CLICK HERE FOR A MS WORD DOWNLOAD
GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT: Social Studies (all levels)
To begin to understand people of different cultures, students must first know how all cultures are alike and different. There are certain things that all cultures have, whether or not they are exactly the same. These things are called cultural universals and include such things as religion, values, what is considered right and wrong, games, music, rites of passage, etc. This concept should be discussed before the present lesson. The object of this lesson is to show that even within the class there are many different cultures - that every person has his/her own culture, but within the class there are a few things that everyone can agree on and those ideas make up the class culture.
NOTE This lesson is not for the faint of heart.
Although this is a level I lesson, there must be a level of trust in the group so that gut level discussion can take place. Be prepared issues such as capital punishment, abortion, and religion to come up.
After doing this lesson, it is much easier to talk about different cultures and value systems with compassion and empathy.
One of the cultural universals often discussed is "right and wrong". Each culture has its own ideas about what is OK and not OK to do. this lesson will help to find out what the people in this class consider to be wrong. The things we can all agree on will reflect the culture of THIS class.
List many, different, and unusual things that you consider to be "wrong", that is, things that are not acceptable to do.
ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:
Many - number of ideas on the original lists
Different - number of different categories
Unusual- number of ideas that no one else thought of.
People who feel strongly about an issue may want to prepare to debate it formally, or poll other people, or find out what the courts have to say about it.