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Ready-Set-Tech: Biodiversity
Introducing Biodiversity | Endangered Species | Habitats | Global Cultural Diversity

Global Cultural Diversity

Our world is becoming increasingly globalized. This is particularly true for the United States as it experiences closer ties to cultures throughout the world and the immigration of new cultures to its shores. Greater harmony between cultures often occurs as we better understand them.

In this lesson students will explore various cultures and peoples throughout the world to learn and appreciate their rich diversity.

Phillip Seymour
Phillip Seymour is a nationally recognized education trainer and consultant on visual perception and arts/media curriculum integration. He has taught in the New York City public schools and teaches and trains at national universities and educational institutions. Presently, Phillip is an instructor at New York University and the City University of New York.


Social Studies, Geography, Technology, Language Arts, Media Literacy, and Visual Arts

Grade Level: 3-6

Time: 5-6 hours

Materials: 2-3 computers with Internet access, LCD projector, printer, access to books and a library, notebooks and writing implements, bulletin board, book-making supplies, student journals, and maps of the world.








Students will:

• Create a class definition of culture

• Discover the similarities and differences of various world cultures

• Use and learn internet and library resources for research

• Work cooperatively in groups by researching, developing, and presenting group reports

• Learn and develop oral, written and visual communication skills

• Map countries or geographic areas associated with globalization

Web sites:



Teachers can construct their definition of globalization to use as an access point and refresh their own knowledge of culture by visiting the following web sites:

•  http://umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/anthropology/
(Great definition of the word culture)

•  http://project2061.org/tools/sfaaol/chap7.htm
(Defining the word culture)

•  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/

(Explanation of the term globalization)

•  http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/2000/

(Great introductory site depicting inter-cultural influence)

•  http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/
(Visual site speaking to vanishing cultures due to globalization)

•  http://globio.org/projects/core/livingclassrooms.shtml
(Super children's site introducing the theme of globalization)

Books and Magazines:

(Excellent sources for children's books on multiculturism)

•  http://edchange.org/multicultural/references.html
(Resource books on multiculturalism and global diversity)


Ask the students to define the term culture. Have them give examples of things that make up a culture (music, language, clothing, food, etc.). Write the responses it on a board or chart paper .

Create a KWL chart
writing the information the students volunteered regarding the word culture. Try to extract as many components you can, having them give examples.

Student journal
keeping should begin at this point.

Show the students one or more the following virtual sites, always pointing out the connections of cultural traits to the class definition.
•  http://ology.amnh.org/biodiversity/dzanga_sangha/index.html
(Fun virtual introduction to a child's culture in Central Africa from the American Museum of Natural History )

•  http://pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/china/index.html
(Exciting and fun virtual movie tour of China's cities)

•  http://pbs.org/wnet/africa/
(Amazing virtual tour of various regions and their cultures in Africa)

•  http://library.thinkquest.org/20443/?tqskip1=1
(Excellent virtual site on China and its culture)

A world map for the class to point out and label any countries mentioned during this study should always be in sight. Students should have their own maps with their journals. Maps can be downloaded from:
•  http://nat i onalg e ographic.com/xpeditions/
atlas/index.html?Parent=world&Mod e =b&SubMode=

Ask the students once again about the word culture and whether they wished to add any more components to their definition and what they would additionally like to learn. This should be recorded on the KWL chart and in their journals.



Create class groups of two or three students and tell them they will be exploring world cultures in more detail. Each group is asked to choose a country from around the world that represents a particular culture. You may wish to take a tour around the world identifying numerous countries to expand their knowledge. The maps of the world are a great accompaniment to this tour. Some sites to take them through virtually are:

•  http://loc.gov/rr/international/portals.html
(Library of Congress's Portals to the World- Cultures)

(Google directory to countries around the world)

•  http://peacecorps.gov/kids/world
(Great site created by the Peace Corps)

Now tell the class they will be creating a large class book on different cultures of the world. Each group's report will be a chapter in the book. The format of the book and chapters should be determined beforehand to give the groups an idea of how they will design their written presentation.

They will be asked to create a written/visual and oral/visual presentation. They should have at least three different sources of visual representations reinforcing their findings. The sources for the study can be books, web sites, magazines etc. The visuals can be drawn, downloaded or taken from already printed materials. Student journals are used to record all information gathering.

Each group report should include the following information:
•  Name and world location (map) of the country, including major cities
•  2-3 visuals. The visuals can be drawn, downloaded or taken from already printed materials.
•  Solid information regarding the country and its cultural traits as discussed in the class

A great graphic organizer (edited for this topic) for the research can be found at:
•  http://education-world.com/a_lesson/TM/WS_lp310-03.shtml

Some web sites for student research:

•  http://dmoz.org/Kids_and_Teens/School_Time/
(Cool site with contributions by kids from around the world describing their country and giving links for further information)

•  http://lonelyplanet.com/destinations/
(The Lonely Planet's Guide to world countries, although commercial has excellent maps and great cultural description under Culture for each country)

•  http://pbs.org/wnet/africa/explore/index_flash.html
(Super PBS site for information on African Cultures)

•  http://sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/Home_Page/Country.html
(Great Univ. of Penn. site addressing African countries)

•  http://americasol.net/index_english.html
(Commercial South American site giving geographic and cultural information)

•  http://loc.gov/rr/international/portals.html
(Sophisticated site marking every country of the world from the Library of Congress)

•  http://directory.google.com/Top/KidsandTeens/
(Really good Google directory to world cultures)

•  http://peacecorps.gov/kids/world/
(Peace Corps site of certain counties)

•  http://ipl.org/div/kidspace/cquest/europe/europe.html
(Good site for brief information of world cultures)

Mentor the students as they do their research. Group interaction should be observed to maintain cooperation and shared responsibilities.



Group presentation. The groups compile their research and present their final reports to the class. The report is both visual and oral. Group presentation means each member participates in the dissemination. The class should take notes during each presentation in their journals.   Book. The written/visual report will make a chapter in the class book. Use large construction paper backed by mat board for the book's pages. Keep the book large and visible. The binder can be a three or four ring to hold the pages together. Written entry should be typed. Assign roles in creating the book for the cover, table of contents, general assembly, visuals etc. Labeled images supporting the text should be included in the book, as well as a visual cover. The book and individual group presentations should be displayed in an area of the room specifically set up for this study.

KWL Chart: Ask the students what they have learned from their study of habitats. The response should be written on the chart. Also be sure to ask them if there was more they would like to additionally know. This should be recorded as well.

Class celebration: Set aside a day for the class to celebrate their study with parents, administration and fellow students. Ask the students to try to bring in a food or beverage that is indigenous of the culture they studied. Decorate the room with diverse cultural expressions. The oral presentations can be given at this time and the culture study area with book and writings should be in full display

Similarities and differences chart: On oak tag or presentation board create a graphic that represents the countries the students researched and depicts their similarities and differences. Discuss this with the students and make comparisons to the United States as well.


Each group presents a written and oral report on their study. Look for evidence of individual contribution to the oral and written reports. The groups and individual presentations should include the following information:

•  Visual representations of their animals and habitats (These can be either drawn, downloaded or printed photo images from web sites, magazines or books)

•  Map of the country designating the capital and location in the world. Includes major cities

•  Solid information regarding the country and cultural traits as discussed in the class

•    Narrative and literacy contributions regarding learned cultural information.

Assessment of individual student journals

Participation in the cultural celebration



Other lessons in this biodiversity unit include:
Introducing Biodiversity
Endangered Species



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