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Here’s a lesson plan about family and cultures


Social Studies  



Sarah Henderson

Uncover Your Culture

Grade Level: 5th

Length: 2 days (1 1/2 hours per day)

Performance Expectations: The children will define “culture” and orally report on their individual family culture.



-CD-ROM (Grollier’s Encyclopedia)

-Netscape Internet


-National Geographic Magazines

-Multicultural Cookbooks

-variety of books pulled from the library on different cultures

-poster board





Procedure Introduction: Have a group discussion about the definition of the word “culture”.

1. What words come to mind when I say the word “culture”?

2. Who can use the word “culture” in a sentence?

3. I want everyone to write down a word on your piece of paper that means “culture”.

After the children have written down their key words, I will have the children tell me their words and make a chart of them to hang in a central location of the classroom. I will make it clear that the word “culture” does not have one solid meaning, it could be where your ancestors are from or the environment you have lived in. The point I want to get across is that everyone does have a culture.

4. Culture: Customes, civilization, and achievements of a partaicular time or people

Procedure Development:

1. Today, each of us is going to investigate our culture. You can report on what country your ancestors descended from, the community you live in, or a place you feel has had a lot of influence upon you (grandparents town, church community, etc.).

2. You may use any of the resources available (computers, books, encyclopedias, etc) to research the culture of your choice. Take note of the particular aspects of that culture that you really like or can identify with.

3. Organize this information in a creative way to present it to the class (poster presentation, news broadcast, puppet show, etc.) so everyone can learn about your culture. You need to have at least five pieces of information about your culture included in your presentation (pictures, food, recepies, drawings, memorabelia, etc.).

4. Show an example to the class of the poster board about your German heritage. On this poster board I had drawn pictures and cut out pictures from National Geographic that symbolized what Germany meant to me.

5. Give the class time today and tomorrow to work on their projects, they are more that welcome to work on them at home and get input from their family.

6. Have a very casual presentation of the culture projects where each child displays and discusses what they have learned about their culture.

Procedure Closure: After all of the children have presented, take time to discuss some similarities and differences in the cultures they just heard about. Have children take out their language arts writing journals and have them write about one culture, other than their own, and ask questions about what else they want to know.


1. Check to make sure each student has 5 pieces of information when reporting on their project. (Checklist).


1. If I realize that the students are crunched for time in their project, I can always extend it another hour and a half period the next day.

2. If a child has a hard time finding a culture to report on, i.e. doesn’t know their culture, they can research one that interests them.

References: Sarah Henderson, 1997.

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