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Creating Your Own Culture Lesson (Tailor-made For Each Student)

By Naomi O'Brien



There are so many powerful history lessons that we can share with our students, but what if we intentionally shared lessons that were directly related to our students’ cultures?

LaNesha and I asked ourselves this question recently, and then we created this resource to meet that need.

(Click image to be taken to resource)

Here’s how it works:

In our classes, at the beginning of each year, we get to know our students culturally with our culture cases or culture flipbooks.

We ask our students about their cultures. This typically takes a week or two to complete. Sometimes students have to ask their caregivers for information they are unsure about. These are done in lieu of traditional “About Me” activities.

When everyone has completed this flipbook or culture case, we present them to the class. We celebrate diversity and learn to value the unique experiences our classmates bring the classroom. We (LaNesha and I) share our culture, too.

We also teach our kids about cultural intelligence. Basically, we want to give our kids an understanding of their own cultures so they can see and understand why they should seek to understand and value the cultures of other people.

(Click on the image to check out the resources)

We asked ourselves, what if we take those activities/lessons we planned a step further and actually use the cultural information we learned to create social studies lessons?

We decided to create these templates for planning and teaching short lessons around one aspect of each students’ culture. If you had 24 students, before the end of the year, you would create and present 24 different lessons about each child. It would take about 20 minutes or less to plan and would make a 15-30 minute lesson, depending on how much discussion you encourage or if you add a writing component about what students learned.

This was designed for a teacher to use pictures, gathered from the internet, and information from a quick Google search, to create a short presentation about a topic. First, a teacher would explain why it’s important to know about and then give a few sentences about the history of it. To personalize the lesson, I would also add in a picture of the child who shared that it was a part of their culture. You’ll also explain the global connection and how the lesson is building your students’ cultural intelligence. Last, but not least, summarize the lesson and kids will discuss if they thought the lesson was important.

The headings on each page and the turn and talk prompts are already done for you!

You would insert your own text and picture on each slide as seen below.

In addition to the prompts on the slide, a 12 page guide detailing exactly how to build a lesson is included in the resource. Examples of what to type on each slide are also included in the download.

We hope you and your students enjoy this one!

Naomi and LaNesha



Hi, I'm Naomi

I have been teaching elementary students for over 10 years. Effective reading instruction and accurate social studies at the primary level are huge passions of mine! 

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2 Responses

  1. Hi, I can’t find the culture cases or flip books. When I click the picture it just takes me to TPT and I can’t find it on there. Can you help? Thanks!

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