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