Anthropologist Horace Miner published an article he called the Nacirema, which satirizes the culture of the United States. The way that Miller writes makes it appear as if he is describing some sort of foreign and “backwards” culture, making it an excellent teaching tool.
I have used the story of the Nacirema (American backwards) in both my US History II and Sociology classes. It is an excellent way to have students examine perspective, the concepts of culture and modernity, as well as look at how Americans viewed the rest of the world at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries (some of your students will argue that we still have this worldview now). It is for one period, 45 minutes in length.
This lesson was used as the opening Hook activity for the first day of my Imperialism unit in US History II and as my Hook activity in my Sociology class’s unit on Culture. The parts of the article that I used are school appropriate; there are some sections of the article that may be deemed inappropriate for students. The feedback from my classes was very positive and it gave my classes the appropriate perspective as we continued through the units.
Keywords: "US History" + "United States History" + "Imperialism" + "Culture" + "Introduction into Imperialism" + "The Nacirema Tribe" + "History" + "Engaging lesson" + "Great learning activity" + "student-centered activity" + "student centered imperialism" + "lesson plan" + "lesson plan on imperialism"
Come visit my store for more great history lessons and activities: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Ryan-Davis-2072