Lesson Plan for
World Geography/World Cultures (90 minutes)
Critical Thinking Skills
Grade 9 Social Studies
Prepare copies of the handout List
of Various Groups (one copy per group)
National Geography Magazines (You
can borrow copies from the public library. Let your library know
that any issue is fine, a mix of issues would be best.)
Open Class with
Discussion: What is culture?
Ask: Who can define culture? (Get some answers.)
Direct students to brainstorm examples.
Write student answers on the board
Ask: What goes into culture? (Get some answers.
Help them if they need it by suggesting clothing, music, government.)
Say: School is a culture. From the list we made,
how does school culture fit some of the list - in particular, clothing,
music, and government? (Get some answers.)
Hand out List of Various
Direct each student to circle the groups on this
list to which they belong.
Group Activity: About 10
Tell students to take their list with them, and to
move into groups of 4 students (or less.)
Their job is to compare their individual lists with
other people in their group.
Then, they are to identify three things that
everyone in their group has in common on their individual lists.
At the bottom of each paper, student will write
down the name of the 3 groups they have in common like this. Put this
list marked a-e on the overhead.
b) Purposes of that group (why it is in
c) The beliefs of that group
d) The rules of the group
e) Is membership voluntary or involuntary?
Give them some time. Then, ask each group to share
one of the three things they had in common with the class, and have them
state the answer(s) they chose for a-e above. It is okay if another
small group presents the same selection (family, school, etc.)
As groups present, start
throwing in monkey wrenches.
School, for example: Your students may say school
is involuntary and that they have to go to school. Throw in a monkey
wrench. Say: What about college? What if you're 17 years old?
Family, for example: Throw in a monkey wrench. Ask:
Does every family believe that?
Do not challenge everything they say, but
occasionally throw in a monkey wrench to keep them thinking.
every group has presented one thing they had in common, have them turn
in their individual work and return to their desks.
Class Activity: Ask
your class if anyone can define the following terms. (You may be
surprised.) Assign two students to look up one definition each in the
dictionary. Compare dictionary definition to the class definition of
each word. Modify the class definition if necessary.
What is homogeneous? (in common, all the same)
What is heterogeneous? (all different)
Tell students to listen to the instructions first,
and then act.
Say: Here's what I want you to do.
Every individual will go and get a National
Select a culture, any culture, so long as it is
not one of your own.
List 3 physical characteristics the culture you
selected has in common.
Find 4 cultural ideas that the people have in
After they have each returned to their desk, and
have had a chance to leaf through a magazine, write on the chalkboard or
overhead direction #2-4 above.
If time permits, ask for a volunteer to share a
culture they discovered and state the 3 physical or 4 cultural ideas
that the people have in common.
asking your opening question again. Ask: So, who can tell me what
culture is? (Get some answers. Make sure they are right ones.)