Similarities and Differences Teacher Resources
Find Similarities and Differences educational ideas and activities
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We of the Sea: Tribal Native American Stories
A video featuring members of Oregon’s Astoria Native American fishing community launches a study of the oral tradition of poetry, and how traditions are passed down within different cultures. Activities, assessments, extensions and adaptations are included in the richly detailed plan. Could also be used as an introduction to a study of marine life and the environment.
A Jaded Culture
Learners explore symbolic gems and metals of different cultures. They demonstrate their understanding of the use of such symbols in our own culture. They read and discuss the Times article, It's jade Time At The Galleries And The Fair.
Important Contributions to American Culture
Fifth graders explore the contributions of different cultures to the American landscape. Students work in groups and use a variety of resources to create a presentation about a group that emigrated to America.
One World, Many Cultures
Middle schoolers examine the components of culture. They identify those components as either material or non-material. They research different cultures around the world and share their information with the class.
Stories Share Similar Scenes
Second graders are able to compare versions of the same stories from different cultures. They read a version of Cinderalla that is familiar to students. Students make a list of the acts of kindness or goodness from the story they just read. On the second day, they read alound another version of Cinderlla. Students identify the acts of goodness/kindness if the central character and add them to the list.
Helpful Animals and Compassionate Humans in Folklore
Students define elements of stories from around the world that include helpful animals. They explore animal character motivations and use graphic organizers to compare and contrast animal stories from different cultures.
Masks Across Cultures
Young scholars examine various masks from different cultures. In groups, they review vocabulary related to expressing emotions in art. They work together to create a mask using the techniques described to them and representing a season. They write a paragraph explaining their use of colors.
Students examine their relationships to cultural groups and make conclusions about their diverse roles in different cultures. They decide why people play multiple roles in society while creating a cultural treasure chest.
Becoming Part of a New Culture: The Transall Saga
Seventh graders explore the structure of a story. They identify the beginning, middle, and end. Students analyze the literary techniques of foreshadowing, simile, metaphor, personification, and idioms in Gary Paulsen's novel, The Transall Saga. They analyze what it is like to be part of a different culture.
Stories Share Similar Scenes
Students listen to similar stories that come from different cultures and compare them. In this folktale instructional activity, students focus on different versions of "Cinderella," then complete a worksheet which is embedded in the plan about two different versions of "Cinderfella." A clever and enlightening instructional activity.
Lesson: Reflecting Social Status
More space, in this case, means more status. Kids consider the status assigned to Tlingits via house partition. They discuss a carved piece that shows household space partitioned by status. They then write their own clan stories and draw a similar image, showing status and space allocation.
Third graders become culturally aware of the differences all over the world. They explore a different culture, and recognize and appreciate the similarities and differences with their own.
Legends in Their Own Times
Students learn folk tales from many different cultures and retell them using the medium of their choice. They write about the cultural indications found in these tales.
Students read several selections of folktales from different historic periods and different cultures. Then they incorporate a folktale theme into a modern day story, using elements that parallel those from the original version.
Students identify foods that they associate with different cultural groups in which they are members and speculate possible connections between specific foods and the cultures in which they are popular. They also explore the importance of the omul in the Siberian culture by reading and discussing "Fish With an Indelicate Smell." Finally they create informational handouts based on research of selected "cultural" food and participate in a class-wide Cultural Food Festival.
Foods of African Countries
Third graders study foods of African countries and geographical locations of specific countries on the continent, vocabulary of African food products, and similarities/differences of food grown throughout various terrains/climates of Africa.
The Role of Music and Musicians in Different Cultures
Ninth graders discuss how a song can represent a culture or part of a culture and the role of the musician. They will discuss and prepare projects that compare and contrast the music to be performed for an audience.
How is Rice Used in Food from Different Cultures?
Fifth graders examine how rice is used in different cultures. In this culture lesson, 5th graders explain the similarities between dolmas and sushi, then name two different Mexican rice dishes. Students learn new vocabulary words, which are the names of rice dishes from around the world.
Animal Body Coverings
First graders compare and contrast animals according to their various body coverings, (fur, scales, shells). Students discuss the different body coverings they have seen on animals. They conduct a sensory experiment in which they feel four types of body covering and compare and contrast their textures.
Gender Roles in Jewish and Muslim Cultures
Gender roles and religious practices can be a very interesting and complex subject to teach. Luckily, you have found an excellent resource that includes links, vocabulary, and a great set of activities. Learners will discuss cultural convergence and divergence and then dive into research to find information on the gender roles of women in Jewish and Muslim communities. They use Costa's three levels of questioning to develop their own inquiry questions, which will be used to guide them as they write a short composition synthesizing what they've learned.