Sociology Culture Unit with Subculture and Norms Print & Digital

Rated 4.91 out of 5, based on 11 reviews
11 Ratings
Let's Cultivate Greatness
Grade Levels
10th - 12th, Higher Education
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
Unit: 96 PDF + Google pages / Lecture: 90 Slides + Exit Tickets + Notes
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The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

What educators are saying

The variety of the resource allowed for pick and choose parts of the bundle that worked for my student /teaching needs.
Very easy to adapt to fit my needs in my Sociology classroom. My 12th graders were engaged and I found the lesson requirements were suitable for this age group.
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  1. Teach Sociology with confidence and impact with this full-course curriculum that will transform your students into thoughtful self-reflectors and change-makers.Whether you're brand new to teaching it (never taking a single Soc class in college) or you're simply looking for a more meaningful and stre
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Invite your students to examine their culture with an outsider's lens and wonder for the first time why do we do things the way we do.

This unit investigates concepts related to culture, subcultures, and social norms.

Students will master key sociological concepts like

  • material and non-material elements of culture
  • examples of culture shock and high vs pop culture
  • characteristics and causes of subcultures and counterculture
  • folkways, mores, and taboos

Challenge your students to question the norms and influences that surround them with this inquiry-driven, standards-aligned unit that asks, "How does culture define me?"

All student materials come in print-and-go PDF and editable Google files!


Greatness is pausing to wonder about the influences on one’s understanding of the world.

The strength of an inquiry, thematic unit like this is your ability to immediately make abstract concepts into intriguing and relevant lessons: each engaging activity builds towards the unit's driving question with its own focused question and is based on topics and issues that are real-world and personal to students.

This unit can be done well in 4-5 weeks and aligns with standards from Texas, Florida, Illinois, and Indiana, and the American Sociological Association.

Included in this Culture & Subculture unit:

Overview Materials

  • Teacher Overview with general notes, links, standards, and a pacing guide
  • Daily Lesson Plans with step-by-step instructions and lesson takeaway notes
  • Detailed Answer Keys for each activity
  • Student Unit Review and Skills handouts with self-checking questions and "I Can..." standards statements in student-friendly language
  • Student Unit Notes sheet for building deep and nuanced mastery of concepts over the course of the unit
  • Editable Parent Permission form to inform families about sensitive topics that are covered in this unit
  • Editable Case Study template to customize for any news source you want to incorporate

Student Activities

  • Culture Shock: read and reflect on the lived experiences of immigrants as they explain their most memorable culture shock moments once arriving in America
  • 2 Crash Course Guided Notes: provide an overview of concepts with these videos and embedded "pause and talk" real-world application tasks (perfect lecture or textbook replacement or want a flipped classroom experience)
  • Our Culture: closely examine, discuss, and reflect on the culture of your school by creating effigy dolls, applying sociological concepts
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding: watch this endearing based-on-real-life rom-com to see all the elements of culture from a comedic angle
  • San People of Kalahari Desert: view the slap-stick classic comedy, The Gods Must Be Crazy, from a sociological lens and investigate what has happened to the San people since the film was released (included are tools to teach this activity with cultural sensitivity and respect)
  • Culture Case Study: investigate and discuss a set of cultural norms in the Asian world that has led many young Asians to mental health problems
  • Break a Norm Project: plan and conduct one's own sociological experiment, reflecting on and sharing results (always a huge hit with students!)
  • Tourist Brochure Project: create an inviting overview of other countries' cultures, including high, pop, and folk cultural elements
  • Amish Rumspringa: view a captivating documentary, Devil's Playground, on this Amish rite of passage in which their teenagers are allowed to experiment with mainstream American culture
  • Subculture Sketch: research and share with others details and purpose of various subcultures in American society to find commonalities and develop empathy for others
  • Subculture Case Study: investigate and discuss the influence of dual cultural pressures on Native American youth to honor their cultural roots and place in American mainstream culture

Lecture Kit (BONUS!)

  • 90-Slide Deck: introduce concepts with images and real-life examples; broken into four 30-45-minute lectures to deliver throughout the unit
  • Guided Notes & Exit Tickets: support and assess learning with these no-prep tools
  • Everything is provided in PowerPoint & Google files and is fully editable


  • Open-Ended Essay: encapsulate understanding of concepts by forming a personalized and supported answer to the not-so-simple question, “How does culture define me?”
  • Short Answer Assessment: succinct assess students' mastery of concepts and application to the real world and their own lives
  • Sociologist's Journal: builds deep reflection on personal beliefs and experiences about concepts
  • Each comes in editable Google files for your customization

By the end of this unit, your students will be able to:

  • Articulate their personal and nuanced understanding of culture
  • Describe key components of culture, including the functions that subcultures play in society, and concepts like social norm, ethnocentrism, high, pop, and folk culture
  • Analyze and evaluate a variety of media to examine current issues with a sociological lens
  • Investigate, question, and discuss current social issues
  • Collaborate to solve questions
  • Apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations
  • Conduct own sociological research
  • Reflect on sociological concepts in own life

Note: this unit includes the viewing of full-length films (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, The Gods Must Be Crazy, and Devil's Playground). An editable parent permission slip is included if needed.

Explore the rest of this engaging curriculum

Or, get the full Sociology full-course bundle & save big!


What Other Soc Teachers Are Saying

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I used this unit in high school sociology and am so grateful. I've taught sociology for 8 years. It's humbling to acknowledge this unit plan did a better job than I was ever able to. It is engaging, progresses logically, and is easy to implement. - Joshua P.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This has been my most useful purchase from Let's Cultivate! The Culture Shock activity generated a LOT of conversation within my classroom and opened up interest in how people around the world live. The Breaking A Norm project was a great way to have students apply their understanding of major concepts. Thank you! - Janelle B.


Your FAQs Answered

I've never taken a Soc class! Will this help ME learn all this? This unit is built for you with step-by-step daily lesson plans, detailed answer keys, and lecture kits with slide-by-slide scripts.

I don't have any textbooks-- is this tied to one? Nope :) The included lecture kit, Crash Course video guide notes, and links to open-source textbooks give you 3 options for delivering content, depending on your style.

What if my district bans talking about certain sensitive topics? No worries! There are more than enough activities to let you pick and choose. When sensitive issues are touched on, detailed notes are included to assist you. Also, know all student activities are editable.

Can I edit things? Yes! All student materials come in editable Google file format. The printable PDF version is not.

Will this work with my LMS? It should! Your LMS should let you attach Google files or insert forced copy links of them. You can also easily download any Google Doc or Slide file to Microsoft. If you want to create assignments natively in your LMS, you can copy and paste text from the editable Google files. The PDF file is secured and not intended for LMS use.

How is an inquiry unit different from a regular one? An inquiry unit opens with a single wonder-inducing question to focus your whole unit and tie back to each activity. Connecting learning back and forth this way makes learning "stickier" and more relevant for students.


This listing is for one license for regular, non-commercial classroom use by a single teacher only. Commercial use like online teaching (ex. Outschool) or sharing with other teachers (ex. shared drive, in a Facebook group, in a professional development training) is strictly prohibited.

By purchasing a license to this resource, you have access to all future updates at no cost, available under “My Purchases." Multiple and transferable licenses are available for purchase. PDF files are uneditable, other files have editing abilities, unless otherwise stated. All files are protected under federal copyright laws.

To request a complete terms of use prior to purchase or if you have any questions about this resource, please leave a question below under Product Q&A.

Total Pages
Unit: 96 PDF + Google pages / Lecture: 90 Slides + Exit Tickets + Notes
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.


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