Topic One: What is Culture?
Knowledge/Content Skills/Processes Values/Attitudes
; Define culture as a learned ; Participate appropriately ; Recognize that there are way of living that is shared by and effectively in group similarities among cultural a group of people. (COM) discussions to extend oral groups.
communication skills. ; Recognize that differences ; Know that an individual's
(COM, CCT) among cultural groups do not culture is reflected in his or
imply superiority or inferiority her behaviours and actions. ; Draw conclusions based
(COM, CCT) on given data (video, visuals
. (PSVS) or stories). (CCT)
; Record relevant data using
a graphic organizer.
Teacher Notes Assessment Suggestions
See sample assessment templates on ? Have students use a self-evaluation checklist to pages 413, 414 and 417 of the curriculum determine their contributions to their small group guide. Note: It is important to tailor discussions.
templates for individual student activities
and needs. ? Use an observation checklist to determine students'
willingness and abilities to contribute to large group
discussion. What is Culture?
To some students, the word "culture" ? Assess students' abilities to draw relevant refers to an ethnic group in another part conclusions.
of the world. It is
important that students develop the Instruction Suggestions
understanding that they too live within a
culture or cultures. They should also Video:
understand that, although the term
culture often refers to an ethnic grouping, ; Show students a short video about any it can refer to other groupings as well cultural group. Some videos to choose from (e.g., a regional grouping of people with include:
mixed ethnic backgrounds). o Same Differences (Jewish and
Defining Culture: o Island of the Blue Dolphins
There are many definitions for the o Race to Freedom: The Underground
concept of culture but they are generally Railway (Black Canadian Culture)
the same in meaning: o The Tarahumara (Remote Northern
? Culture is a group's beliefs, norms, ; Before viewing the video, give students five
institutions and communication patterns. minutes to list everything that they know
about the particular culture described in the
video. ? Culture is a learned way of living shared
by a group of people. ; After viewing, ask students, "Is there
anything you would like to cross off your list
that you thought you knew, but have changed Cultural Diversity:
your mind about?"
; Give them a handout or several resources It is important to recognize that cultural
about the particular culture that provide differences exist and help students
information about that culture's celebrations, develop an acceptance of differing
food, shelter, clothing, language, work, etc. cultural norms. Students should learn to
Have them further revise their lists. value the local, national and global
; Have students work individually, or in pairs, contributions of all cultures to our
to complete "Student Handout #1: Culture society.
. Cultural Similarities:
While cultures differ in many ways, there
; Have students meet in small groups of four or are certain things that all cultures have.
five. These cultural "universals" include
; Give each group a collection of 5-8 pictures religion/spirituality, values, games,
or photographs of different cultures. music, rites of passage, education,
(Calendars and magazines such as National leadership, family units, traditions, etc.
Geographic are useful resources from which One way to look at cultural similarities or
to develop picture files.) universals is to use "patterns of culture."
; Give each group a copy of "Student Handout
#1:Culture Data Disk," and have them Acculturalion:
complete the handout from the information in
the visuals. Draw students' attention to the fact that, when people from another culture enter a
And/Or new country (e.g., Canada), they must
adapt, or assimilate , to some degree. The
Stories: immigrants' cultural patterns of
economics, politics and education must
; Read aloud a picture book or short story that comply with the laws and citizenship
describes life in a particular cultural group. expectations of their new country.
; Before reading, ask students to take five However, Canada has a multicultural
minutes and record all that they know about policy that ensures that diverse cultures
the particular culture in the story. can maintain their own cultural heritages
; Give students a copy of "Student Handout #1: within the laws of Canada.
Culture Data Disk,and have them jot notes as
they listen to the story. Ethnocentrism:
; After viewing, ask students, "Is there
anything you would like to cross off your list This term describes the attitude that one
that you thought you knew about the culture, culture is best and that all cultures should
be compared with it. but have changed your mind about?"
; Have students write their summary statements
on the handouts and share these within their Assimilation:
groups and/or with other groups.
The process of making the minority
Debrief: culture resemble the dominant culture-the
culture in power.
? Explain to students that they have been exploring, Examples of Ethocentrism and through video, visuals or stories, the concept of Assimilation include: culture . Have them record a personal definition of
culture in their notebooks, based on what they know ? In the late 1800s the Canadian at this point. Ask them to think of situations where a
cultural grouping might include people of various government believed that the best way to
ethnic backgrounds. deal with Aboriginal peoples was to make
them "white". They believed that this
could be achieved if the children were ? Conclude any or all of the activities above by removed from their families and sent to discussing students' discoveries about each culture, residential schools. At these boarding about the similarities and differences of cultures, and
schools, which were run by the federal the reasons for those similarities and differences government and the churches, Indian (e.g., geography determines many things for a culture children were forced to speak English, including food, clothing, housing, work).
practise Christianity, learn western trades
and give up their Indian tradition. ? Use students' ideas to lead into a discussion about Residential schools were common into the questions such as: Why might cultures be similar?
1950s and are cited as one of the main Why might cultures be different? Does it make sense reasons that many Indian languages and that the world has many diverse cultures? Why? How traditions are in jeopardy today. does a group of people "get" a culture?
? Establish the following: Cultures tend to have
similarities because all humans have similar needs
and wants to be fulfilled. We all have a need for
food, housing, transportation, family love, creative
expression, entertainment, etc. Cultures differ
because of location, geography, beliefs,
circumstances, etc. Diversity is normal and should be
respected by all.
? Explain to students that social scientists use a
classification system to study cultures, referred to as
cultural patterns . Tell students that they will be
learning about the patterns that are present in all
cultures, including their own.
? Explain that countries like Canada, which consist of
groups of people from many cultures and ethnic
backgrounds (e.g., Ukrainian, Greek, Mennonite,
Italian, Japanese, Aboriginal, Pakistani, German,
Chinese, etc.) are referred to as multicultural nations.
While these cultures in Canada live much the same
as each other because of acculturation , they have
some variation if looked at using the seven cultural
patterns (e.g., religion, kinship). Explain that, in a
later unit, students will explore the multicultural
nature of Canada.
? Explain that, when diverse cultures are respected
and their ways accepted, people of many cultures can
live in harmony. However, at times in past history,
and in some cases today, one culture believes that it
is superior and that others should change. This type
of thinking is called ethnocentric . The absorption of
one culture into another is called assimilation .
? Share the example described in the Teacher Notes
and ask students to relate it to the terms
ethnocentrism and assimilation.
Topic Two: Patterns of Culture
Knowledge/Content Skills/Processes Values/Attitudes
; Know that social scientists ; Ask questions to clarify ; Accept that all cultures
use a system of patterns to understandings and have similarities and
study and describe cultures. instructions. (COM, CCT) differences, and that one
(COM) culture is not superior to ; Participate effectively as
others. (PSVS) ; Know that all cultures have group members to make
similarities and differences. decisions and choices. (COM, ; Recognize that the purpose
CCT) of exploring other cultures is ; Understand that cultural
to better appreciate and ; Listen effectively to characteristics must be
accept cultural diversity. understand instructions. looked at within the overall
(PSVS) context of that culture rather ; View to develop a general
than being comparedwith the understanding of how
norms of another culture. cultures are studied. (COM)
Teacher Notes Assessment Suggestions
Address any negativity and bias in a positive ? Assess students' abilities in group interaction
manner. Make every effort not to embarrass (e.g., whether they can discuss effectively, students or draw undue attention to their negotiate to make decisions).
behaviours in ways that could damage self-
esteem. At the same time, continue to stress the ? Use anecdotal notes to monitor students' value of cultural diversity and adapt instruction developing acceptance and appreciation of to diverse cultures.
deal with negativity and bias. Instruction Suggestions
? Review and discuss the definition of culture Patterns of Culture:
recorded last day. Ask for questions or
comments and provide clarification if Social scientists use a system of classification
necessary. to study cultures. This system identifies areas of
similarity based on peoples' needs and wants.
The patterns are: ? Have students' view the video How Cultures
are Studied. Prepare them for viewing by
; Economic explaining that, while it is not possible to know
everything about a culture, researchers can ; Political
; Kinship learn a great deal about any culture by
examining it from the perspective of seven ; Artistic
; Religious patterns: economic, political, kinship, artistic,
religious, educational, and recreation and play. ; Educational
; Recreation and Play (leisure activities)
? Provide students with focus questions or a
viewing guide for use during viewing, and
debrief after the viewing by discussing students'
? Give students each a copy of "Student
Handout #2: Patterns of Culture," or have them
construct a similar chart in their notebooks.
? Instruct students to make notes to complete
the chart as each pattern is discussed during the
next several lessons. (Examples of the types of
responses students might make have been
provided on "Teacher Information Sheet #1:
Patterns of Culture."
Encourage students to choose cultures from ? Explain to students that each group now will around the world by referring to all parts of a select a world culture to explore throughout the
unit. They will explore their chosen world world map (e.g., Eastern
culture according to the seven patterns of Europe, Northern Africa, Australia, Southern
culture listed on their handouts. Asia, Middle East, Central America, West
Indies, Western Africa, etc .)
? Have students list several world cultures that
interest them. Record these on the chalkboard
and indicate their geographic location, or have students locate them on a globe or wall map
? Discuss briefly each of the cultures listed to activate students ' prior knowledge and generate interest .
? Divide the class into groups of four or five students. Have each group select one of the cultures suggested for study and comparison throughout the next few lessons.
? Give each student a copy of "Student Handout
#3: Exploring Cultures." Explain how the group
is to use it during the next several lessons to document the information they gather about the patterns of their chosen world culture.