Kultur in einer Box
Can you put your culture in a box?
-- Consider the definition of culture, and reflect on what this means to them.
-- Create "culture capsules" containing artifacts and information that will help students of foreign countries understand their particular cultural group.
-- Write reflective essays examining the research and "culture capsules" completed during class, as well as their own personal experiences with cultural heritage and ethnicity.
SUGGESTED TIME ALLOWANCE: 5 days
ACTIVITIES / PROCEDURES:
WARM-UP/DO NOW: Upon entering class, students respond to the following prompt in their journals (written on the board prior to class): "What is culture? How does your cultural heritage define who you are? Consider your language, religion, value systems, neighborhood, etc." After a few minutes, allow students to share their responses. How do students think the cultural factors they identified might change the future of their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren?
Divide the class into groups, and have each group select 10 objects to put in a culture capsule to be sent to the partner school. The groups should set themselves the goal of trying to explain their way of life to people of the foreign country. What 10 objects will give people the most complete picture of teenagers of a specific nation today? Try to include something for every sense. But please do not forget a recipe to a cooked meal.
It will certainly be helpful for students to find information about numerous countries on the Internet. Have a look at the Country Profiles of BBC News. Not all EU countries are represented here, but there are also some from outside the EU, which are nevertheless part of Europe! Another very good source for information about the culture of a country is Lonely Planet.
Each group will work on their "culture capsules" by completing the presentation file : They have to include
-- map of the home country
-- statistical data illustrating the population of this cultural group
-- illustrations or pictures
-- examples of this group’s language
-- examples and images of this group’s customs, including holidays, beliefs or values (newspaper clippings, images, artifacts, etc.)
-- information about locations, where large communities of these people live
Allow students to complete the Wrap-Up/Homework assignment before sealing the culture capsules.
1. Divide the class into small groups that will each research and orally report on one cultural aspect. The goal is for the class as a whole to gain an appreciation for the variations and similarities among different cultures:
2. Assign one of the following cultural aspect (or others that you may prefer to focus on) to each of your groups:
-- one song or piece of music;
-- one item of food; (recipe)
-- one example of a leisure time activity;
-- one contemporary hero ;
-- one book or magazine;
-- one proverb;
-- a list of popular words and phrases.
-- A landscape
-- one typical product
You can see an example ready to be filled by your schools in the attached file culture capsule (ppt), you may download the Greek culture capsule zip file 544kb at www.netschoolbook.gr/culturecapsuleGR.zip, or you can go to a website created by Theresa for further information.
In small groups, students can nominate the contents of the capsule designed to represent aspects of their country.
At the end of the week, a session should be set aside for each group to share their culture capsule. They need to explain why they nominated each item as representative of aspects of their country.
WRAP-UP/HOMEWORK: Individually, students will write an essay reflecting upon their research, “culture capsule” creation and their own personal cultural identity, by responding to the following prompt (written on the board for students to copy before leaving class): "Describe your own cultural heritage and identity, and explain if your family is native-country born or immigrants. How does your personal ethnicity or cultural heritage compare with the culture of your twin class? What are the similarities? What are the differences? Why is it important for future generations to know about and understand other people’s cultural heritage? Be sure to include information from your research, as well as your own personal experiences." This written piece should be added to the "culture capsule" web page, along with the essays of the other members of that particular group.
EVALUATION / ASSESSMENT:
Students will be evaluated based on initial journal responses, participation in class and group discussions, thorough research on a particular culture aspect, thoughtful participation and completion in the creation of a "culture capsule," as well as thoughtful completion of a reflection essay.
If you are generally interested in Culture, Festivals, Traditions, Celebrations etc. The onestop Culture page is certainly a valuable resource!
The culture capsule idea was revived in our Comenius project Our Culture - Our Magical Heritage during the school year 2012/13.
© Theresa J. Yiakoumatou (Greece) and Dr. Susanne Pratscher
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