The purpose of this lesson is to define elements of culture and provide examples from the global world and from my students’ lives. To visually show various components of culture, my class constructs a “culture web” on the ceiling of the classroom by hanging objects from the tiles with ribbon. In the center of the ceiling, the heading “Culture” is hung with ribbon and paper. Then, all around the room, sub-categories of culture are represented, with a label, by hanging artifacts that represent those sub-categories.
Sometimes it is easier to identify elements of our own culture than it is elements of an unfamiliar culture. Sometimes, it is easier to identify elements of a “distant” culture than it is to recognize what makes our own culture. By creating a culture web, students construct a definition of culture by identifying elements of their culture and other cultures. The visual nature of this activity helps students remember various components of culture long into the unit. By keeping the web on the ceiling for the duration of the unit, students are able to add artifacts as they recognize new cultural connections that they did not see at first.