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Culture in sociology is an extremely broad subject area. Bringing the focus in so that students can grasp the nuances of culture as it relates to sociology is essential. Begin by mind mapping what culture is. Subjects such as art, music, dress, food, language, religion, traditions, coming of age ceremonies, social/civic groups, etc. should find their way to the map.
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The objectives of this lesson plan are for students to learn and understand -
- other cultures
- different world views
- the influences of one culture over another
- cultures in relationship to geography
- contributions of cultures to the world in the arts, science, language, literature
- similarities/connections of cultural groups
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For this lesson plan, have students choose a culture other than their own to research in depth. For a large class, have students work in small groups. A list of the cultures of the world can be found here.
Students will research, through books and online, the culture of their choice. They will prepare a presentation on the culture covering the topics of -
- Connections to the Earth - How does where this culture lives influence who these people are?
- Connections to Others - What are the relationships this culture has with their neighbors? (i.e., adversarial, friendly, for commerce)
- Contributions to Art, Science, Language and/or Literature
Presentations can be done as poster presentations, or PowerPoint.
Students will participate in a question and answer period during their presentation. After the presentation, students will write a brief paper comparing and contrasting the culture they researched with their own.
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Assess students on their ability to discuss their chosen culture coherently; assess the depth in which they covered the topics and assess ability to compare and contrast the culture with their own.
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Threads in the Web
Chief Seattle said, "Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." Culture lesson plans for sociology aid in the teaching of this concept.
When students can delve into the study of other cultures; when they can find connections; and when they can learn about the history, language, art of a people, they are better able to understand who they are in relationship to the world. In addition, they are able to see how the world is influenced by what they do, say and think.
- World Cultures, 2009 - http://www.everyculture.com/wc/
- Indigenous Peoples Literature, 2009 - http://www.indigenouspeople.net/sidemenu.html
- Welker, Glenn, World's Indigenous People, 2009 - http://www.indigenouspeople.net/world.htm
- American Forum on Global Education, 2003 - http://www.globaled.org/guidelines/index.php
- Author's own experience
- Photo: Nyo, Public Domain, Wikipedia Commons
- American Forum on Global Education, Culture and World Areas, 2003 - http://www.globaled.org/guidelines/page3.php