Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Create Your Own Culture

published on: 2/28/2003

Contributing Teacher(s): Adam Kealen

Subject Area: Social Studies/Geography

Grade Range: Middle Grades (6-8)

Materials Needed:

  • 1 Piece of Poster Board (one per group) (Student)
  • Coloring Utensils (both members of the group) (Student)
  • Glue Stick (both members of the group) (Student)
  • Blank Paper (One sheet cut into four squares)—You will need a lot of this!!! (Teacher)


  • Create their own culture, constructing the different aspects that sets each culture apart from another.
  • Interpret these aspects, and provide a written correlation between the aspects that they have created and how it affects their created society.
  • Expand their understanding of the different types of maps that are used in the study of geography.

Process Standards:

  • Goal 2.1 plan and make written, oral and visual presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences
  • Goal 1.8 organize data, information and ideas into useful forms (including charts, graphs, outlines)

Content Standards:

  • Social Studies 5. The major elements of geographical study and analysis (such as location, place, movement,...
  • Social Studies 6. Relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions

    Time Allowance: 3 days

    Description: This lesson allows the students to take a hands-on approach to the concepts surrounding different cultures--physical map, diversity, political map

    Classroom Component: Prior Knowledge: Prior to the assignment, the teacher will give the students a lesson on the different aspects and characteristics of a culture. Within this lesson the students will be given a multiple of "real-world" examples as well as a list of characteristics of cultures within their notes. Instructional Steps:

  • Remind the students of the different "aspects" that make up a culture. Examples:
    • Language
    • Food
    • Clothing
    • Environmental Factors
    • Entertainment
    • Architecture
    • Symbols of National Pride
    • Religion
    • Sports
    • Any thing else that sets one culture apart from another
  • Instruct the students that they are going to develop their own fictional culture today, developing each aspect of their culture, based on their own creativity. (Note: With some classes you may have to stress the appropriateness of some of the aspects that are to be developed.)
  • Hand out the assignment and explain each component, checking for understanding as you proceed.
  • Discuss the scoring guide with the students, confirming that they understand the criteria that they will be assessed over.
  • Accommodations: This lesson can be easily adapted for students with reading and/or writing difficulties. Since this project is 50% visual, it can thus be adapted into a visual/oral interpretative assignment. As always, extra time and assistance can be granted for those students that are in need of such accommodation. Resources: Students mainly used their notes and their textbook for inspiration and ideas. Within their text, the book has an entire section devoted to cultures and their aspects, as well as an additional section devoted to "symbols" (American Flag, Bald Eagle, etc.). Additionally, they were also referred to pages in their text on their prompt for help in constructing their maps. Consequently, the resources that my students used are as follows: Textbook
  • Helgren, David. "People, Places, and Change". 2001. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Austin TX.
  • Student Notes
  • Additional Resources That Can Be Adapted
  • Magazines - can use these to get a current look at today''s culture, thus providing ideas for the students.
  • Videos - Use videos that center on one specific culture, giving the students a perspective of different cultures other than their own.
  • Create Your Own Culture Student Prompt Over the next few days, you will have the opportunity to create your own culture. From the different aspects of cultures that we have recently learned about, you will develop and explain your own fictional culture. You will work in groups of two to plan and create your culture. There will be several different requirements and criteria in which to follow and achieve, all of which will be explained below.
  • Materials Needed
  • 1 piece of POSTER BOARD (36¢ at Wal-Mart)
  • Coloring Utensils (Provided)
  • Glue Stick (You should already have one of these)
  • Lots and Lots of Creativity!!!!!
  • Directions (Visual Component)
  • You will be required to develop a visual representation of your culture. On your poster board you and your partner will be required to create representations of the following aspects of your culture. You may draw small pictures of each aspect or use words/symbols where appropriate. The following is a list of the aspects of your culture.
  • A name for your country that includes your culture
  • A national flag and other national symbols
  • A typical family in your culture
  • A typical building within your culture
  • The favorite types of entertainment of your culture
  • The types of industries in your country (i.e. Agriculture, Mining, etc.) Do you practice subsistence or commercial farming?
  • The types of clothing worn by the people of your culture
  • The prominent environmental features of your country
  • Your national religion
  • The types of food that are native to your culture
  • Additionally you will be required to develop a series of maps that represent your culture. We have discussed several types of maps thus far in class, so this should not be a problem. For your culture''s country, you need to develop each of the following:
  • Physical Map
    • Showing major rivers, mountains, bodies of water, as well as elevation
  • Political Map
    • Showing the name of your culture, the name of the cities, and capital city
  • Land Use and Resource Map
    • Showing how your land is used and where your natural resources are located
  • These maps should not be too large and should fit onto your poster board as well.
  • Directions (Written Component) For each aspect of your culture you have portrayed on your poster board, you will be required to write a short description as to how it fits into your society. These descriptions should only be three to four sentences in length and should express how that particular cultural aspect effects the society that you have created. These should be written directly under your pictures on your poster board.
    • For example: If soccer is a form of entertainment in my culture then I would write: Soccer is a form of entertainment for both children and adults in my culture. You can always see children playing this game in the streets after school and on the weekends. Adults play in professional leagues in my culture as well. Every year thousands of people come and watch the finals of the biggest tournament of the season.
  • Grading Criteria
    Visual Component: 30pts—Content 10pts—Creativity and Neatness
    Written Component: 20pts—Accuracy 10pts—Grammar/Sentence Structure
      Total: 70pts possible
  • Scoring Guide 5432
    Visual Component
    Content 5=30 - 25 pts. 4=24 - 19 pts. 3=18 - 13 pts. 2=12 or below Completed all requirements of the assignment. All aspects clearly met the requirements. Completed all requirements of the assignment. A few aspects of the assignment are not clearly defined. Requirements are not all met. Several of the aspects of the assignment are not clearly defined. Very few of the requirements of the assignment are met, and are not well defined.
    Creativity and Neatness 5=10 - 8 pts. 4=7 - 5 pts. 3=4 - 2 pts.

    For additional information contact :
    Adam Kealen
    Festus Middle
    Festus R-VI
    (636) 937-5417

    Copyright © 2004 - 2015 SuccessLink Inc. All rights reserved.

    Web Support by BrightTree

    Hosted by BrightTree