Middle School Lesson Plans: Culture

Middle School Lesson Plans: Culture

These resources are appropriate for grade levels 6th, 7th and 8th.
Lesson Plans:



  1. Calming Tensions Between Arabs and Iraqi Kurds

    Students play the role of a U.S. Green Beret in Iraq who must try to keep the peace during a community dispute.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2-3 hours

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



  2. Causes and Effects: Creating a Resource Guide to International Volunteer Organizations

    In this lesson, students learn about one family's volunteer tourism experience. They then research international volunteer organizations to create a community guide to helping those in need around the world.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 1-2 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit New York Times.



  3. Comparing Cultures

    In this lesson, students will use the Web to find out about the cultures and customs of Nepal, Japan, or the Mentawai tribe of Indonesia. They will compare three customs from one of these cultures to customs in the United States. Students will conclude by writing paragraphs imagining that they have visited with the people of one of these cultures.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2 hours

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



  4. Connecting U.S. Students' Lives with Those of Maasai Students

    Artifacts tell us interesting things about a culture. Remember the story of the Nacirema, a tribe of people living south of the Canadian Cree people with curious body ritual habits? (The Nacirema story can easily be found on the web and is a must-read for teachers of culture and anthropology! Needless to say, the Nacirema people are Americans.) Every culture everywhere has artifacts that have cultural, religious, social, or medicinal purposes, and students can learn a lot from other cultures and their own culture by becoming cultural anthropologists for a day or week.

    This lesson is best done in conjunction with lesson 2B. It is important that students know something about the Maasai before they start reaching conclusions based on pictures of artifacts. The PowerPoint slideshow provided in lesson 2B gives students actual pictures of Maasai people wearing jewelry and using instruments that we might consider artifacts in this discussion here.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 1-2 hours

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



  5. Coping With Genocide in Cambodia

    Students write a journal entry about what should be done to help Cambodians feel justice and peace for the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 3-4 hours

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



  6. Culture in a Cupboard

    Consumer products provide evidence of cultural diffusion in many households. Analyzing the items that are found in a home's cupboards and closets can tell us much about the residents' cultural heritage and what cultural influences affect their lives. This lesson will help your students to identify some of the cultures new to their part of the world and to understand more about cultural diffusion.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2-3 hours

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



  7. Culture Shock

    This lesson asks students to think about how cultural customs differ throughout the world. Students will research a foreign culture's customs and write stories pretending they are on vacation with a friend from the country they have researched. They and their friend will travel to a new country that neither person is familiar with, and students will describe each person's reactions to the new culture and how these reactions differ based on each person's own cultural customs and habits.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2-3 hours

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



  8. Exchange Students: Making Cultural Connections with Kids in War-Torn Lands

    In this lesson, students learn about the increasing popularity and importance of cellular phones among Iraqi youths. They then create informative guides and compose letters to send to students living in countries currently experiencing turmoil that address topics such as popular culture and daily life.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 3-4 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit New York Times.



  9. Eyes Worldwide on the Prize: Viewing Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" Speech through a Global Lens

    In this lesson, students learn about the production of "Passages of Martin Luther King Jr." at the National Theater in China, and the ways in which the words of Dr. King have impacted the Chinese people and government. They then examine cases of discrimination around the world and respond to Dr. King's famous 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech from the perspective of these marginalized populations.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 1-2 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit New York Times.



  10. Fast Food Around the World

    Students will use the Internet or the library to research the cultures of four other countries. They will compile their research results into a plan for a fast-food restaurant in each of the countries, tailoring the restaurant to the cultural tastes of people in those countries.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 4-5 hours

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




  11. Freedom of the Press Around the World

    Students consider the importance of a free press in all societies, investigate how journalists are treated internationally and create a Press Freedom Report Card for Select Countries.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 3-4 hours

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



  12. Making the Global Local: Creating a Children's Television Character for Your Community

    In this lesson, students learn about the marketing and production of the children's television program "Sesame Street" in various countries around the world. They then create a character for a children's program that reflects the current issues and values of their communities.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 1-2 classes

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit New York Times.



  13. Religion and Belief Systems in Asia

    The continent of Asia has been the birthplace of many of the world's major religions. Today, Asia continues to reflect the religious diversity of the planet. In this lesson, students will conduct an in-depth review of one of the major world religions by focusing on its origins, beliefs and history. They will then explore reasons for the spread or decline in Asia of each of the major world religions. Finally, students will predict the continued spread of religions based on current events in Asia. This lesson is one in a series developed in collaboration with The Asia Society, with support from the Freeman Foundation, highlighting the geography and culture of Asia and its people.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2 hours

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



  14. Religion and Spirituality in Nepal

    This lesson asks students to contemplate the meaning of a statement regarding Nepalese religion and spirituality and to look for evidence of religious customs and "spiritual richness" observed during one American's trek through Nepal. The students will conclude by comparing and contrasting these factors in Nepal with their own country.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2 hours

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



  15. Taking It to the Streets: Investigating Student-Led Protests Around the World

    In this lesson, students learn about the nationwide protest in France on March 28, 2006, led by students and unions against the government's labor laws targeting youth. They then research student-led protests that have occurred around the world over the past fifty years and role-play the positions of student protesters, reporters and government officials during those given time periods.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 1-2 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit New York Times.



  16. Teaching About the Vietnam War in Vietnam

    Students compare what the United States and Vietnam teach about the Vietnam War, then write their own lesson plan for teaching key elements of the war.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 3-4 hours

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



  17. That Was Then, This is Now: Comparing the Past and Present-Day Ways of Life of Indigenous Peoples

    In this lesson, students will read about the effect of strict fur trading laws on the lives of the Inuit people in Canada. To enhance the reading students should use print and digital resources to compare the past and present-day ways of life of several indigenous peoples around the world. Students will present their research in the form of original children's books.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2-3 hours

    To link to the actual lesson plan, please visit New York Times.



  18. Weeping Camel: How Do Rituals Compare?

    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.



  19. What Does a Picture Tell You About Culture?

    What is a cultural landscape? Many of us have seen photographs in National Geographic magazines but have never really asked ourselves, "What do these photographs reveal about the local culture?" This lesson uses photographs to create an understanding of cultural landscapes.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2-3 hours

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



  20. What Makes a Group?

    On the "Afghanistan: Land in Crisis" map (available in print or online), students will review the different groups in "A Patchwork of Ethnic Minorities," one of the inset maps, and examine different ways that people can be organized into groups.

    Time needed for lesson plan: 2-3 hours

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





Units:


  1. Beyond Islam: Understanding the Muslim World


    In the wake of the attacks on September 11th and the subsequent War on Terror, U.S. and Pakistan relations have improved dramatically and reached new heights of bilateral cooperation. Given the strategic position of Pakistan in South Asia, with neighbors like Afghanistan and Iran, it has emerged as a critical player on the world stage. This means that educators who address South Asia can no longer look at Pakistan as a mere side note to India, or as simply a window into Islamic culture. Pakistan's role in global politics now goes "beyond Islam" and takes on a new level of importance. This curriculum will allow students to explore diverse facets of Pakistan's geography, history, and complexity to enable students to think more deeply about the important role that Pakistan plays in our modern world.

    Time needed for unit plan: 12-18 hours

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










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