Elementary School Lesson Plans: Culture

Elementary School Lesson Plans: Culture

These resources are appropriate for grade levels 3rd, 4th and 5th.

Lesson Plans:



  1. Cultural Connections: The Tapestry of Life


    In this lesson young students will use a variety of media to explore culture as the sum of learned patterns of behavior, institutions, values, and belief systems. Students will learn how to identify, compare, and appreciate the cultural characteristics of different regions and people.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 3-5 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit  National Geographic.




  2. Weeping Camel: What is a Ritual?


    Ritual has been an integral part of human life in every civilization and every historical era, and the rituals of all cultures have common characteristics. In this lesson, students will identify characteristics of traditional and modern rituals found in different cultures. Through reading articles and watching videos of several rituals, students will identify some of their characteristics. Finally, students will apply their understanding to modern rituals in their own lives.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit  National Geographic.



  3. Wonderworld Theme Park


    This lesson introduces students to some of the world's natural and archaeological wonders. Students will design theme parks that showcase some of these wonders, with each wonder representing a different section of the park.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 4-5 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit National Geographic.



  4. Hawaiian Economics: From the Mountains to the Sea


    Ancient Hawaii was ruled by chiefs, who were responsible for the well-being of their people and for managing the islands' resources. The chiefs divided the islands into land districts shaped like pie slices called Ahupua'a (ah-who-pu-ah-ah.) Each Ahupua'a covered the three main regions of the islands: the mountains, the valleys, and the shore. This system was designed to allow all Hawaiian communities equal access to the limited natural resources of the islands. Students will recognize that an island has limited natural resources, will understand that the Ahupua'a system was one method for allocating resources, and complete a Cost/Benefit Analysis of this method. Students will also come up with own method for distributing Hawaii's natural resources and compare it with the Ahupua'a method.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 1-2 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit  EconEdLink.

  5. Jimmy China's Adventure in Extreme Photography


    Our perceptions of the world are formed not only by what we see, but also by our previous experiences. When someone observes an unfamiliar place in the world, they bring with them their understanding and interpretation of their own culture, which helps to shade their perception of what they are observing or the place they are visiting. Photographers are regarded as recorders of places, cultures, and events, but how much of what they are recording is inspired, driven or affected by their own experiences? In this lesson, students will begin to explore how culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 1-2 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit  National Geographic.



  6. Explore Tanzania


    When we are trying to understand a different place and the group of people who live there, it is very helpful to explore different ways of organizing information about this place and these people. Maps allow us to see connections and trends, and the reading of various types of maps is a critical skill for students in their development as geographically literate individuals. This lesson is designed around the introduction of students to Tanzania and where it is on the African continent.

    This lesson assumes that students have some prior knowledge of Africa and some basic geographical and cultural trends and features there. This lesson, and the adjoining resources on the Maasai people, give teachers the resources they need to go from a birds' eye view map of Africa to a specific country, and then closer still to an actual village within that country (next lesson). This continuity—from the distant to the close—is important for students to experience in order for them to connect knowledge about a place with understanding about the people who live there.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit World-Affairs.







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