The Elements of Culture

Author: Joanna Breeding
Lesson Plan:


The Elements of Culture
Class: Enrichment 3rd grade students
In this lesson the students will be able to gain a deeper understanding of the elements of culture and how it impacts others cultures around the world. They will also learn to appreciate and value the differences and similarities that exist from one culture to the next.
This lesson addresses Social Studies Standard 1.1 Components of Culture - Recognizing some of the major components of a culture (i.e., language, clothing, food, art, and music) and Standard 1.2 Determining similarities and differences within different cultural groups.
Anticipatory Set:
The students will play a jeopardy vocabulary game. The teacher will read the definitions of a particular culture element and the students will be asked to name that element.
Ex. “For 20 points, what word defines the communication of thoughts and feelings through words?”
 Answer: Language
Teaching: Input
The teacher will hook the learners with an E-book culture video found in
Teaching: Checking for understanding
The teacher will ask students to do the following:
·         Summarize what the video was about
·         Discuss the elements of culture that were present in the video
·         Compare one’s culture with those seen on the video
Guided Practice:
For this activity, the students will be paired. Each pair will receive a chart with the name of a foreign country. Each pair will receive a different country to explore. The chart will have 9 boxes labeled with a culture element. See the example below:


Family structure
The Arts
The students will be asked to explore the site and insert pertinent information underneath each culture element based on the country assigned.
The students will then be asked share their charts and present their findings with the class.
Independent Practice:
  1. Students will then receive a handout titled “Letter from Nangolo” which is about a young boy who lives in the African country of Namibia.  The teacher will ask students to read the letter at home, and highlight the elements of culture discussed in the letter. We will then discuss the elements in class the next day, and go on to learn about invisible and visible features of culture.
Jeopardy cards with culture elements
Cultural element charts
E-book video