and cultural diversity, so that the learner can:

 

C.) describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture;

D.) compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions;

 

INDIVIDUAL DEVELOPMENT AND IDENTITY - Social Studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of individual development and identity, so that the learner can:

 

B.) describe personal connections to place-especially place as associated with immediate surroundings;

E.) identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices;

 

Days:

 

İLesson Time Frame is 5 Days (90 minute blocks)

 

Text Used:

 

İGeography: The World and Itís People. Pages 54-58 (Culture) & Pages 296-317 (Southern Europe). Glencoe: McGraw-Hill., NY, NY (1998).

 

Supplementary Texts:

 

The Complete School Atlas: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Harcourt Bruce & Company.

Web Geography for Kids: http://www.unc.edu/~jmaxim/web_geography_for_kids.htm

Slides with culturally important symbolic meaning taken from the National Geographic Magazine.

Ancient Greece: See Through History. Viking: Penguin Books., NY, NY (1992).

World Geography and You. Steck-Vaughn Company, Austin, TX (1998).

 

Vocabulary and Key Concepts:

 

…         basic needs

…         class culture

…         cultural diffusion

…         cultural landscape

…         culture shock

…         cultural universals

 

Content:

 

Students will form into four groups with each group assigned a country of Southern Europe; Greece, Italy, Spain or Portugal). Each group member will select and research a different aspect of culture for their assigned country (i.e., Art, Music, Food, Symbols, Celebrations, Famous People/Role Models, and Folktales/Legends/Poetry).

Groups will then assign task to group members to develop and present a Cultural Festival. Students will work together to create a slide presentation and cultural museum with a listening center, art display, and music center.

 

Methods:

Students will hypothesize about buildings, historical sites, memorials and monuments. Students will also analyzed cultural-based differences and develop objectivity concerning differences among countries, cultures and within the studentís own socioeconomic groups. Within this unit students will be involved in cooperative learning groups, group discussion, direct instruction, team problem-solving, skill building techniques, research and technological activities driven by a webquest.

 

WebQuest Summary: (Follow this link for Webquest)
Goals/Objectives:

1.      Students will use the internet to research current events of a country. 

2.      Students will understand the impact of world events and how it affects them.

Days: Lesson Time Frame is 3 Days (90 minute blocks)


Content:

Students will explore several websites to learn the various aspects of culture. While at these websites students will gain a better understanding of what makes up culture (i.e., Art, Music, Food, Symbols, Celebrations, Famous People/Role Models, and Folktales/Legends/Poetry).

Methods:          

Students will use designated websites to gather material and information to assist them in their efforts to produce a presentation in the form of a slide show and cultural museum.          

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers Resources

 

Unit Information:

Background Resources

Teacher Background Resources:

Maps & Geography: National Geographic - http://www.aol.nationalgeographic.com/maps/

Peace Corps: World Wise Schools - http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/

Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library - http://www.libs.uga.edu/darchive/hargrett/maps/colamer.html

Teaching Today: Glenco Online - http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/index.phtml

The Educators Reference Resource Guide - http://www.eduref.org/

Webquest Teacher Resources:

National Council for the Social Studies -  www.ncss.org

Filamentality: Online Activities for Students - İhttp://www.kn.pacbell.com/wired/fil/

Smithsonian National Museum of American History - http://americanhistory.si.edu/

Using Primary Resources - http://rs6.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/primary.html

Historyís Compass - http://www.history-compass.com/

Student Background Resources:

Geo-Globe - http://library.thinkquest.org/10157/

GEOGRAPHY ñ Enchanted Learning -  http://www.enchantedlearning.com/geography/

Geography Games, Quizzes and Trivia - http://www.acu.edu:9090/~armstrongl/geography/games.html

Sail On -  http://www.pasadenaisd.org/sailon/Grade8.htm

American Educational History - http://www.cloudnet.com/%7Eedrbsass/educationhistorytimeline.html

Webquest Student Resources:

Using Oral History - http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/oralhist/ohhome.html

Geography World - http://members.aol.com/bowermanb/101.html

Social Studies for Kids - http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/

Mental Mapping - http://www.nationalgeographic.com/resources/ngo/education/ideas58/58mental.html

Footprints in the Sand - http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/valencia/introproject/Footprints_in_the_Sand.html

Unit Lesson Sequence

Day 1    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)

İBellwork

İJournal (Activate Prior Knowledge for Unit) This prompt is to prepare students for the study of culture and how we see ourselves as part of that culture.

İPrompt: As Floridians, what makes us different from anyone else in America? How we differ; food, clothing, traditions, and language.

İGroup Activity

İGroup Reading: Ancient Greece

 Ancient Greece: See Through History

İIndependent Activity

İSilent Reading: Chapter Text Pgs. 296-309

 Geography: The World and Itís People

İCooperative Learning

İVocabulary Development Activity: Spoken Word. Organize students into teams of three and assign each team a concept to analyze and define (Day 1).

 Vocabulary and Key Concepts

 

 

 

Day 2    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)

İLecture/Discussion

İ(Purpose Setting Activity) Organize class for active lecture and slide presentation on what constitutes culture.

 Lecture/ PowerPoint Presentation: What Constitutes Culture (See Attachment).

İPrereading Plan (PreP)

İ(Activate prior knowledge for Silent Reading) Instruct students to write what they associate with the term culture. Ask students for their responses and make a comprehensive listing. For each response ask students why they made the association.

 Prereading Plan (PreP)

İIndependent Activity

İSilent Reading: Chapter text: The Worldís People, Pgs. 54-58

 Geography: The World and Itís People

 

 

 

 

Day 3    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)

İABC Brainstorming Session

İ(Activate Prior Knowledge for Read Aloud) Ask students how geography impacts culture. Have students share their answers as a group. Guide discussion toward idea that meeting needs within environment is major factor influencing cultural development. Example; physical needs such as food, clothing and shelter are met by using available resources. Have students write a summary paragraph using their ideas.

 ABC Brainstorming

İGroup Activity

İRead Aloud

 World Geography & You.

İSocial/Discussion Activity

İUsing trading cards ask students to create a representation of the culture they identify with most (i.e., a country, ethnic group, or religious group). Instruct students to represent their own culture by making their own set of culture cards. Use these representations to deconstruct individual perceptions of culture.

 Trading Cards, construction paper, and colored pencils. (See Attachment).

İResearch & Technology

İWebQuest: What is Culture and How Does it Affect Me, Day 1

 Computer and Internet access

 

 

 

 

Day 4    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)

İBellwork

İJournal (Activate Prior Knowledge for Lecture) This prompt is to prepare students for the lecture; ëWhat Is Culture Shock.í

 Prompt: How do you recognize that someone is not a Floridian?

İLecture

İCulture Shock

 Lecture: Culture Shock (See Attachment).

İWriting Activity

İImagine That (RAFT) Introduce the term ëculture shock,í and how people react when they encounter new cultures.

 RAFT

İPresentations

 Vocabulary Development Activity: Spoken Word. From Day 1students should present their definitions to the class (Day 2).

 Vocabulary and Key Concepts

İResearch & Technology

İWebQuest: What is Culture and How Does it Affect Me, Day 2

 Computer and Internet access

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5    Back to Top
Lesson Plan Outline

Method (Attention Getter, Lecture, Callout Group, etc)

Content/Key Ideas/Concepts/Facts
 

Materials
(Transparencies, audio, handouts, etc)

İCooperative Learning

İ(Purpose Setting Activity) Castaways: Explain why it is important to learn about a whole culture without judging it based on what is familiar to us. Reinforce the importance of not being judgmental as we study various cultures throughout the year.

 (See Attachment)

İIndependent Activity

İSilent Reading: Chapter Text Pgs. 310-317

 Geography: The World and Itís People

İResearch & Technology

İWebQuest: What is Culture and How Does it Affect Me, Day 3

 Computer and Internet access

İQuestioning Activity

İCulture and Needs: Create a sequence of questions that require students to draw on previous assignments and readings that lead them to the conclusion that there is a relationship between culture and needs.

 (See Attachment)

 

Conclusion:

Students have hypothesized about buildings, historical sites, memorials and monuments. Students have analyzed cultural-based differences and developed objectivity concerning differences among countries, cultures and within the studentsí own socioeconomic groups. Students have used the basic skills of independent reading, writing, communication and debate within groups and class discussions.

Credits/References:

 

Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2004. Microsoft Corporation.

 

Back to Top

 

 

 

 

 

Vocabulary Development Activity: Spoken Word; Organize students into teams of three and assign each team a concept to work with. Give students definitions and the context in which they can be found. It is the responsibility of the students to find a way the terms relate to their personal life. Students are expected to use outside resources, including adults at home, to develop an understanding of the terms. Give students a few days to research and develop their definitions and upon completion ask them to share their findings with the class. At this point instruct students to expand their definitions to include global meaning of the terms.

 

Purpose-Setting Activity: Lecture on What Constitutes Culture (See Attachment). Organize class for active lecture and slide presentation on what constitutes culture. Stop at pivotal points in the lecture to ask students ñ what do you know about the culture of Italy? What is important in your life? What do you like to do? Does your style of clothing reflect your culture? Have students respond to questions in writing. Debrief and have individual students recite their written answers to the questions. Repeat and summarize definitions, similarities and differences in cultures.

What Constitutes Culture (Lecture/Slide Presentation)

 

  • (Slide #1) What Constitutes Culture?
  • (Slide #2) Well, first of all, all people have needs!
  • (Slide #3) For example the need for making a living. So why do people need to make a living? How about to provide themselves with the necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter, and material goods. How do people make a living? Ask student ìHow do you make a living?î Some people make a living by trading things, in industry, and by providing different services.
  • (Slide #4) People also have the need to express themselves or the need for self-expression. Ask student ìWhy do people need to express themselves?î Because we are all unique and different and we like to show what is important to us. So how do people express themselves? Ask student ìHow do you express yourself?î Some people express themselves through art, through music, in architecture, in sports, and even in science (Click on links for graphics).
  • (Slide #5) People also have the need to explain the unknown. What is the unknown and how do you explain it?
  • (Slide #6) People have the need for law and order. Why do we need law and order and how do people establish law and order?
  • (Slide #7) How about the need for knowledge and learning. Why do people have the need to learn and what is knowledge and learning?
  • (Slide #8) There is also the need for social organization. Again why do people need social organization? What are some of the ways that they have organized their societies?
  • (Slide #9) If all people share these culture patterns, then why are cultures so different?
  • (Slide #10) Culture is the ëpatterns of behaviorí and ëpatterns of thinkingí that people living in social groups learn, they create, and they share.
  • İ(Slide #11) Culture distinguishes one human group from others and it also distinguishes humans from other animals. A peopleís culture includes their beliefs, rules of behavior, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, music, religion, and political and economic systems.

 

İİİ Culture is the patterns of behavior and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create, and share. Culture distinguishes one human group from another. It also distinguishes humans from other animals. A peopleís culture includes their beliefs, rules of behavior, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, and political and economic systems.

İİİ People use the term culture to refer to a society or group in which people live and think in the same ways. Likewise, any group of people who share a common cultureóand in particular, common rules of behavior and a basic form of social organizationóconstitutes a society. Thus, the terms culture and society are somewhat interchangeable. However, while many animals live in societies, such as herds of elk or packs of wild dogs, only humans have culture.

İİİ The ability of people to have culture comes in large part from their physical features: having big, complex brains; an upright posture; free hands that can grasp and manipulate small objects; and a vocal tract that can produce and articulate a wide range of sounds. These human features began to develop in humans more than four million years ago. The earliest physical evidence of culture is crude stone tools produced in East Africa over two million years ago.

İİİ Culture has several distinguishing characteristics. It is based on symbolsóabstract ways of referring to and understanding ideas, objects, feelings, or behaviorsóand the ability to communicate with symbols using language. Culture is shared. People in the same society share common behaviors and ways of thinking through culture. Culture is learned. While people biologically inherit many physical traits and behavioral instincts, culture is socially inherited. A person must learn culture from other people in a society. Culture is adaptive. People use culture to adjust to changes in the world around them.

İİİ Culture Is Symbolic. People have culture primarily because they can communicate with and understand symbols. Symbols allow people to develop complex thoughts and to exchange those thoughts with others. Language and other forms of symbolic communication, such as art, enable people to create, explain, and record new ideas and information. Symbols allow people to develop complex thoughts and exchange those thoughts with others. A symbol has either an indirect connection or no connection at all with the object, idea, feeling, or behavior to which it refers. For instance, most people in the United States find some meaning in the combination of the colors red, white, and blue. But those colors themselves have nothing to do with, for instance, the land that people call the United States, the concept of patriotism, or the U.S. national anthem; The Star Spangled Banner.

İİİ To convey new ideas, people constantly invent new symbols, such as for mathematical formulas. In addition, people may use one symbol, such as a single word, to represent many different ideas, feelings, or values. Thus, symbols provide a flexible way for people to communicate complex thoughts with each other. For example, only through symbols can architects, engineers, and construction workers communicate the information necessary to construct a skyscraper or a bridge.

İİİ People have the capacity at birth to construct, understand, and communicate through symbols, primarily by using language. For example, infants have a basic structure of languageóa sort of universal grammaróbuilt into their minds. Infants are thus predisposed to learn the languages spoken by the people around them. Language provides a means to store, process, and communicate amounts of information that vastly exceed the capabilities of nonhuman animals. Chimpanzees, the closest genetic relatives of humans, use a few dozen calls and a variety of gestures to communicate in the wild. People have taught some chimps to communicate using American Sign Language and picture-based languages, and some have developed vocabularies of a few hundred words. But an unabridged English dictionary might contain more than half-a-million vocabulary entries. Also, chimpanzees have not demonstrated the ability to use grammar, which is crucial for communicating complex thoughts.

İİİ Culture Is Learned. People are not born with culture; they have to learn it. People must learn to speak and understand a language and to abide by the rules of a society. In many societies, all people must learn to produce and prepare food and to construct shelters. In other societies, people must learn a skill to earn money, which they then use to provide for themselves. In all human societies, children learn culture from adults. This is called cultural transmission.

İİİ People living together in a society share culture. Almost all people living in the United States share the English language, dress in similar styles, eat many of the same foods, and celebrate many of the same holidays. All the people of a society collectively create and maintain culture. Societies preserve culture for much longer than the life of any one person. They preserve it in the form of knowledge, such as scientific discoveries; objects, such as works of art; and traditions, such as the observance of holidays.

 

Prior Knowledge Activation: Prereading Plan (PreP);

İİİ Ask students what do they think of when they hear the term culture? Instruct students to individually write what they associate with the term. Ask students for their responses and make a comprehensive listing for group. For each association ask students why they made the association. To conclude, ask for any further input or background knowledge.

 

Prior Knowledge Activation: Organize class for ABC Brainstorming session.

İİİ Ask students how geography impacts culture. Have students record individual answers and then work in pairs to complete. Have students share their answers as a group. Ask - why are cultures different? What is something that is similar to everyone? What is unique to Americans? Give hints to guide discussion toward idea that meeting needs within environment is major factor influencing cultural development. Review ideas of how cultures meet basic needs. Example; physical needs such as food, clothing and shelter are met by using available resources. Have students write a summary paragraph using their ideas.

 

Reflection Activity: Social Interaction/Discussion Activity (Discussion Web).

İİİ Trading Cards: Explain to students that the concept of culture is sometimes difficult to grasp but that they will be engaging in a thinking activity that will help them to understand something about our own culture. Ask students - What do you think Canadian culture might be? What is important in your own life? What do you like to do? What do you believe in?İ Do our styles of clothes reflect our culture? What is that style? Record responses on the board.

İİİ Organize students into groups and provide each group with a set of trading cards (hockey, baseball, basketball) and ask students to pretend that the cards represent a given culture. Everything on both sides of the cards depicts everything about that culture. Anything that is not on the card is not part of the culture. Instruct students to write single words or phrases that generally describe what they see on the cards. Write each observation on a separate Post-it-note. For example students might write "each person is wearing a logo," "numbers are important" or "everyone is male." After students have written five observations, ask them to group similar Post-it-notes together. Do this by taking turns. In doing so students will be creating categories. Ask students to make at least ten categories and to label each category.

İİİ Ask students - How might you describe this culture? What seems to be most important to the people of this culture? Who is important in this culture? How do you know? Is this culture modern or traditional? How do you know? Who is not important in this culture? How do you know? What words are important in this culture's vocabulary? To what extent do the images and words on these cards reflect our culture? What is the same? What is different? What is missing? Who is missing? Guide the students toward thinking about the assumptions that underlie what we value, the beliefs upon which we base our culture. Focus the discussion on how we represent or show our culture (i.e. media, school, and stores). Ask students to create a representation of the culture they identify with most (it could be a country, ethnic group, religious group, and so on). Instruct students to represent their own culture by making their own set of culture cards. Use these representations to deconstruct individual perceptions of culture.

What Is Culture Shock (Lecture)
İİİİ The term ëculture shockí is used to describe the anxiety produced when a person arrives in a completely new environment. This term expresses the lack of direction, the feeling of not knowing what to do or how to do things in a new environment, and not knowing what is appropriate or inappropriate. The feeling of culture shock generally sets in shortly after arriving in a new place.

İİİ We can describe culture shock as the physical and emotional discomfort one suffers when coming to another country or a place different from oneís place of origin. Quite often the way that we normally live, is not accepted as, or considered as normal in the new place. Everything is different; not speaking the language, not knowing how to use banking machines, not knowing how to use the telephone and so forth.
İİİ The symptoms of cultural shock can appear at different times. Although, one can experience real pain from culture shock; it is also an opportunity for redefining one's life objectives. It is a great opportunity for learning and acquiring new perspectives. Culture shock can make one develop a better understanding of oneself and stimulate personal creativity.

Symptoms for culture shock are:

 

…                     Sadness, loneliness, melancholy

…                     Preoccupation with health

…                     Aches, pains, and allergies

…                     Insomnia, desire to sleep too much or too little

…                     Changes in temperament, depression, feeling vulnerable, feeling powerless

…                     Anger, irritability, resentment, unwillingness to interact with others

…                     Identifying with the old culture or idealizing the old country

…                     Loss of identity

…                     Trying too hard to absorb everything in the new culture or country

…                     Unable to solve simple problems

…                     Lack of confidence

…                     Feelings of inadequacy or insecurity

…                     Developing stereotypes about the new culture

…                     Longing for family

…                     Feelings of being lost, overlooked, exploited or abused

 

İİİ Culture shock has many stages. Each stage can be ongoing or appear at certain times. In the first stage the new arrival may feel euphoric and be pleased by all of the new things encountered. This is called the "honeymoon" stage, as everything encountered is new and exciting. Afterwards, the second stage presents itself. A person may encounter some difficult times and crises in daily life. Communication difficulties may occur such as not being understood. In this stage, there may be feelings of discontent, impatience, anger, sadness, and feeling incompetence. This happens when a person is trying to adapt to a new culture that is very different from the culture of origin. Transition between the old methods and new methods is a difficult process and takes time to complete. During the transition, there can be strong feelings of dissatisfaction. The third stage is characterized by gaining some understanding of the new culture.  A new feeling of pleasure and sense of humor may be experienced. The new arrival may not feel as lost and starts to have a feeling of direction. The individual is more familiar with the environment and wants to belong. This initiates an evaluation of the old ways versus those of the new. In the fourth stage, the person realizes that the new culture has good and bad things to offer. This is accompanied by a feeling of belonging. The person starts to define him/herself and establish goals for living. The fifth stage is the stage that is called "re-entry shock." This occurs when a return to the country of origin is made.  One may find that things are no longer the same. Some of the newly acquired customs are not in use in the old culture. These stages are present at different times and each person has their own way of reacting in the stages of culture shock. Some stages will be longer and more difficult than others. Many factors contribute to the duration and effects of culture shock. For example, the individual's state of mental health, type of personality, previous experiences, socio-economic conditions, familiarity with the language, family and/or social support systems, and level of education.

 

How to Fight Culture Shock

Some ways to deal with stress produced by culture shock are:

 

…                     Don't forget the good things you already have!

…                     Remember, there are always resources that you can use.

…                     Be patient, the act of traveling is a process of adapting to new situations. 

…                     Learn to be constructive. If you encounter an unfavorable environment,

İİİİİİİİİİİ don't put yourself in that position again. Be easy on yourself.

…                     Don't try too hard.

…                     Relaxation and meditation are proven to be very positive for people who are

İİİİİİİİİİ İpassing through periods of stress.

…                     Maintain contact with your ethnic group. This will give you a feeling of belonging

İİİİİİİİİİ İand you will reduce feelings of loneliness and alienation.

…                     Learn the language. Practice the language that you are learning. This will help

İİİİİİİİİİ İyou feel less stress about using the new language.

…                     Allow yourself to feel sad about the things that you have left behind: your family,

İİİİİİİİİİİ your friends, etc.

…                     Establish simple goals and evaluate your progress.

…                     Find ways to live with the things that don't satisfy you.

…                     Maintain confidence in yourself. Follow your ambitions and continue your plans

İİİİİİİİİİ İfor the future.

…                     If you feel stressed, look for help. There is always someone or some service

İİİİİİİİİİ İavailable to help you. You may want to check out Information and Resources.

 

Reflection Activity: Writing Activity (RAFT ñ Role/Audience/Format/Topic).

Imagine That: Introduce the term ëculture shock,í and how people react when they encounter new cultures. Ask students - Do people experience new places in the same way? How does the country and culture one comes from affect the way that person reacts to a new country? Have students imagine that they are going to join an imaginary friend from the country that they have been researching from day one and that they will be visiting a country of which neither has been to before (i.e. Spain, Italy, Greece, or Portugal). Students should decide what that country will be and write a letter to their class back home about their first day in that country. Instruct students to explain how they and their imaginary friend react to the new culture and what customs and behaviors they have brought to the new culture. Have students explain in their letter about a cultural practice that we do not have. Have them discuss why it is important, how they feel about it and what makes it unique.

 

Purpose-Setting Activity: Castaways.

İİİ Organize the class for a brainstorming session and record answers on the board. Ask the question-Why are cultures different? Give hints to guide the discussion toward the idea that meeting needs within a particular environment is a major factor influencing the way a culture develops. For example, physical needs such as food, clothing, shelter and fresh water are met by using resources that are available in the environment.

Divide into groups and ask each group to envision themselves as castaways on an Island, in the mountains, the desert and the forest. Each group must speculate as to the culture that would develop as a result of the resources available to them. How would they meet their physical needs and what social, economic and political systems would culminate from their efforts to meet those needs? Ask each group to determine what resources they would need to survive. These resources will become building blocks for creating the basic elements of their new culture. Ask them to speculate what their culture would look like in one year, in 10 years and after several generations. Remind them that, as time passes, different needs would become important to the group. Initially, the survivors would concentrate on meeting their physical needs; however, over time they would begin to develop social, economic and political systems.

Allow 15 to 20 minutes for the discussion. Have each group develop a chart to record the differences between the two groups of survivors. After the small group discussion, ask each group to present its ideas and discoveries to the whole class. Compile a complete list of similarities on the board as they present the various elements of culture. Explain that different cultures develop different characteristics primarily because of adaptations to environments. Traditions often begin as people find rituals and routines that help them survive. These traditions often remain as part of culture long after their practical value is no longer apparent. Traditions become cherished practices that cultures maintain and protect for reasons that are not always evident. Introduce the concept of ethnocentrism. Explain why it is important to learn about a whole culture without judging it based on what is familiar to us. Reinforce the importance of not being judgmental as we study various cultures throughout the year.

 

Reflection Activities: Questioning Activity (Concept Question Chain Variation).

İİİ Culture and Needs: Create a sequence of questions that require students to draw on previous assignments and readings that lead them to the conclusion that there is a relationship between culture and needs. How society satisfies needs is one of the main reasons that cultures develop in unique ways. Students at this point should understand how all cultures are alike and dissimilar. There are certain things that all cultures have and which would be considered ëcultural universals.í The object of this activity is to show that every person has a culture and that even within the class there are things that everyone agrees on and that those ideas make up the ëclass culture.í Have students create individual list of what they consider to be unacceptable behavior. Divide into groups and have students share their list. Determine categories and create a group list. In order for an idea to qualify for the list, all individuals in the group must agree that it is unacceptable behavior. Remind students that each of us has our own culture as a result of being raised in different families with different ideas, but what we want for our class culture are those ideas that we all agree are unacceptable behavior. Merge two groups and repeat the process until the class as a whole has one list. If there are disagreements, students may present their case to the entire class in an attempt to persuade others of their viewpoint. The result is; the ideas that are left represent the cultural universals of what everyone believes to be acceptable and unacceptable behavior.